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UK Music boss hails Scottish Government move to back Agent Of Change

The decision to protect live music venues in Scotland was described as a “landmark victory”

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has described the Scottish Government’s decision to back the Agent Of Change bill as a “landmark victory” in the fight to protect live music venues.

The Scottish Government stated that it will strengthen planning rules and support proposals for the Agent of Change principle to be included in the next revision of the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy.

The Agent Of Change bill requires to take account of the impact of any new plans on pre-existing businesses like music venues before going ahead with their plans.

“This is a landmark victory for all those who fought so hard to safeguard the future of music venues in Scotland and across the UK – from grassroots community activists to global music stars who have spent years calling for Agent of Change,” said Dugher (pictured).

“We are delighted the Scottish Government has thrown its support behind our Agent of Change plan and is toughening the rules to protect grassroots music venues. It’s a tremendous boost for the live music industry.

“Music tourism makes a huge contribution to Scotland, bringing enjoyment to millions and generating £334 million to the local economy.

“Supporting grassroots venues is key to maintaining the Scotland’s vibrant and diverse music scene, as well as making sure we have the talent pipeline to maintain the our position as a global force in music.

“It’s great that Scottish Ministers have listened and responded so positively to UK Music, Music Venue Trust and other industry campaigners, all of whom have worked so hard to make sure grassroots venues get the help and protection they need. Lewis Macdonald MSP deserves particular recognition for the tireless dedication and leadership he has shown to deliver this landmark change in Scotland.”

Earlier this year, deputy leader of the Labour Tom Watson party told PSNEurope why the bill is so important to the future of live music across the UK.

Meanwhile, the UK’s first live music census has revealed that small venues are facing a number of issues that threaten their long-term future.

One in three small music venues surveyed said they had experienced problems with nearby property developments, which can cause noise complaints from people living nearby.