City centre business organisation Aberdeen Inspired has urged the Scottish Government to adopt new legislation to help protect live music venues.
The ‘Agent of Change’ principle, which sets out safeguards for live music venues when nearby industrial or commercial premises are redeveloped into residential properties, will be discussed by a Holyrood committee.
Established music venues can receive an influx of noise complaints from new residents, which has, in some cases, led to businesses closing. Throughout the UK, 35 per cent of grassroots music venues have closed over the last decade.
Under the proposed principle, if a music venue is in place before the residential premises, the owners of the residential property would be responsible for paying for soundproofing.
Similarly, if a music venue opens in an existing residential area, the venue is responsible for the cost of the work.
Nicola Johnston, Aberdeen Inspired’s evening and night time economy manager, has written to the Local Government and Communities Committee at Holyrood to argue that the Agent of Change principle be adopted in Scotland’s planning law as it has been in England and Wales.
Miss Johnston, said: “Aberdeen is undergoing an economic and cultural transformation, adopting the agent of change will allow our grass root music venues to flourish as our city grows and develops.
“A city’s night time economy is a vital component in the success and attractiveness of a city. It generates employment, attracts tourists, and provides residents with cultural experience and entertainment.
“A number of Aberdeen venues, such as Krakatoa, Cellar 35, Coopers Bar, the Gilcomston, Underdog and Downstairs, have all been affected by what we believe is an imbalance in the existing regulatory approach.
“Should the Scottish Government adopt the agent of change, our live music venues will be protected, and a much-needed balance struck between sensibly managing noise whilst appreciating and respecting the nature of the business’s activity and providing a comfortable living environment.
“This is why I have written to the Local Government and Communities Committee to urge them to adopt the Agent of Change principle, and I look forward to putting our case forward in person.”
Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen Business Improvement District (BID) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.
Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. Due to its on-going success, the organisation won 2017 European BID of the Year in July.
For more information about Aberdeen Inspired, please visit: www.aberdeeninspired.com