London mayor Boris Johnson joins battle to save the capital's night-time economy

 
Jessica Morris
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Boris has thrown his weight behind the night-time economy (Source: Getty)

London mayor Boris Johnson has joined the battle to save the city's night-time economy.

Johnson has announced a host of new measures in the wake of a new report, entitled London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, which found the number of grassroots music venues has fallen 35 per cent since 2007.

This ramps up fears that a continued decline will have major ramifications for the long term future the UK's creative and cultural sector, which feeds into the UK's £3.8bn music industry.

Read more: The night-time economy just got its own industry group

It comes as a bitter cocktail of rising rents, licensing restrictions as well as noise complaints have forced the closure of a number of iconic London venues, such as the Astoria, the 12 Bar Club and Madame Jojos.

"From the Rolling Stones to David Bowie, the Clash to Oasis and Ed Sheeran to Adele, grassroots music venues have played a key role in enabling some of the biggest names in music to develop as artists and to build audiences. They are the incubators for the stars that go on to pack stadiums in London and across the world," Johnson said.

“The Music Venues Taskforce report makes it clear that protecting live music venues is crucial to London's continued position as the music capital of the world.”

Read more: Labour councillors call for Soho nightclub Madame Jojo's to be re-opened under new management

“This timely report will shape our long term action plan to safeguard and revive London's vital network of live music venues, ensuring the future of the capital's culturally and economically important music scene.”

Developers, rather than venues, will have to mitigate against future problems that might emerge between newcomers to an area and a longstanding local venue, such as noise complaints. This was a tactic that enabled the Ministry of Sound to avoid closure.

The London Music Development Board will takeover the work of the Mayor's Music Venues Taskforce and be responsible for implementing the recommendations of the report.

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