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Amy Lamé bids to protect London’s culture venues

Words: Laura Edgar
Live music venues / iStock: 502131877

Guidance aimed at protecting, supporting and sustaining the London’s night-time venues has been published by the city’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, one year on from when she joined the mayor’s team.

The guidance is for local authorities and developers, providing them with “urgently needed” support to safeguard the capital’s night-time economy and culture venues.

London has lost nearly half of its night clubs and a third of its grassroots music venues since 2007, according to the Mayor of London’s report on music venues (pdf).  A quarter of the capital’s pubs have been lost since 2001 and 58 per cent of LGBT+ venues (pdf) have closed since 2006.

The guidance notes how local authorities can ensure that new homes built in their area can co-exist with current live music venues, night clubs and pubs. It says planning, licensing and noise teams should work together.

In April 2017, The Planner reported on a House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 report, which suggested that planning committees are more effective and reliable than licensing committees, and are well equipped for making licensing decisions. The Lords recommended that planning committees should take over the licensing function.

The guidance has been published ahead of the draft London Plan, which will be brought out later this month.

Night Czar Amy Lamé said: “The thing I’ve most enjoyed about being London’s Night Czar is meeting Londoners out and about on my night surgeries. From security workers to mixologists, nurses to tube drivers – London really comes alive at night. The stories I hear are fascinating and inspiring. As I look ahead, one of my key focuses will be looking at how the workplaces of night-time employees can be improved.”

Richard Olszewski, cabinet member for finance and transformation at Camden Council, welcomed the guidance, saying it will help the council “further strengthen our night-time economy, allowing us to enhance our diverse cultural offer while maintaining local residents’ safety through appropriate licensing and public protection measures”.

Read more:

Mayor publishes 24-hour plans for London

Night czar offers recipe for saving London’s LGBT venues

Planning committees suited to dealing with licensing applications

Southwark to protect its pubs

London council protects its pubs from conversion

Image credit | iStock