Pubcos ‘not fit’ to own music venues

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Music Nightclub

Music Venue Trust co-founder Mark Davyd: 'There are a number of venues we have looked at where their future is unclear'
Music Venue Trust co-founder Mark Davyd: 'There are a number of venues we have looked at where their future is unclear'
Pubs and venues with a key focus on live music should be owned by the charity and arts sectors rather than large pub companies whose main interest is selling beer, according to a lobbyist.

Mark Davyd said music venues currently exist in the wrong part of the market and should be owned by agencies who are interested in the activities taking place rather than landlords who think they could make more money developing the property or are concerned the premises is not selling enough beer.

The co-founder of the Music Venue Trust (MVT) said: “Quite a lot of them are let out by breweries on tied leases and that means they are really pushing them to sell beer.

“Or they exist in spaces owned by the local authority, which is also the licensing authority and might not want to support them.

“There are a number of venues we have looked at where their future is unclear.”

Charitable ownership

MVT is looking to list music venues as assets of community values so if they are put up for sale the body can “try and bring them into charitable ownership”.

The trust will then lease them back to locals or existing venue owners who want to keep the premises as live music spaces. MVT is currently negotiating with the Arts Council, Department of Culture, Media & Sport and Heritage Lottery over funding and plans to acquire an initial core of 20 venues during the next five years.

“The Music Venue Trust would ask the lessee, ‘did you put on enough music last year?’, not ‘did you sell enough beer?’” Davyd added.

“We have a falling stock of music spaces and we need to do something to step in and prevent that.

“There are about 80 to 120 venues in the UK that are crucial to there being a live music circuit.”

The trust is also lobbying the Government to relax noise abatement legislation and adopt an Agent of Change principle, to pass the responsibility for minimising disturbance away from pubs and clubs and on to residents and developers.

survey_11501

Related topics Legislation Other operators

Related news

Show more