New government legislation will protect Edinburgh music venues

The live music scene in Edinburgh – and the UK as a whole – got a major shot in the arm today (14 March) with the news that new government legislation designed to protect small music venues will come into force next month.

The new regulations will require property developers planning to turn an office block into a residential building to seek prior approval from their local authority on the impact of noise on potential residents.

When an office building near a music venue is turned into a residential building, new residents who complain about noise can – and often do – threaten the venue’s future.

In Edinburgh, a number of grassroots music venues have been forced to close their doors over the past decade, and research conducted last year by Edinburgh University found that almost half of Edinburgh’s musicians suffered problems over noise restrictions in the Capital’s venues in the space of 12 months.

“Grassroots venues..

will have additional

powers to help

them survive”


The Edinburgh Live Music Census found the city’s live music scene was worth £40 million to the economy.

The research, the first of its kind to be carried out in Edinburgh, also revealed that the total average spend by a music fan in the city is £1120 a year.

Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, hailed the change in regulations as a “breakthrough for the UK’s grassroots music venues”.

“For music venues, this has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much needed new housing,” he said. “It’s always been about ensuring that new development recognises the culture, economy and vibrancy of city centres by building great housing, enabling existing music venues and new residents to live in harmony.”

Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music, also welcomed the change in legislation, saying: “If these new regulations have the desired effect, grassroots venues around the UK will have additional powers to help them survive and prosper.”

The Music Venue Trust was created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network.