Venues under threat in Bristol

Report says developments could close city centre clubs

Half of all live music venues in Bristol could be under threat because of housing developments in the city centre.

New rules which make it easier to convert offices to homes are generating clashes between residents and existing music venues, says UK Music.


A survey carried out by the music organisation found that the Bristol music scene generated a total of £123 million and helped support 927 full time equivalent jobs but more than half of the city’s 94 music venues are at risk from future noise complaints which can lead to closures.


“Bristol has a vibrant and exciting live music scene at grass-roots level but our research found that the unintended consequences of changes to planning legislation have created a real threat to the future of small venues, which are central to the city's future," said Teresa Moore from Bucks New University who headed the research.

The Fleece owner Chris Sharp said developments now surrounding the venue could lead to problems with their new neighbours. He is already spent money on legal fees to fight limiting conditions at the developments. 

“We should be concentrating on bringing in new artists and actually organising gigs," Sharp said.

Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East, who regularly attends gigs in some of the smaller venues in Bristol, said: “There is an urgent need for new housing in Bristol, but we cannot allow new developments to destroy the venues that make our city centre such a vibrant place to live, work and play.”

  • Bristol City has shut down the Bristol Community Dance Centre, which is housed in a historic Victorian building, on safety grounds. Simon Cook, assistant mayor for place, which includes oversight of the arts, said the council was unable to grant a lease extension to the dance centre because of the poor condition of the building. He added, “We will have discussions with the Arts Council about how we take forward dance as an art form in Bristol."



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