Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has outlined his intentions to defend the capital city’s nightlife in a Dazed article
In the wake of Dance Tunnel announcing its closure earlier this week, the piece, titled How can we save London’s club scene?, asks the opinion of a “range of experts” about steps needed to protect London’s night-time industry.
Khan's full statement reads: "I don’t want young and creative Londoners abandoning our city to head to Amsterdam, to Berlin, to Prague where clubs are supported and allowed to flourish. I want them to be able to celebrate what they love in the city that they love, rather than punish them or force their activities underground or abroad. That is why, if elected London Mayor, I will address these problems head on.
"Too many bars and clubs have been forced to close because they can’t afford to soundproof their premises once new residential developments have been built nearby. By introducing something called the ‘agent of change’ principle, the cost of soundproofing will fall on housing developers rather than venues. This is a simple measure but will have a massive effect on smaller, independent bars and clubs who often aren’t able to afford the costs involved.
"I will learn from Mirik Milan in Amsterdam. The work he is doing to unite businesses, residents and local authorities to support the night-time economy in a way that benefits everyone is something I want to replicate in London. I will therefore appoint a ‘Night Czar’ who will be a strong voice of support in City Hall for London’s vibrant night-time economy.
"London is famous for its diverse and varied offering of music venues, gay bars and historic pubs. During my campaign, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern put on a Kylie themed fundraiser called Khan’t Get You Out of My Head. It was a great night but even the RVT, the oldest gay venue in London, was under threat of closure until a campaign saved it. I know that this is a common occurrence. A third of London’s small music venues have closed since 2007, damaging our city’s cultural offering and having a negative effect on jobs and the economy. I will make it more difficult for redevelopment to result in the closure of heritage and cultural venues by strengthening the London Plan.
"I want London to be a 24-hour city so I will make the Night Tube a priority. We have waited too long for the promises made by the previous Mayor to become a reality, but ensuring it is up and running as quickly as possible once I am in City Hall will be invaluable in helping to save London’s night life. We can save London’s iconic club scene, which draws thousands of visitors to the capital, generates jobs and helps ensure our city remains prosperous, vibrant and dynamic. I will be the Mayor to do just that."
To read the full article, including Mixmag Digital Editor Seb Wheeler’s thoughts, go here.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter