A major review has been launched into the council’s relationship with Manchester grassroots music venues

A new independent review will examine how Manchester City Council can better support the city’s popular music venues.

It is being led by Manchester Music City (MMC) and starts in April. The group is expected to submit a report in the fall with “practical recommendations for supporting and nurturing the city’s small and medium-sized venues” and “being considerate of the residents and businesses of the growing city and the council’s legal responsibilities.”

The review was announced today (March 20), a day before the iconic Night & Day venue is set to face council in court over a noise reduction notice. It also comes ahead of the new Beyond The Music festival, which was launched by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham at SXSW in Austin, Texas last week.

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“Music is part of Manchester’s DNA and Manchester’s music industry is one of the distinctive ingredients that make this a world-class city,” council leader Bev Craig said in a statement. “We want to protect it, defend it and make it grow. Grassroots venues are an essential element in nurturing talent.

“The council and its partners want to do everything possible to support and protect them. These venues provide significant social, cultural, economic and health benefits for the people of Manchester and opportunities for new musicians.

“I know we’ve seen an example recently, with the Night & Day case, where the legal and regulatory duties of placed public bodies seem to conflict with this aspiration. While the legal context is complex, working together with the industry I am confident that this independent review will help us find solutions to prevent future cases and move forward.


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