Housing Minister Robert Jenrick has announced coming changes to England’s planning system in an effort to save ‘theatres, concert halls and live music venues’ this morning … at 00.01 AM!
The change comes as part of a larger drive to help cultural institutions reopen following the COVID19 pandemic.
The plans give no real indication of what changes to the planning system are in the pipeline; just that the changes will happen ‘next week’. The press release states that the changes are being brought to save ‘cultural institutions from being redeveloped or demolished’.
“These buildings cannot be easily replaced and are an intrinsic part of our cultural heritage, which is why the government is clear that temporary social distancing restrictions should not be an excuse for them to be permanently lost.”
Source: Government Press Release
Alongside changes to Englands planning rules, the government is investing £1.57 billion ‘to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage sector’ as they attempt to make their premises ready to reopen following the Pandemic.
Housing and Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP said: “Our theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues are the envy of the world and are central to our cultural heritage.
“That’s why we’re investing £1.57 billion to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions, as well as ensuring these buildings aren’t destroyed.
“It is vital they are properly protected by the planning system for both people today to enjoy and future generations.”
Commenting on the £1.57 billion investment to the culture sector, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.
It was a surprise to see anyone from Government working at 00:01 AM on a Sunday morning. While changes will no doubt be needed to prepare venues for reopening over the summer; The plans announced today are light on substance, simply announcing a change to the rules but not stating what will change.