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MU responds to Planning Application Adjacent to Iconic Cardiff Venue

The MU has written to Cardiff Council expressing its concern over a planning application that puts iconic live music venue Clwb Ifor Bach at risk.

The MU has written to Cardiff Council expressing its concern over a planning application that puts iconic live music venue Clwb Ifor Bach at risk.

In the letter, Paul Gray (MU Regional Organiser for Wales & SW England) discusses the value of arts and culture spaces to both local talent and the UK economy as a whole, as well as the threat to the unique character of Womanby Street.

Please add your voice and help protect this important live music hub under threat in the heart of Cardiff city centre.

Read more, including Kevin Brennan MP and Jo Stevens MP, back the campaign via BBC Wales.  

Paul’s letter to Cardiff Council:

I write on behalf of the Musicians' Union as the Wales and SW Regional Organiser, representing over 30,000 musicians working in all professions across the industry including the live music sector.

Live music venues such as Clwb Ifor Bach provide communities with the opportunity to engage with cultural activities and in turn offer a vital social hub and real benefit to the local economy - a recent survey by UK Music identified a total direct and indirect spend of a £52 million generated in Cardiff from music tourism in 2015, with a total of 741 full time jobs generated from same.

Cardiff's well-established and iconic music venues such as Clwb have long supported and nurtured some of Wales' most successful talent, with many artists going on to achieve international success. Without these crucial grassroots venues, the whole pack of card falls down - not just opportunities for new artists to cut their teeth and build a following, but touring opportunities for more established artists, work for tech crews, promoters, bar staff, managers, agents... the list goes on.

It is therefore of great concern to the MU that Clwb - and potentially other venues in the vicinity, a long-established musical and cultural hub in the very heart of the City - will have their very existence threatened due to the impact of this proposed residential development. 

By its very nature residential development will inevitably change the unique character of Womanby Street by introducing new uses that come into conflict with the pre-existing and well established cultural uses, and will further pose a significant risk factor to the value, development and benefits the arts and culture of Wales.

Cardiff Council should seek to protect such a valuable cultural asset so that it continues to afford the opportunities and benefits to musicians, music lovers, the local economy and the arts in general as it has done for the past 25 years.

Published: 31/03/2017

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