Updated Jul 13, 2020

Planning to help protect cultural venues

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that upcoming changes to the planning system are designed to help save and protect cultural venues such as theatres, concert halls and live performance venues. Such venues have struggled during the pandemic, many of which rely on ticket sales for funding meaning their income has been greatly reduced or non-existent during lockdown.

However, many of the buildings used as such venues are culturally significant themselves and cannot be replaced and so need to be protected especially considering current rules around social distancing, although necessary, could seriously threaten such venues. As a result, local authorities will need to take into account the impact of coronavirus when making decisions on planning permission for the change of use, redevelopment or demolition of such venues.

These measures, which will last until 31 December 2022, are in addition to an investment of £1.57 billion from the Government into the cultural, arts and heritage sector, which aims to provide extra security to businesses during this tough period.

Mr Jenrick 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."