- "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."
Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate for London mayor, has spoken out about the city's club scene.
Khan made the comments to Dazed in a piece published in the wake of the announcement of Dance Tunnel's impending closure. "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," Khan says. "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." He adds: "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."
Khan said he supports the agent of change principle, where the cost of soundproofing falls on developers, not venues—new legislation similar to this principle is coming into effect on April 6th—and also got behind existing plans to appoint a night-time champion in London.
"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," Khan says. "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 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."
Read RA's recent roundtable feature on the future of UK nightlife, which features Amsterdam's Night Time Mayor, Mirik Milan, Lutz Leichsenring of Berlin Club Commission, the NTIA's Alan Miller and Dance Tunnel owner Dan Beaumont, here.