Members tell us that it’s harder than ever to find the right space for their groups to meet to make music. This is why we’ve been driving forward our #MakeSpaceForMusic campaign, to raise this concern with those who can make a difference.
Rising costs and local authority budget constraints are among the many pressures on the community spaces that our members use to rehearse, learn and meet in. As the tenants of these spaces, what can we realistically do to protect them and is there some influence that Making Music can bring to the national conversation about infrastructure?
In October 2023, we hosted the first Community Spaces Forum with our colleagues at Creative Lives, bringing together organisations that represent the buildings our members use; rural village halls, community halls, leisure trusts, grassroots music venues, schools and churches. We wanted to understand the pressures they are facing and give them our support, to work with them to protect these essential community resources. They wanted to let our members know that you are welcome in their spaces, and we talked about listings, mapping and other ways that potential tenants can find out about venues.
We also want to empower members to start these conversations in your own communities. With your next copy of Highnotes, you’ll receive a flyer for any building owners or operators in your area you think should open up to hire by music groups – and you can download this from our campaign page: Make Space For Music. This can help you start a conversation with a community space that is proving difficult to access, or with a building owner who hadn’t even considered letting to you – think hotels, sports centres, theatres…
And if you think getting involved in local politics might be necessary – particularly if local authority owned spaces are threatened with closure – you can watch back our event on parish and town councils, the first tier of local government.
Our next step is to produce materials to speak to policy makers, which we hope you can also use to speak to your local representatives about your community’s challenges. In the meantime, if you’re using a building that’s facing closure, struggling to meet inflating hire costs, or getting stuck when you’re looking for a new venue, please tell us your story to help us build our case for action.
Stay tuned for more updates about this campaign!
Watch the Understanding and influencing parish and town councils webinar and get in touch with your story by emailing us at email@example.com