A petition has been launched to protect Bristol's music venues from closing following the news that well-loved venues such as Thekla and The Fleece are under threat.
Thekla has been involved in a well-publicized fight against the threat of closure after a nearby development was approved in November by a council planning committee.
This week, The Fleece, a well-loved venue amongst students in the City Center, has gone public with its fight for survival after its business rates have increased by over 400% since 2010. Business rates are applied to commercial buildings based on their location and size, amongst other factors.
The Fleece's gross business rate has increased from £8,615 last year to £34,488 this year after a valuation by SW Valuation Office Agency. In a Facebook post, the venue identifies the increase as one they 'simply cannot afford', continuing to say 'the future of The Fleece as a viable business is far from secure and shit like this doesn't help'.
The future of The Fleece has long been uncertain since nearby flats were proposed and approved in 2014. In the Facebook post, the venue states hoe 'the flats opposite The Fleece were finished last week and residents have ow started moving in. We are all holding our breath, praying that the noise complaints don't start flooding in'.
Referring to both the new flats and the increase in business rates, the post says 'we are now fighting to put out fires on 2 fronts'.
The petition, launches as an e-petition on Bristol City Council's online petitions page, argues that the threats faced by music venues are 'due to NEW residential units being completed'.
The petition also refers to the Surry Wine Vaults in Brunswick Square, a venue played by up and coming bands and musicians, which has recently closed due to noise complaints.
Will you be signing the petition? Let us know!