Jeremy Corbyn backs plans to support independent music venues

The Labour leader says such places are "absolutely crucial to the future of the music scene"

Jeremy Corbyn has backed plans to support independent music venues in the UK.

The Labour leader is currently campaigning in the final few days before Thursday’s general election (June 8), and, in a new interview, has voiced concerns about the trend in music venue closures that has occurred over the past few years.

Speaking to the Independent, Corbyn said that a Labour government would look into opportunities and schemes that would benefit independent music venues.

“What you have is a number of independent venues, sometimes pubs, cafes, so on, that have become almost informal live music venues, and the small cafe does well and ‘hey presto’ along comes Costa, Starbucks, Nero or something to take it over,” he said. “(It’s) the same with pubs, which are often very reluctant to have live music on. Those live venues are absolutely crucial to the future of the music scene. So the £1,000 pub-licensing rebate is a good thing – we want to extend that a lot further.”

Corbyn also reiterated his belief in the importance of music, saying: “What I’m interested in is the sense of expression that music gives people, hence the points I’ve been making endlessly about musical instruments children for children. Any teacher will tell you that a child learning music at school is likely to do better at a lot of other things because there is a discipline in learning music, a sense of rhythm, a sense of timing involved…”

“Most children live in places where there isn’t space to put a piano if they’ve got one… our schools have often diminished the number of orchestras… cut all that back, so I am very keen to change that.”

Corbyn’s Labour campaign was recently endorsed by Professor Stephen Hawking, who said that five more years under the Conservatives would be a “disaster.”