Government to cut red tape for smaller theatres and music venues
The Government will cut red tape to make it easier for small theatres and music venues to host events, culture minister Hugh Robertson has announced.
He said that as part of a Government review, licences would no longer be needed for theatre productions with audiences of up to 500 people, between 8am and 11pm.
The tough licensing conditions were heavily criticised throughout the Westcountry when they were introduced in 2005, with many saying the measures threatened performances at community village halls and other small venues.
Under the changes, dance performances will also be covered by the same rules, while sporting events can now be held as long as there are not more than 1,000 spectators, Mr Robertson said in a written ministerial statement.
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He said: "These activities, and the many organisations and institutions that host them, play a pivotal role in our communities.
"We are determined to ensure that needless bureaucracy does not restrict these kinds of positive contributions to society."
Tory MP David Morris, a former songwriter, said he hoped there would now be more community events.