‘One of the issues we have in York is that culture is aimed at certain people’

Natural Antagonist play the Fulford Arms. Photograph: Fulford Arms on Facebook

The co-owner of a popular live music venue is supporting calls for York’s clubs to be better protected.

And a member of York band Shed Seven have said the city needs a range of venues where musicians can perform.

Chris Sherrington, co-owner of The Fulford Arms, said there are concerns that the city’s music scene does not get the same protection from developers as other cultural attractions – like museums and heritage sites.

In response to calls from councillors Jonny Crawshaw and Pete Kilbane to better protect nightclubs and music venues, Chris said:

  • There’s definitely concern about the turnover of venues.

    Nightclubs are not for everybody but they can help develop people’s interest in live music and other types of culture in the future.

    I think one of the issues we have in York is that culture is aimed at certain people.

    Nightclubs are also perfectly good cultural spaces and when they are turned into flats or something else, that’s a cultural space that is lost.

Protect grassroots music

The Fulford Arms works with other live music hotspots and the national Music Venue Trust to try to protect grassroots music venues.

“They look at things like making sure that if developers build on a site next to a venue, the onus is on them to do the sound proofing, as well as helping to seek arts council funding,” Chris said

“We were concerned that venues in York don’t get the same protection as other cultural attractions and are not discussed much in terms of the council’s cultural strategy.”

He said there have been lots of changes during the past 10 years – with venues shutting down or relocating.

But that the city still has great venues including The Crescent, Micklegate Social, the National Centre for Early Music, Victoria Vaults, the Basement bar and the Barbican.

Fibbers-sized venue

Chris added: “We want to try to encourage residents to be aware of the different types of culture available to them in the city.

“We would like to see more support for a wide variety of cultural venues in York and help champion arts for all communities.”

Shed Seven drummer Alan Leach also highlighted the importance of music venues – saying the band started in Fibbers.

He added: “You’d have thought York would need a Fibbers-sized venue to complement the other music venues in the city.”