London’s iconic music venue, the 100 Club has become the first venue of its kind to receive Localism Relief from the Westminster City Council. Owner of the 100 Club, Jeff Horton, explains the significance of this by saying, “The venue will now be given 100% Business Rates relief for the entire time it remains at its current location at 100 Oxford Street, its home since 1942.”
No longer having to pay business rates will reduce running costs by £70,000 per year and means the 100 Club will be staying open indefinitely, according to Horton.
The 100 Club is said to be the oldest live music venue in the world and has hosted everyone from Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Sex Pistols, and Bob Dylan, to Queens of the Stone Age, Santigold, Nas, Plan B, and Blur.
Many artists have openly welcomed the new, with British musician and activist Billy Bragg saying, “News that Westminster Council has decided to support the continued existence of the 100 Club is most welcome.”
In an era where rapid increases in property prices — and thus rent costs — often leads to grassroots music venues being forced to close, the case of the 100 Club sets a precedent for more local councils to follow suit and save their venues from closure through the Localism Relief scheme.