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Paul McCartney among rock stars supporting UK bill that's expected to help British music venues

Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney is among a number of famous musicians who are supporting a piece of U.K. legislation called the Agent of Change bill that seeks to help grassroots music venues across the country to stay in business, Sky News reports.

The bill, which would make real-estate developers responsible for the cost of soundproofing new buildings erected near existing venues rather than the venues themselves, was introduced today in the House of Commons by senior Parliament member John Spellar.

In a statement regarding the bill, McCartney says, "Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career would've been very different. If we don't support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger."

Other artists in favor of Agent of Change include The Kinks' Ray Davies, The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

Hynde says in a statement, "When I heard of the impending threat to small venues, my heart skipped a beat…They're the setting of everything great that's come out of the music scene in this country, from The Beatles to Oasis and beyond…If small venues shut down, so will England's unique creative output.

Mason, meanwhile, took part in a gathering outside on the Houses of Parliament to rally support for the bill. He told NME in a video interview, "It's a much tougher environment for young musicians now than in our day…It's really important to retain anything that might actually allow people to not only develop their craft but actually earn some money from it."

Spellar reported on his Facebook page that the Agent of Change bill "passed its first hurdle today," and will get a second reading at the U.K. parliament on January 19. For more information about the legislation, visit MusicVenueTrust.com.

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