31st May 2018

European officials should extend stage lighting's exemption from energy efficiency rules or risk forcing theatres to close, Conservative MEPs' leader Ashley Fox warned today.

The European Parliament backed Mr Fox's amendment calling for the Commission to exclude tungsten, arc and LED lamps used for stage lighting from the EU's efficiency rules because there is no alternative available for local theatres or performance venues.

But last night the European Commissioner refused to confirm whether stage lighting would continue to be exempted.

South West and Gibraltar MEP Mr Fox, said: "I am pleased that MEPs have backed my call for the exemption on stage lighting to be extended. It's unacceptable that the Commission has left our local theatres fearing closure. I hope they now listen to today's vote and give venues in the UK confidence that their show can go on."

"It's right that we remove inefficient bulbs and electric appliances from the market, but only when there's an efficient alternative available. The theatres I have spoken to have told me they simply can't afford to change their lighting fixtures and there are no alternative efficient bulbs for the existing equipment. It's the same story across the UK.

"If the Commission ends the exemption on stage lighting many local theatres and venues may struggle to stay open, harming the UK's entertainment industry."

A decision on extending the exemption is expected by the end of June.

He added: "The Commission must listen to the local theatres and venues who are speaking out across the UK and extend the exemption to give them a second act."

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