August 27, 2020

How we’re saving 135 grassroots music venues from closure

Grassroots venues are part of what creates the hugely successful music scene in the UK, giving musicians the chance to hone their craft and giving many a vital source of income. But the economic impact of Coronavirus has meant that many of our wonderful music venues have been struggling to survive.

That’s why the Government has announced a £3.36 million fund, to save grassroots music venues at immediate risk of closure.

The fund is providing vital support to 135 music venues, which otherwise would face collapse due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

What exactly is being offered?

Accelerated funding is being provided to cover on-going running costs incurred during closure, including rent and utilities, so that some of the country’s most treasured venues can survive.

These emergency grants are for up to £80,000, to cover ongoing running costs incurred during closure, such as rent and utilities. That extra funding means some of the country’s most vulnerable venues can survive through these difficult times.

This support is on top of the £500 million in grants being delivered to cultural organisations by Arts Council England, who are still accepting applications until 4 September. All this funding forms part of an unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue package for culture and heritage from the Government to see these sectors through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Indoor performances can now restart with socially distanced audiences so music venues are now able to reopen safely, alongside other culture venues and heritage sites.  Ministers are encouraging everyone to visit reopened venues and support cultural organisations starting to put performances back on.

This funding is part of the wider Culture Recovery Fund

This extra funding to protect our grassroots music venues is part of the wider £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

That fund is the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, and has been carefully designed to protect our most loved performing arts, heritage sites, independent cinemas, music venues and museums.

Thanks to this Government, key businesses and cultural institutions of the UK will be more able to weather the impact of Coronavirus and come back even stronger.

Commenting, the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said:

This Government is here for culture and these grants today show we are determined to help our exceptional music industry weather the COVID storm and come back stronger.

Grassroots music venues are where the magic starts and these emergency grants from our £1.57bn fund will ensure these music venues survive to create the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of the future.

I encourage music fans to help too by supporting music and cultural events as they start to get going again. We need a collective effort to help the things we love through COVID.

The Fund has the support of the wider music industry

The music industry as a whole have also spoken in support of this extra financial support.

Mark Davyd of the Music Venue Trust, said:

We warmly welcome this first distribution from the Culture Recovery Fund which will ensure that the short term future of these venues is secured while we continue to work on how we can ensure their long term sustainability.

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner said:

I'm very pleased to see that the government's headline announcement of the Culture Recovery Fund is now blossoming into practical assistance for grassroots music venues in dire need.

These spaces are an irreplaceable part of the live music infrastructure in this country and play a vital role in building the careers of internationally successful artists and in our culture more generally.

And Indhu Rubasingham, Artistic Director of the Kiln Theatre, said of the Culture Recovery Fund more generally:

The impact of COVID-19 on our industry has been seismic, and the Government emergency funding is crucial to help towards getting our industry back on its feet.

We deeply need this government support; and are grateful that organisations of any scale are eligible to apply. It is incumbent upon us a sector that we in turn support our freelance community, as they are as integral to our recovery as this funding is.

The full list of recipients of the Emergency Grassroots Music Venue Fund is here.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)