135 at risk grassroots music venues have been saved by emergency funding as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
August 22, Department for Digital: Grassroots music venues across England are the first recipients of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary has announced.
The £3.36 million Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund is being shared among 135 venues across England who applied for support to survive the imminent risk of collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In response to the demand for help from some of the hardest hit in the sector, and to ensure the support would be felt far and wide, an additional £1.1 million was also brought forward, increasing the fund from £2.25 million to £3.36 million to help as many venues as quickly as possible.
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 £1.57 billion 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 accelerated funding has been delivered by Arts Council England in under a month to save grassroots venues previously facing insolvency. The emergency grants of up to £80,000 will cover on-going running costs incurred during the closure, including rent and utilities so that some of the country’s most vulnerable venues can survive.
CEO, Arts Council England, Darren Henley, said:
This much-welcomed emergency investment from the government into grassroots music venues will have a profoundly positive impact on England’s music ecology, and today’s news will mean a great deal to the many artists, audiences and communities they serve across the country. I’m pleased that the Arts Council has been able to use its expertise to administer this fund, ensuring that we are supporting music venues in these challenging times.
Recipients of the fast-acting fund include The Troubadour in London, where Adele and Ed Sheeran performed in the early days of their career, as well as The Jacaranda in Liverpool where The Beatles played their first gig. The fund will support The Sunflower Lounge, one of the oldest music venues in Birmingham, and Night People in Manchester, home to Northern Soul and club nights as well as live performances and DJ sets. Other successful recipients include The Brickyard in Carlisle, which has hosted a range of acts including Foals, Blossoms and Biffy Clyro since it opened in 2002, and Louisiana in Bristol, where Florence and The Machine were among the acts that performed to small audiences there at the start of their careers.
Mark Davyd, 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. Both DCMS and Arts Council England have worked very quickly to fully understand the imminent risk of permanent closure faced by a significant number of grassroots music venues across the country, and the funding they’ve brought forward creates a real breathing space for under pressure venues.
Tom Walker, 2019 Brit Award British Breakthrough artist, said:
This is great news for the music sector and fans alike. Grassroots venues play such an important role in kickstarting many careers, including my own, so it is vital that they are supported. The welcome investment from the government will help safeguard venues across the country so that the next generation of home grown talent can shine through.
Indoor performances can now restart with socially distanced audiences so music venues are able to reopen safely, alongside other cultural venues and heritage sites.
Music venues are also eligible to apply for a share of £500 million in grants being delivered to cultural organisations by Arts Council England, which is accepting applications until 4 September.
Organisations across the arts and heritage sectors are encouraged to apply for funding designed to support the cultural sector’s recovery and beyond.
Independent cinemas whose businesses have been unavoidably disrupted will also be able to apply for grants up to £200,000 from the British Film Institute. Heritage sites at risk were able to apply for a share of £92 million available in grants through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.