14.11.2023: UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has welcomed a £5 million funding boost from the Government for grassroots music.
The funding, which was announced by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer, at the WeCreate conference in Manchester, will be delivered by Arts Council England.
Funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the new Supporting Grassroots Music (SGM) fund is part of the additional music investment announced within the UK Government’s Creative industries sector vision in June 2023.
It’s an evolution of Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Live Music funding programme, originally launched in 2019.
The new fund is now open for applications for grants up to £40,000 and will be available until March 2025.
This new fund reflects the wide range of spaces and skills that are needed to help musicians perform and thrive at the grassroots of the music industry.
It will expand the range of eligible applicants to include rehearsal and recording studios and festivals, in addition to grassroots live music venues, venues for electronic music (including clubs and other “club-like” events), and independent promoters who were also eligible for the fund’s previous iteration.
Tom Kiehl attended a Creative Industries Council meeting and subsequent WeCreate conference where DCMS Secretary Lucy Frazer made the announcement.
The UK Music Chief welcomed the announcement, following UK Music’s call for more support for grassroots music the recently released Manifesto For Music.
UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said:
“It’s fantastic that the Government have recognised the importance of grassroots music organisations to the UK music industry’s talent pipeline.
“Grassroots venues, promoters, festivals, recording studios and rehearsal spaces are a vital in developing the next Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Harry Styles or Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
“We believe talent is everywhere but opportunity is not and want to ensure everyone has access to the spaces they need to play music and develop there craft. This funding boost will help us further in that aim and support barriers .”
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:
“This investment by the UK Government and Arts Council England reaffirms our commitment to supporting this hugely important part of the music industry.
“People value the opportunity to develop and express their creativity, both on their own and with others, and the grassroots music sector excels at giving communities the chance to design and develop creative and cultural activity where they live.
“We hope this new funding will continue to both address the needs of the sector and empower it to carry on offering high quality live music experiences for audiences across the country.”
Creative Industries Minister Sir John Whittingdale said:
“From the Troubadour in London to The Brickyard in Carlisle, we provided a lifeline to hundreds of grassroots venues during the pandemic.
We have continued that support in recognition that grassroots venues are the backbone of our music industry, providing a platform for musicians to hone their craft and supporting thousands of local jobs.
“Today, thanks to an extra £5 million in government investment, even more parts of the grassroots music landscape – including rehearsal studios, nightclubs and festivals – can access support to build their businesses, reach new audiences and maximise their creative potential.”
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