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UK Music Urges Government To Act To Support Grassroots Music Venues

UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has urged the Government to throw a lifeline to grassroots music venues. 

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12.01.2024: UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has urged the Government to throw a lifeline to grassroots music venues. 

His intervention followed a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday on the issue amid mounting concerns about the number of closures and the impact on the talent pipeline on which the UK music industry relies.

Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Caroline Dinenage told MPs: 

“The £5 million Supporting Grassroots Music Fund, is warmly welcomed, but let’s be really clear that fund is also eligible for festivals, rehearsal spaces and independent promoters – that’s a lot of mouths to feed.

“They are all a really really important part of the ecosystem – they all need the funding. But that means in real terms that is quite a tiny amount for grassroots music venues.”

She asked Culture Secretary Julia Lopez whether she was pushing the Treasury to increase that funding to venues.

Culture Secretary Julia Lopez replied: “Ahead of the Budget, we will be having all of these things in discussion with the Treasury.”

The Spring Budget will be held on March 6.

Following the debate, UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said:

“Our grassroots music venues are in crisis and in urgent need of a Government lifeline.

“Without support it is likely that more will be forced to pull the plug on live music and close their doors.

“These small and grassroots venues are where today’s stars like Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Stormzy started out.

“If we lose these venues and the critical role they play in music’s ecosystem, there will be a giant gap in the talent pipeline which we rely upon to develop the stadium-filling UK musical superstars of the future.

“We will continue to press the Government and work with organisations like the Music Venue Trust to support the UK music industry, which contributes £6.7 billion to our economy every year and supports 210,000 jobs.”

Tom’s comments were featured by The Sun newspaper in a story headlined “Gig Venue Fear”.

To find out more about how UK Music is calling for more support for grassroots music read the Manifesto for Music.

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