UK Music Welcomes Government Support to Help Save 135 Grassroots Music Venues

24:08:2020: UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl has welcomed support from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund which has saved 135 grassroots music venues with emergency grants.

The grants are part of the £1.57 billion fund announced earlier this summer by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Recipients of the 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 early rehearsals and one of their first gigs

UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said:

“Grassroots music venues are the engine room of our £5.2bn music industry, contributing to our talent pipeline and providing a vital role in the lives of communities across the country.

“The music industry thanks the Government for taking this decisive action and calls for further support to be maintained when many businesses and individuals still cannot work.”

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, an additional £1.1 million was also brought forward, increasing the fund from £2.25 million to £3.36 million to help a greater number of venues.

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 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.”

The fund will also 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 The Louisiana in Bristol, where Florence and The Machine was among the acts that performed to small audiences there at the start of their careers. 

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.

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