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Government stumps up 2.25 million to save grassroots music venues

Emergency support expected to save 150 venues from imminent collapse

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 28th Jul 2020

The Government has announced that the first portion of the £1.57 billion UK culture rescue package will go towards saving around 150 grassroots music venues from insolvency.

£2.25 million of emergency funding will be made available to those most at risk of imminent collapse, with grants of £1,000 to £80,000 helping venues in England (venues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have access to a separate fund) weather the coming months, following the devastating impact of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Without our grassroots music venues, we wouldn’t have The Beatles, Adele or Elton John. Nearly all of our globally successful music stars started out at UK clubs and live music venues - and we must make sure those organisations weather the Covid storm.”

The fund will be managed by Arts Council England (ACE), which will consider “pubs, clubs, cafes, bars, nightclubs, combined arts venues, community venues or village halls with a significant live music programme focusing on grassroots talent and original material” for support.

ACE adds that due to an anticipated high level of demand, it is “unlikely to be able to award funding to all organisations that apply or make awards at the full level requested”, with the majority of funds expected to be “around £15,000”.

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#LetUsDance ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿⁠ ⁠ Skiddle has partnered with the Night Time Industries Association @we_are_ntia and thousands of DJs, artists, workers, venues, promoters, festivals, publishers, businesses and organisations to call on the government to protect the dance music industry during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and recognise its social, economic and cultural value.⁠ ⁠ Earlier this month, the Government announced a £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts, culture and heritage industries to help weather the impact of Coronavirus.⁠ ⁠ However, it is still unclear whether the dance music industry, which has been left devastated by cancellations, closures and redundancies, will be given fair access to the fund and considered equal to more traditional art forms like theatre, art, and the wider live music sector.⁠ ⁠ Many of our favourite memories were made on the dance floor. We love this music and this industry. Electronic music is an art form - equal to ballet, opera, theatre - and for that reason it deserves full support and recognition from this government.⁠ ⁠ Please get behind the campaign and post photos, videos and memories of your last club night, festival or event to social media using the hashtag #LetUsDance.⁠ ⁠ There are other ways you can help too. Head to our link in bio to find out more. 🎥 @feelmybicep / @depotmayfield

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The news follows the launch of several campaigns from within the music industry calling for swift government support, including #SaveOurVenues by the Music Venue Trust (MVT), #LetTheMusicPlay and last week’s #LetUsDance campaign - organised by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

According to the MVT, up to 93% of UK grassroots music venues face closure in the wake of the pandemic. MVT's Beverley Whitrick said:

"Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this essential funding for desperate grassroots music venues facing urgent, short term challenges. Without this help, the sector would be facing a wave of permanent closures. Throughout this crisis we have worked closely with DCMS and are delighted that the urgent need for this intervention has been recognised and responded to.”

Details on how to apply to the fund can be found here.

Main image: Hare & Hounds/Facebook