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Birmingham pub takes on ambitious new partnerships

A Birmingham pub has been awarded £15,000 of National Lottery funding from Arts Council England to work with new artists and promoters.

The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath is one of the first recipients of Arts Council’s new Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund, which was launched in May.

A century of live music

The pub has been part of the Kings Heath skyline for almost 200 years and has been hosting an array of live music events since the early 1900s.

Built in 1820 in the South Birmingham suburb of Kings Heath, the Hare and Hounds has stood in its present form since 1907.  Since then, the Grade II listed pub has continued to charm punters with the unusual Art Nouveau tiles which line its entry hall and staircase, original fixed seating, a solid mahogany bar and a barrel-vaulted ceiling.

The venue also claims to be the first place UB40 ever gigged in 1979, and over the past decade the Hare and Hounds has continued to establish itself as an important and influential Midlands music venue, nurturing the city’s vibrant music and creative community.

Creating new opportunities

With support from Arts Council’s Grassroots Live Music Fund, the Hare and Hounds will create a programme of events to encourage new promoters and artists to use its spaces, bringing in new audiences and opening up opportunities for people who may not have attended live music events before.

The pub has also recently been awarded a national Skiddle award for Best Promoter, ahead of its plans to work with new risk-taking local promoters across the Midlands, as part of its Grassroots Live Music project.

The pub currently has two downstairs bars which host regular food evenings, a local farmers market, a pub quiz and weekend DJs, while the two upstairs rooms regularly feature a mix of live music, comedy and club nights, from jazz, indie and funk, to reggae, hip hop and soul.

In total, the venue welcomes around 80,000 visitors per year, bringing opportunities to experience music and creative performances to almost a million people in the last decade.

Our investment

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “Grassroots music venues and promoters are vital to England’s music ecology, and I’m pleased that through National Lottery funding we’re able to support key Midlands venues like the Hare and Hounds.”

“The Midlands is the birthplace of music that influences, inspires and entertains audiences across the world – from heavy metal to two-tone - and it’s important that people have the opportunity to experience and support the amazing talent we have in the region.

“Birmingham is a city which is constantly evolving, and we’re proud to be investing in the venues and promoters which support and showcase great music in the region.”

Adam Regan, Director for Leftfoot Venues Ltd, said: “When we heard about the new Grassroots Live Music Fund being launched by Arts Council England, we were keen to get involved, and the support we received made the slightly daunting process so much easier than we expected. It takes time and effort to get these things right, but we really hope that other venues will follow suit and apply for funding to help strengthen the sector.

“We were delighted to hear that we’d been successful, and hope that Arts Council can continue to support the grass roots music scene for many years to come."  

Find out more about our Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund.


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