Arts Council England
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Launch of Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) recently (25 July 2020) announced a new fund to support grassroots live music venues at imminent risk of insolvency.

This is the first fund we will administer on behalf of the Government, as part of the £1.57 billion package announced recently to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As part of that package, the £2.25 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund seeks to ensure the survival of grassroots music venues in England. The fund is being launched at the request of DCMS who have also set the criteria: it will be administered, awarded and monitored by the Arts Council on behalf of DCMS.

Grassroots live music venues are valued cultural spaces within their communities, providing opportunities for people from all backgrounds to experience live music, both as audience members and as participants or performers. They are a fundamental part of England’s thriving music scene, for musicians and audiences as well as for their role in supporting talent development.

The purpose of this fund is to support grassroots live music venues that were financially sustainable before Covid-19, but are now at imminent risk of insolvency, to remain solvent until 30 September 2020.

The fund is open for applications from midday 25 July 2020 until midday on 3 August 2020. Venues which present live grassroots music events in any music genre, including multi-arts venues that host other events and entertainment alongside a main programme of music, and who play a significant role for their communities in developing talent are eligible to apply.

Applicants can apply for funding ranging from £1,000 up to £80,000, to cover operational costs incurred between 4 August and 30 September 2020.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive for Arts Council England, recently said:

“Grassroots live music venues perform a vital role in England’s music ecology. As well as nurturing the next generation of talent across a huge range of musical genres, these are the places that spark that special connection between audiences and professional musicians. So, we’re very happy to be administering this investment on behalf of DCMS to help make a positive difference to live music venues in villages, towns and cities across the country.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden recently 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 first £2.25 million of our unprecedented cultural rescue package is targeted at their survival. We’re working to deliver the rest of the £1.57 billion emergency package as quickly as possible, so that we can protect and preserve our precious culture, arts and heritage for future generations.”

Sybil Bell, Founder, Independent Venue Week, recently said:

“The love and support for grassroots music venues has been incredible to see during this very challenging time, both from within the music industry and the public. The impact these venues have on talent and skill development with communities at a very local level, feeds into national arts and culture more widely so this emergency fund is very welcomed.” 

Find out more and make an application

Visit the funding page to make an application
Applications open at 12 midday, Saturday 25 July


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