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Music Venue Trust highlights the 30 UK venues in imminent danger of permanent closure

By | Published on Wednesday 11 November 2020

Music Venue Trust

The Music Venue Trust has identified 30 grassroots venues around the UK which it says are now in imminent danger of permanent closure because of the ongoing COVID-19 shutdown. These are venues that were unable to secure grants from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, and which now need crowdfunding support to stay in business.

The Culture Recovery Fund distributed a significant portion of the £1.57 billion in sector-specific COVID support provided by the UK government for the cultural and heritage industries. Grants from that fund – alongside the government’s general COVID support schemes – have helped many grassroots venues to find a way to just about survive through to March next year, the hope being that shows may then start to resume in something like a commercially viable way.

However, not every venue received CRF funding from Arts Council England, or equivalent support that was available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some venues weren’t eligible, others were unsuccessful, and some received grants that only cover part of ongoing costs.

MVT has now organised the country’s grassroots venues into three groups that employ a traffic light system. The green group of 353 venues have funding in place to get through to the end of March. The amber group of 273 venues will need additional support before 31 Mar. And the red group of 30 venues need urgent support or they will permanently close.

The trade group is today launching the latest phase of its #saveourvenues campaign calling for more support and seeking to raise the money needed to keep the 30 venues in that latter group in business. That includes a crowdfunding initiative via which people can support specific venues, though as each venue reaches the sum of money it needs any other donations will go to other red group venues.

Commenting on all this MVT CEO Mark Davyd said: “What the #saveourvenues campaign has achieved during the last eight months is truly remarkable. Thanks to the efforts of music fans, local communities and the wider music sector we have raised over £3 million in donations and have unlocked over £80 million in government assistance to help stave off the imminent closure of over 400 grassroots music venues”.

“We are now focusing exclusively on those 30 remaining venues which face immediate permanent closure”, he went on. “If people want these local venues to still be there when this is over there is a very clear call to action: choose a venue, get donating, get writing, get calling, get organised. Save them all. Reopen every venue safely”.

Details about the 30 venues and how to support them are here.