The UK Government is to dedicate the first £2.25 million of their £1.75 billion culture recovery package to saving grassroots music venues from insolvency. It's expected that this emergency funding could benefit 150 venues at imminent risk of collapse in England.
The funding will provide grants of up to £80,000 to help venues survive the next few months by covering essential on-going costs for venues including rent, utilities, maintenance contracts and other bills. It is expected that funding will be received by organisations within the next few weeks.
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 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.'
Darren Henley, chief executive, Arts Council England, 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.'
Beverley Whitrick of the Music Venue Trust 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.'
Applications will be open from 25 July to 3 August. The process has been designed to be as rapid as possible.