Music Venue Trust has welcomed the release of the first round of funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, which is a huge step forward in the efforts to reopen every venue safely.
Since March, MVT has been working closely with colleagues at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE) to ensure that the needs of grassroots music venues across England, and the potential threat this crisis presents to them, were fully understood.
The work of DCMS and ACE in creating and delivering this fund has been extraordinary. We want to recognise the efforts of the government, particularly the Secretary of State and the Chancellor, to understand what was required by grassroots music venues, develop a solution, and make it happen.
Saving our grassroots venue sector requires a massive jigsaw puzzle of efforts, from the smallest local fundraiser by a community desperate to keep its cherished local venue, to the enormous scope of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, one of the largest such funds in the world.
MVT, through the hard work, passion and dedication of our regional coordinators, has worked closely with our grassroots music venue community to ensure a clear and coordinated approach to this crisis. We are proud of the resilience, strength and solidarity shown by everyone involved.
This intervention today helps enormously, giving MVT our sector and our communities, an achievable opportunity to complete the English section of the jigsaw. We keenly await results from funding applications in Wales, and of round two of this fund. Our work with the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to seek further support for venues there.
Our immediate focus now will be to work with every venue that was ineligible for funding, and any venue that was unsuccessful in their application to this fund, to ensure that at the end of this crisis communities right across the country have a thriving and healthy live music scene to return to.
Our continued mission remains to reopen every venue safely, an aim that with this support from the government we are confident is now achievable.