The Music Venue Trust (MVT), a charity dedicated to securing the future of live events spaces across the UK, has welcomed news of a new £5 million investment into grassroot venues. The pledged funding, announced by the Secretary of State for Culture, Lucy Frazer, will be provided over a two year period via the Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund and will be managed by government-funded body, Arts Council England.
Plans set out alongside the coming financial investment, which appear in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, released by the government yesterday (14th June), outline the necessary collaboration between representatives of the industry and ministers to unlock the growth potential of the sector. The policy paper cites the Grassroots Sector specifically as vital to the development of the country’s thriving music industry and local communities which they support. It also acknowledges the pressing need for direct financial support to address the challenges faced by those operating in the touring sector.
Statistics gathered last year highlighted a worrying trend, with the vast majority of grassroots music venues said to be under significant threat of closure. Live shows held at such venues had decreased by a staggering 16.9% in comparison to previous years, with increased costs in rent, energy bills and staffing also having their part to play. Figures also show the number of tours conducted in the UK in recent years have reduced, with the number of tour dates per artist also declining steeply over the past 10 years.
Mark Davyd, CEO and Founder of MVT, said:
“This additional £5million is a fantastic response from the Government, recognising that we have a crisis at grassroots level which threatens the talent pipeline and the future prosperity of the entire live music industry. It’s now time for that industry to step up, take responsibility, and match this government action with its own positive response.
At the top level, we are enjoying the greatest ever summer of live music in the UK. We need to ensure that Grassroots Music Venues share in that financial success, and that can be achieved simply and effectively through a contribution from every ticket sold at every arena and stadium event.”
Bolstering the newly announced fund, the Music Venue Trust has also recently formed a groundbreaking partnership with British rock quartet, Enter Shikari. £1 from every ticket sold for the bands upcoming 2023 arena tour has been designated to the Pipeline Investment Fund which again supports grassroots music venues. The charity, with the help of Lucy Frazer, also continues to pile pressure on arenas and stadiums, requesting financial support for struggling venues, many of which have been the birthplace of global superstars the likes of Adele, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, who all regularly sell out said arenas and stadiums.
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