New Trustees for 2017

Music Venue Trust is proud to round off a highly successful year for its campaign to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs) by announcing the addition of Lohan Presencer, Chairman of Ministry of Sound and Sarah Thirtle, Head of Business Lending Programmes at Creative United to its Board of Trustees.


2016 Achievements

The Trust’s campaign to secure a better future for the UK’s GMVs has gained significant profile and support during 2016, with successes including:

  • Changing UK law to protect GMVs from development under permitted development rights
  •  Getting the contribution of small venues recognised in official UK wide research for the first time
  •  Bringing 500 delegates together in Roundhouse, London for national networking event Venues Day 2016 in October
  •  Organising Fightback, a fundraising concert with 19 artists to raise attention for the issues
  • Sir Paul McCartney endorsing the work of MVT and making a donation to the charity
  •  Music Venues Alliance membership exceeding 250 venues in the UK, leading to interest in this model from other territories and the establishment of sister organisation Music Venues Alliance Austin.


A Stronger Board for 2017

Music Venue Trust is positioning itself to make further advances by strengthening its Board of Trustees ready to meet the next set of challenges.

Beverley Whitrick of the Trust explains: “A strong Board is essential to push forward on all aspects of our work, from lobbying central government on legislation which negatively impacts on venues, to challenging the music industry on existing working methods and lack of support for the grassroots. A strong Board helps us to explain the economic, social and cultural benefit of GMVs and raises the profile of the issues. We are delighted to have secured two such excellent new Board members to round off a year which has seen real change for GMVs.” 
Sarah Thirtle explained why she is coming on board, “Grassroots music venues may be small, but they’re mighty. They form a vital part of the foundation for our thriving music industry. They are also the places where friendships are forged, people fall in love, hearts are broken, minds are blown, inhibitions are forgotten, experiences are shared, inspiration strikes, happiness is attained, careers are begun, and music gives meaning to life. Imagine how much poorer would we be if we lost these places that shape our lives as young adults and provide spaces to bring communities together over the years. Grassroots music venues have given me so much: opportunities to grow as a performer and musician, and as a professional in the creative industries. Being involved with the Music Venue Trust is one way I hope to make sure these opportunities aren’t lost for others.
Lohan Presencer added, “The work that MVT does is critical in highlighting the plight of music venues and supporting their passionate owners and operators with the challenges that they face daily. Music has given me a fantastic career and I’m honoured to be able to support MVT in maintaining and creating more of those opportunities for passionate musicians and music lovers.”

Lohan and Sarah will join existing trustees Chris Prosser (Suspicious Marketing/IQ Magazine/ILMC), Sybil Bell (Independent Venue Week), Simon Hilton (REVL8), Jeremy Mills (Mills Keep) and Jason Dormon (Tunbridge Wells Forum) to steer MVT’s work.