Music Venue Trust Launches Pipeline Investment Fund Challenge

Venues Day Launch of Drive to Unite Key Stakeholders and Music Industry Around a Statement of Intent

In a slew of Venues Day 2018 announcements about Grassroots Music Venues rallying together to maximise their potential, including the launch of Fightback Manchester, a Fightback lager, two books of best practice guidance and a physical and digital map of all venues across the UK, Music Venue Trust used Venues Day to invite the UK music industry and key stakeholders in the grassroots circuit to unite behind a Statement of Intent to support a Pipeline Investment Fund to finally tackle the full range of challenges causing music venue closures. The Pipeline Investment Fund Statement of Intent is being sent to all major stakeholders in the industry, and is designed to move the conversation significantly forward on how best to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues for the benefit of grassroots artists.

Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust

Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust
Music Venue Trust strongly believes that our own music industry understands that these venues are vital to the future of the health of the whole industry. Last week in Parliament we heard directly from artist representatives who know this, and today at Venues Day we’ve heard repeatedly from artists demanding action to support the venues that are vital to their development. We’ve heard a lot from key stakeholders, from government through Arts Council, live music industry partners and major record labels, about how these venues need support. We’ve heard a lot about what can’t be done, and what the obstacles are, let’s move past that. These discussions, some with positive results, haven’t resulted in the decisive direct action that is needed. We have to restart this conversation from the basics, and move quickly to practical action everyone can support.”

In a thriving and expanding £4.4 billion music economy, UK Grassroots Music Venues have been closed down for the sake of £2,000 in legal fees, £10,000 of programming money, or £20,000 of infrastructure investment.

Less than 0.1% of the UK music economy invested into the grassroots would permanently end these problems.” notes Davyd.

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director Music Venue Trust

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director Music Venue Trust
“We can’t let this continue. Across Europe we have seen direct action taken, by government, the music industry and the cultural sector. We are reaching out to our own music industry, government and the cultural sector and asking them to join us and take the lead on this. Let’s stop talking about all the obstacles and start from the basics: We are asking you to sign up if you believe you should be part of the solution we need.”

The Pipeline Investment Fund Statement of Intent is being delivered to all key stakeholders this week. The aim is to quickly bring together a consortium of voices committed to practical action, resulting in swift action and agreement to bring forward a deliverable plan that gets the investment required to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues.

Read the Statement of Intent:


We, the undersigned, are committed to the concept of the creation of a Pipeline Investment Fund within the UK Music Industry. We agree that such a mechanism is vital to the sustainability of our grassroots touring network, which we consider is essential to the future health of the UK Music industry.

Funds generated by the Pipeline Investment Fund should be used to support activity in the grassroots sector of the music industry to include (but not limited to):

1) Investment into modern, sustainable sound and lighting for Grassroots Music Venues to permanently reduce venue costs and increase profitability.

2) Investment into the physical infrastructure of Grassroots Music Venues, to address issues of access, capacity, health and safety, and artist facilities.

3) Acquisition of the freehold of grassroots music venues so that they can be placed into protected ownership and permanently leased back to local communities.

4) Creation of a training and apprenticeship programme for support roles within grassroots music venues.

5) Support for central legal, licensing and planning advice related to music venues, and for campaigns to ensure that future legislation recognises the economic, cultural and social value of those venues.

The fund would be administered by the established UK registered charity Music Venue Trust. The charity will establish advisory boards from within the UK music industry to guide and oversee its investments in each of the chosen areas. The charity will provide a full, annual, public report on all income and expenditure related to the Pipeline Investment Fund.

We acknowledge that the creation of the Pipeline Investment Fund requires consensus across the live music industry, from arenas, stadiums, concert halls, promoters, agents, managers and artists. In the event this consensus is reached, we are committed to delivering our agreement to this programme.