L-R: Mark Davyd (MVT), Claire Mera-Nelson (Arts Council England), Darren Henley (Arts Council England), Beverley Whitrick (MVT).
Photo Credit: Jannica Honey

Arts Council England Announce Renewal of Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund for 2020/21

Music Venue Trust are delighted to share the news that Arts Council England will be renewing their Supporting Grassroots Live Music fund for 2020/21, making a further £1.5million available to Grassroots Venues and promoters between now and March 2021. Launched last May at an event hosted by MVT at The Great Escape, the fund has been life-changing for venues across England. To date 70 awards have been made and further applications are being assessed.

MVT has worked closely with members of the Music Venues Alliance, alongside Arts Council England’s own Relationship Managers, helping the venues to shape their aspirations to meet an often-challenging funding application process. One to one meetings at Venues Day 2019 between ACE officers and venue reps assisted this further, with 3 applications being submitted at the event! Since May 2019 MVT has supported 127 venues to engage with the application process so the extension of the fund is very welcome.

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust
“This fund, and the support built around it, means that people who never thought they would be able to receive grant-funding have realised that they can access public funding – by emphasising the benefits to both artists and audiences of improvements to their venue and programme. They were already doing something worthy of funding, they just needed help to focus on what that was and explain it differently. We look forward to many more venues achieving this.”

 

Venues which have so far received funding include The Sound Lounge (London), The Louisiana (Bristol), District (Liverpool), Ramsgate Music Hall, The Old Market (Brighton), The Brook (Southampton), Independent (Sunderland), The Hope and Ruin (Brighton), The 100 Club (London), Chapel Arts Centre (Bath), The Macbeth (London), Fiery Bird (Woking), Paper Dress Vintage (London). There are many more venues currently working on their own applications, so this extension is great news for them.

Rory Taylor, District, Liverpool

Rory Taylor, District, Liverpool
“Securing funding from Arts Council England will allow District to invest in new sound and lighting equipment, which in turn, will provide us with an opportunity to host a more diverse (and higher quality) programme of events. We’d like to thank the Music Venue Trust for their support and guidance in the application process.”

 

Sally Oakenfold, Hope & Ruin, Brighton

Sally Oakenfold, Hope & Ruin, Brighton
“We’d looked into funding but couldn’t really find an angle that would benefit us, plus it felt like Grassroots Music Venues weren’t being considered as the cultural and community spaces that we know they are. Obviously when we heard about the funding from ACE especially aimed at GMVs we were really keen to put an application together. It was a very new process for us but we had a lot of help via the MVT and support from ACE in guiding us through the application. Funding from Arts Council England makes a huge difference to us. Not just on a daily basis, where it means we are able to deliver more fantastic cultural opportunities to our local community, but also because we feel it recognises that the Hope & Ruin, and all the venues across the country just like it, are making a significant contribution to our cities, to artists and to audiences. We’re really excited to start working on delivering our ideas and making them a big success.”

 

Andre Dack, Ramsgate Music Hall

Andre Dack, Ramsgate Music Hall
“We’re utterly delighted with the recent news of our successful funding application. For all its rewards, running and maintaining a Grassroots Venue is constantly challenging and thoroughly demanding. Each and every year is a struggle. With this funding, our long-term future is more secure than ever before. We hope that with our new gender-neutral toilets, we will be providing a safe and comfortable space for all artists and gig-goers alike. We’d like to thank the Arts Council for their support, and MVT for their extremely hard work. We as a society need the joy and inspiration of live music now more than ever. This community is a deeply special one indeed.”