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Scottish grassroots music venues will receive £2.2 million from Scottish Government to stabilise venues and prevent permanent closure. Announced today by Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, the fund was agreed with Music Venue Trust and will support grassroots music venues until October.
Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues across the UK and 74 member venues in Scotland, has been working with Scottish Government since venues were forced to close due to lockdown in March.
“Music Venue Trust is delighted to have agreed this funding with Scottish Government, and we thank them very much for their commitment to grassroots music venues. This funding will stabilise venues in the short term and prevent permanent closures, and we can begin to plan towards reopening every venue safely" Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust.
Grassroots music venues are the ‘research and development’ hub of Scotlands music industry and invaluable community hubs. The internationally established definition of GMVs can be found here. MVT expect venues which fit these criteria to be eligible for the fund which is intended to cover fixed costs which include rent, non-furloughed staff, servicing debts and utilities.
Nick Stewart from Sneaky Petes in Edinburgh said: "This provides a lifeline for venues like Sneaky Petes whose future hangs in the balance. With no income in the pipeline and no reliable timeline for opening, venues staff have been distraught, especially as other enterprise or arts funding schemes were inaccessible to them. This will provide well-earned relief for these venues, and not before time. At Sneaky Petes we can begin to plan our recovery now, so that we can bring back music to our community who have really rallied behind us in an incredible way. Were over the moon that weve been assured we can survive to eventually get back to making more paid performance opportunities for musicians. I think this time has really seen audiences realise how much they value their local music venues. We get supportive messages every day from music fans aching to see us reopen. They say you dont know what youve got ‘til its gone, but thanks to this great news we are still here!"
MVT previously called upon Westminster for an immediate cash injection of £50m for UK GMVs and a cut in VAT on tickets and orchestrated the #saveourvenues campaign which, to date, has raised £2.5m in donations and grants. They were also key players in the ongoing #letthemusicplay campaign with the wider live music community, which has seen a huge outpouring of support from artists and the public
Since the COVID-19 pandemic MVT have taken numerous, proactive steps to help venues cope with and mitigate the impact of the crisis including:
Offering practical tools and information so the GMV sector knew exactly what it had to do, what support was out there and how to get it.
Appointed Coordinators across the UK to ensure venues were fully supported to access every lifeline they could, including supporting grant applications, attracting matched funding, creating opportunities and activating fundraising events.
Delivered information, advice and guidance direct to every level of government and to the sector so the size and scale of the problem could be fully understood
Directly intervened in potential venue closures, reaching agreements with landlords, services and suppliers to give the sector the chance to make it to 30 June and providing financial support to venues to pull them back from the cliff edge
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