Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

Live-saving Government grants for 135 venues

29 September 2020

THE DEPARTMENT for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has awarded over £1 million more to small venues than the £2.25 million it pledged in July.

Venues receiving grants of between £1,000 and £80,000 include London’s The Troubadour (cap. 135), Birmingham’s The Sunflower Lounge (120) and Think Tank? (200) in Newcastle.

Both Manchester’s Deaf Institute (250) and Gorilla (500), rescued from administration by Tokyo Industries last month, were awarded £15,000 and £31,000 respectively.

In total, the DCMS small venue awards amounted to £3,367,039, which is £1,117,039 more than it originally promised.

These emergency grants are designed to rescue small venues at imminent risk of closure, which otherwise might not have been able to cover rent and utilities up to 30 September.

Some industry observers have questioned whether some of the funding has found its way to the right venues, with names on the list appearing to include pubs, which would have qualified for help under other government schemes.

Meanwhile, the 38 London venues awarded funding might also be entitled to part of the £450,000 given to the Music Venue Trust (MVT) by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and ring-fenced to support grassroots venues in the capital (see LIVE UK news in May).

Other DCMS beneficiaries, not generally considered grassroots venues, include Liverpool’s Eventim Olympia (1,960), which received £73,900, and , London clubs XOYO (800) and The Jazz Café (440), both part of The Columbo Group’s portfolio, which received .£1,000 and £18,000 respectively.

Around 90 of the 135 venues awarded grants are independently-owned and under 350 capacity.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says, “Grassroots music venues are where the magic starts and these emergency grants from our £1.57 million fund will ensure these music venues survive to create the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of the future.”

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