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UK industry rallies around MVT’s pipeline fund

Associations including the CPA, NAA and UK Live Music, as well as AEG Europe and Ticketmaster, have signed the statement of intent launched at Venues Day 2018

By Jon Chapple on 20 Dec 2018

Delegates at Venues Day 2018

Delegates at Venues Day 2018

All major UK music industry associations have signed a statement of intent pledging to tackle the crisis facing Britain’s grassroots music venues.

Signatories including UK Live Music, the Concert Promoters Association, the National Arena Association, the Entertainment Agents’ Association, the Musicians’ Union and the Music Managers Forum have announced their support for a Pipeline Investment Fund (PIF) to tackle the root causes leading to music venue closures.

Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of Music Venue Trust (MVT) – which introduced the PIF concept at Venues Day in October – explains: “We asked the UK music industry to sign up to the concept that we need to take collective financial action on the challenges facing grassroots venues.

“We are delighted with the response from the industry and the willingness to find positive, constructive solutions so that we can properly protect the grassroots music venues pipeline from which, ultimately, everyone benefits.”

The aims of the Pipeline Investment Fund include funding infrastructure, sound and lighting in grassroots venues; placing venues into protected ownership by acquiring freeholds; creating training and apprenticeship schemes; and offering centralised legal, planning and licensing advice.

Following the signing of the statement of intent, the signatories will begin working together in early 2019 to identify funding solutions.

“With 35% of the UK’s grassroots venues having closed over the last ten years, it’s time for the industry to act,” says Greg Parmley, chair of UK Live Music and managing director of the ILMC. “We need structured and planned investment to secure these vital spaces against development, rent rises, poor infrastructure and failing facilities.”

Other signatories include the Music Industries Association, Production Services Association, Featured Artists Coalition, Association of Independent Festivals and Association of Festival Organisers.

Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK, comments: “Grassroots music venues are an essential part of the live music scene. We have been working with Music Venue Trust for over four years to ensure that these iconic buildings can continue to showcase the next generation of talent.

“We welcome the Pipeline Investment Fund initiative to look at ways that our industry can secure the legacy of these venues for many years to come.”

“AEG is committed to working with our partners in the live music industry to find a solution to the critical challenges faced by Grassroots Music Venues,” adds John Langford of AEG Europe. “The Pipeline Investment Fund is an opportunity to deliver real, practical and urgent action right across the music industry.”


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