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UK govt announces details of round three of CRF

Britain’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has announced details of the final £300 million of the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) for creative, arts and heritage businesses.

Applications for the funding are due to open “shortly”, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with almost £220m available for both new  organisations at “imminent risk of failure” and existing recipients of CRF grants and loans, which include historic venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra Palace and Southbank Centre, as well as a number of private live music businesses.

Originally worth £1.57 billion, the CRF received a further £300m in the March 2021 budget. So far, the fund has provided over £1.2bn to more than 5,000 organisations, supporting over 200,000 jobs, according to DCMS.

“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of organisations across the country to survive and protected hundreds of thousands of jobs,” says Dowden (pictured). “Now, as we look forward to full reopening, this funding shows our commitment to stand behind culture and heritage all the way through the pandemic.

“This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better and ensure we can support more of those in need, safeguarding our precious culture and heritage, and the jobs this supports.”

“This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better”

The package announced today (25 June) is made up of several strands, including an emergency fund for organisations who are at risk of ceasing to trade viably within 12 weeks, and have not been supported by the CRF; and a continuity fund offering support for those who have been previous recipients but now may be struggling to survive or reopen, collectively worth £218.5m.

The remainder of the money will go towards a £35m ‘heritage stimulus fund’ to support essential capital projects and a £20m ‘cultural asset fund’ to save historic assets at risk of loss. A further £7.5m is budgeted for admin costs.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, comments: “The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for the sector throughout the pandemic, and has saved hundreds of cultural organisations across the country from collapse.

“Creativity and culture will be an essential part of our efforts to rebuild after the pandemic, and we’re extremely grateful for the government’s continued support to help organisations reopen and play their part in the national recovery.”

Guidance for each funding stream will be published shortly, says DCMS.

 


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Hope on the horizon for UK cancellation insurance?

After an ongoing battle for event cancellation insurance in the UK, the government has indicated it will intervene if commercial insurance is still unavailable when the country is scheduled to fully reopen.

In yesterday afternoon’s (13 May) DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) select committee meeting, secretary of state Oliver Dowden said that if events still cannot go ahead by stage four of the roadmap (21 June) because of market failure with commercial insurance, the government would “intervene in the same way we did with Film & TV“.

When Dowden was asked whether festivals and events should write off this summer, he answered “no”.

“My first priority is to make sure we get the events industry up and running, which requires us to reach stage four by 21 June,” said Dowden.

“Once we get to that point, if events still can’t go ahead because of the failure of a commercial insurance market, we stand ready to use government intervention in exactly the same way we did with Film & TV. I’ve had extensive discussions with the prime minister and chancellor on this but we must first know if something can go ahead, and if the final barrier is lack of commercial insurance then we can go about acting.”

When Dowden was asked whether festivals and events should write off this summer, he answered “no”.

In yesterday’s IQ Recovery Sessions, Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn revealed the formation of an ‘Events Indemnity Sprint Group’, which has been tasked by the government with finding solutions to the issue of events insurance.

When asked whether the government’s plan to intervene is coming “too late”, Dowden responded: “Through the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) we have acted – particularly round two and with round three. There are challenges around bringing forward indemnity and insurance, firstly in not knowing we can fully go ahead with events from 21 June.

“It is not reasonable to expect the taxpayer to provide indemnity if it is not possible for the events to happen. There are also questions in relation to scope. At this stage, it would be better to get clarity exactly where the gap lies when things open, to then determine the extent of government intervention to fill the final mile.”

A recent AIF (Association of Independent Festivals) member survey revealed that 92.5% of respondents do not plan on staging their events without some form of government-backed insurance or indemnity scheme, with the measure being described as vital not optional.

“We stand ready to use government intervention in exactly the same way we did with Film & TV”

According to the association, more than 25% of the UK music festivals have already been cancelled due to a lack of government-backed insurance, including Glastonbury, Download and Boomtown.

Tim Thornhill of specialist brokers Tysers Insurance tells IQ: “On 21 June many more events this summer will have cancelled because of the pressure to pay deposits to the supply chain and increasing financial exposure of organisers as time is needed to plan and build events.

“This is despite the UK being ‘completely on track at the moment with the roadmap with the vaccination rolling out as planned’ said Dowden who has a ‘single-minded determination to get full reopening from the 21st June’. This determination and optimism need to be accompanied by setting up a government-backed insurance programme immediately. The planning and announcement of insurance need to run concurrently with the planning of safe events with the Events Research Programme (ERP) and successful pilots.”

The results of the UK government’s ERP will determine how larger events can take place in step four of the roadmap.

Insurance schemes have already been announced in Germany (€2.5bn), Austria (€300m), the Netherlands (€300m), Belgium (€60m), Norway (€34m) Denmark (DKK 500m) and Estonia (€6m).

Read more about the issue of event cancellation insurance via specialist brokers here.

 


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UK festivals benefit from substantial CRF grants

Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair and Cheltenham Jazz Festival have been awarded substantial grants in round two of the UK government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF2).

The 2,700 recipients of the CRF2 were announced last Friday by culture secretary Oliver Dowden, who said Glastonbury’s £900,000 grant would help the festival stage two smaller events this year, including the recently announced Live at Worthy Farm, and would help sustain it until 2022.

Boomtown was awarded £991,000, which the organisers say will secure the future of the festival, and Cheltenham Jazz Festival was awarded £290,000.

Other festivals to benefit in the latest round of the CRF are Sea Change Festival (£126,000), Standon Calling (£418,465), Y Not Festival (£120,000), Towersey Festival £104,000), Bestival and Camp Bestival founder Rob da Banks’ Sunday Best Recordings Ltd (£92,000), Noisily Festival (£78,000), Strawberries and Creem (£75,000) and Nozstock (£32,000).

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), confirmed that 70% of the members who applied for a grant in CRF2 have been offered funding, which amounts to over £5.5m with an average grant of almost £126,000.

“We thank the Treasury, DCMS and Arts Council England for this lifeline, and for investing in some of this summer’s independent festivals, enabling them to survive and continue planning in the short term,” says Paul Reed, CEO at AIF.

Thanks to the funding we’ve received from the government’s #CultureRecoveryFund we’re all set to build on our digital…

Posted by Cheltenham Festivals on Friday, April 2, 2021

 

“AIF worked tirelessly to ensure that festivals were eligible for the fund in the first place, and to support and service members at every step – sharing information, engaging funding specialists, organising online sessions and working around the clock to support applications.

“This latest government support is invaluable. However, as with the first round, it is important to note that this money did not reach the entire sector, that it will only support some festivals until the end of June and that hurdles remain before festivals are able to plan with confidence – not least the absence of a government intervention on insurance. It is also critically important that the Events Research Programme explores challenges and mitigations around all types of events including festivals.”

Among the grassroots venues to receive grants from the CRF2 are Hull’s The New Adelphi Club (£30,000), The Louisiana in Bristol (£63,000), Cambridge Junction (£248,083), Brudenell Social Club (£213,853) in Leeds and London’s Troubadour (£272,828).

https://twitter.com/BoomtownFair/status/1377886248363249671

Music Venue Trust (MVT) strategic director, Beverley Whitrick, says: “MVT has worked hard to support eligible grassroots music venues in their applications to this fund and we are delighted that members of the Music Venues Alliance (MVA) have now been awarded almost £16million in support.

“This represents an 80% success rate for MVA members, many of whom had never applied for public funding prior to this pandemic. This money is aimed at securing venues until the end of June 2021.”

Music Venue Trust represents over 900 venues across the UK.

Other successful applicants of the CRF2 include event industry suppliers and service providers such as A&J Big Tops Limited (£545,000), AB Lighting (£79,000) and Symphotech (£60,000).

The CRF was increased by £300m earlier this year as part of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s March budget.

For the full list of recipients, visit the Arts Council England website.

 


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NAO publishes results of investigation into CRF funding

The National Audit Office (NAO), the UK’s public spending watchdog, has found that just over half of the grants and loans awarded as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) had been paid out as of February.

In a report, Investigation into the Culture Recovery Fund, published this morning (12 March), the NAO reveals that of the £830 million in CRF funding awarded so far, only £495m had been paid by 19 February.

The CRF, which was set up last year to assist entertainment, arts and leisure businesses forced to close as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, received an extra £300m in last week’s budget, bringing total funding across three rounds to £1.87bn. For music and live entertainment businesses, funding is administered by Artists Council England.

Meg Hillier MP, chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, has urged payments to be sped up. “The culture, arts and heritage sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with many organisations now having been closed for nearly a year,” she says. “Many across the sector will have welcomed the funding announced last summer.

“But eight months later, more than half of the £1 billion made available so far is still waiting in the wings. With the sector’s shutdown already past government’s worst-case scenario [of March 2021], DCMS needs to get support out to organisations while there are still organisations left to support.”

“Many businesses are awaiting the outcome of the CRF 2, which will be fundamental to their future”

A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) attributes the delay to the necessary “safeguards taxpayers would expect to see in such a huge investment”.

“Applications are being processed for a £400m second round of grants and loans, and an additional £300m announced at the Budget will help the hardest hit reopen and recover,” they add. “This brings direct support for the culture sector to almost £2bn.”

The NAO’s report also found that two grants to be awarded by Arts Council England (ACE), worth nearly £0.5m, were withdrawn after they were found to be based on fraudulent claims.

“ACE told us that in no cases where a grant had been paid out had fraud been identified,” add the report’s authors.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night-Time Industries Association, also urges DCMS and ACE to speed up payments where possible.

“Many businesses are awaiting the outcome of the CRF 2, which will be fundamental to their future, and ultimately have an impact on the cultural tapestry of this country for years to come,” he says.

 


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UK live industry cautiously welcomes 2021 budget

The UK’s live music industry has welcomed many of the provisions contained in the 2021 government budget, presented this afternoon by chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, but expressed its disappointment at the continued lack of a European-style insurance scheme for festival organisers.

Among the measures unveiled by Sunak in the Commons today (3 March) are an extra £300 million for the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), ‘restart grants’ for hospitality/leisure businesses, the extension of the coronavirus job retention scheme (furlough) and self-employed income support (SEISS) schemes, and business rate relief.

The budget also confirmed an extension of the 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales – a key campaign focus for pan-industry group LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment) and the whole UK concert industry – for a further six months, with an interim rate of 12.5% until April 2022.

Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, says: “We warmly welcome the extension to the reduced VAT rate on tickets, which will really help festivals during the 2021 sales cycle. For many AIF members, this is the first period in which they are selling tickets since the outset of the pandemic. We do, however, reiterate the recommendation of the DCMS select committee for VAT on ticket sales to remain at a reduced rate for three years so that the UK festival sector can fully recover.

“The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for many of our members so it’s greatly encouraging to see a further £300m invested into this, though we would appreciate some further detail on this additional round and the time period it will cover.

“Independent festival organisers would much rather mobilise their staff to plan a full and successful festival season this summer”

“We also welcome the extension to the government’s furlough scheme and continued support for the self-employed. However, independent festival organisers would much rather mobilise their staff to plan a full and successful festival season this summer. As we have repeatedly stressed, the only way they can do this is with a government-backed insurance scheme that covers Covid-19-related cancellation. The chancellor today confirmed the extension of the government backed restart scheme for film and TV productions – a similar safety net needs to be put in place before the end of March to avoid mass cancellations throughout the UK’s festival market.”

Lucy Noble, chair of the National Arenas Association, comments: “For the live music industry, today’s budget, and specifically the extension of furlough to September, is enormously welcome. The whole sector has been grateful for a 21 June ‘not before’ date for operating at full capacity, and the extension of the 5% VAT rate on tickets is something we had been hoping to see.

“Uncertainty remains, and the lack of insurance for Covid-related cancellation is a huge concern – what the entire live sector wants is to be allowed to trade safely out of this situation and once more welcome people to come together for extraordinary shared experiences.”

“Music Venue Trust welcomes the extensions to furlough, SEISS and the VAT cut on ticket sales,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. These measures are supportive of the next steps in the campaign to reopen every venue safely. On business rates, we note that the Chancellor has provided a 100% cut for the initial three-month period in which venues will not be trading. This period does not resolve the long running debate on business rates, and we look forward to a full discussion of this outdated and anachronistic taxation in the business rates review in Autumn 2021.

“The chancellor announced additional funding to be distributed by Arts Council England [ACE], but the purpose of this funding is unclear; we hope to work with ACE and DCMS to ensure it is effectively distributed, and includes sensible and structured capital investment that enables our music venues to become more Covid-secure.”

“The needs of those in mixed employment, and those individuals operating as limited companies, were not met”

Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of Music Managers Forum, says: “The MMF welcomes the extension of eligibility for support to the self-employed. This is a really important measure that should have an impact on our community and their clients, many of whom faced real hardship during the pandemic, although unfortunately directors of limited companies are still excluded. We also welcome the £300m Cultural Recovery Fund for reopening, although it was disappointing not to hear any developments on government-backed insurance for live music events which is urgently needed to get us back up and running in July.

For a full longer-term music recovery, to a place where artists can perform to full capacity crowds and tour internationally, we will need this kind of targeted and continued support reaching into 2022.”

“We welcome the continuation of support for employers and self-employed workers, as well as the addition of those newly self employed sole traders; this is tempered by the disappointment that the needs of those in mixed employment and those individuals operating as limited companies were not met,” adds Dave Keighley, chair of the Production Services Association.

“Support for companies is also broadly welcomed, although doubt over whether business rate relief applies to our members that support hospitality and leisure remains. Any discounts given to venues should be clearly extended to those companies that work in those venues, recognising that live events are an ecosystem that needs complete support. Although the extension of the 5% VAT rate helps, it needs to be extended to assist our sector’s recovery.

“The extension to the Culture Recovery Fund is encouraging, we hope that the current and subsequent rounds will support event more of our member companies that support cultural activity.”

 


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New funding rounds announced in UK

Millions of pounds worth of further grants and loans have been made available in England and Scotland to help the UK live industry recover from Covid-19.

Arts Council England (ACE) has opened applications for a second round of repayable finance for culturally significant organisations in England.

The programme, which is part of the UK Government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF), aims to support those organisations as they transition back to a ‘viable and sustainable operating model’ during the 2021/22 financial year.

The budget for the second round is up to £100 million and the minimum amount that can be applied for is £1m. The final round of CRF grants, totalling around £300m, are expected to open for applications in early January.

Organisations who have previously been awarded a CRF loan are not eligible to apply for further CRF loans, while previously successful grant applicants can.

Last week, the Government and ACE announced the first-round recipients of the repayable finance scheme which included London venues the Royal Albert Hall (£20.74m) and Southbank Centre, while Alexandra Palace (pictured) was awarded £2,967,600 from the £60m Capital Kickstart Fund. The latest grants and loans marked a milestone £1bn in funding allocated.

Elsewhere, the Scottish government has announced an extra £13 million to provide further support for the events sector in Scotland.

Of this, £6 million has been committed for the establishment of a new fund which will open this week to support those event businesses which are critical to Scotland’s events sector, and without which the capacity to deliver major events would be significantly reduced.

“This [£13m] will help hard-pressed businesses going forward and ensure that they are ready to support the recovery”

The Pivotal Event Businesses Fund will provide grants from £25,000 up to a maximum of £150,000 to support approximately 50 to 100 event businesses whose primary role as organisers, suppliers, contractors and venues is critical to the survival of the events sector in Scotland, and upon whom the wider events industry and supply chain are most reliant for their own business and operations.

The remaining funding will be used to set up a separate fund to provide broader support to businesses across the full range of the events sector, including the supply chain, and will be announced early in the new year.

The latest funding follows the £10 million announced by the culture secretary in July for the events industry, of which £6 million was allocated to the now-closed Event Industry Support Fund while £2 million was allocated to Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund currently being run by EventScotland.

“The events sector has faced severe challenges throughout 2020 as the restrictions necessary to contain the coronavirus pandemic have left most businesses unable to operate. While the arrival of a vaccine offers grounds for hope, the events sector and its wider supply chain will continue to experience difficulties for some time to come,” says culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.

“We were able to provide financial support for the events sector in the autumn but we have continued to listen and we acknowledge that further funding is required. This additional £13 million will allow us to help hard-pressed businesses going forward and ensure that they are ready to support the recovery when it is safe to operate again.

“Scotland has a well-earned reputation for delivering successful events at local, national and international level. We are working collaboratively with the industry to ensure that the sector has a future to look forward to and that we maintain our position as the perfect stage for events.”

 


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Final £400m on the way as latest CRF recipients announced

Historic London venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra Palace and Southbank Centre are among the beneficiaries of the latest round of Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) spending, as the scheme marks a milestone £1 billion in funding allocated.

The Royal Albert Hall (5,272-cap.) and Southbank Centre, along with organisations such as the English National Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, were awarded a share of £165 million in low-interest repayable finance, with the Albert Hall receiving a total of £20.74 million from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE).

Hall CEO Craig Hassall says the loan is a “lifeline” that will enable the Victorian arena “restore our minimum reserves and operating finances to a level comparable to before the pandemic struck”.

Elsewhere, a number of venues across the country are receiving grants from the £60m Capital Kickstart Fund. They include the Alexandra Palace, which has been awarded £2,967,600 to enable its 10,400-capacity Great Hall to “continue with a diverse programme of live, Covid-secure events this winter”, and new Manchester arts venue the Factory, which receives £21m towards its completion.

“As well as providing a multi-use space for diverse arts activity,” the Factory will be the permanent home for Manchester International Festival, “which attracts visitors to the city from across the country and creates opportunities for creative freelancers,” reads a statement from DCMS and UK culture minister Oliver Dowden CBE.

“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs”

“Over the last nine months we’ve worked non-stop to make sure we can open the doors safely and keep the parkland well maintained to provide vital green space,” says Louise Stewart, CEO of Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust. “There are many challenges ahead, but for now at least, thanks to this funding, we have some time and resource to deliver our route to recovery.”

The latest grants and loans come as the government makes plans to allocate the final £400 million of the £1.57 billion CRF. Further details of the final round, comprising £300m in grants and £100m loans to help companies “transition back to usual operating mode from April 2021”, will be announced shortly.

According to Dowden, some funding was held back in previous rounds (to enable authorities to assess the “changing public health picture”), and will also be made available to organisations at “imminent risk of collapse before the end of this financial year” in April.

“This government promised it would be here for culture, and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word,” says the culture secretary. “The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.

“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture, so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”

More information about the CRF is available from the Gov.UK website.

 


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#savenightclubs urges UK PM to prevent “tsunami” of losses

New nationwide coalition #savenightclubs has published an open letter to UK prime minister Boris Johnson urging him to act now or “permanently lose the country’s nightclub industry and the enormous economic contribution it makes to the UK”.

The letter emphasises that nightclubs in the UK have been shuttered for eight months now and 70% of people working in nightclubs are self employed and therefore were not eligible for the furlough scheme.

The call for support follows the coalition’s recent survey of 101 nightclub owners and managers which revealed that 58% of nightclubs across the nation will go out of business within a month, four in five (81%) nightclubs will be shut by Christmas, and 10% expect their business to survive longer than four months.

Now, the initiative is calling on the government to provide a financial survival package beyond the Culture Recovery Fund, introduce protection from eviction for nightclubs during and immediately after the crisis, and extend business rate relief to April 2022.

The letter, which you can read in full below, has been backed by the Night Time Industries Association and myriad clubs across the UK including Infernos in Clapham, The Box in Soho, Cirque Manchester and Bamboo Glasgow.

 


Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you as a group of over one hundred nightclub owners, managers and workers whose businesses have now been closed for exactly eight months this Friday. We urge the government to act now or permanently lose the country’s nightclub industry and the enormous economic contribution it makes to the UK.

We are writing this letter on behalf of the nightclub industry, a sector who employs circa 45,000 people – 72% of whom are under 25 years old. We are a proud part of British culture and crucial to the UK economy, generating £3bn a year in income. The nightclub industry proudly employs a huge spectrum of job roles including bartenders, DJs, performers, security, cleaners and more. Behind these stats are thousands of individual stories of hardship from people who feel like they have been forgotten.

“We urge the gov to prevent a devastating tsunami of job losses and a wipeout of future economic contributions”

Over the last 8 months, the industry has faced Lockdown 1, household and tiered restrictions and an impossible curfew of 10 pm. Now, in the midst of a second national lockdown and the announcement of the furlough scheme extension until March 2021, this is likely to result in our venues closing for an entire year. Unlike hospitality and gyms who were able to trade over the summer months, we have not been able to open at all resulting in zero revenue since March.

Venues are facing mounting rent bills, ongoing running costs and the prospect of business rates in April 2021. We urge the government to prevent a devastating tsunami of job losses, a wipeout of future economic contributions and further ruin to towns and cities across the UK which are already on their knees.

So far:

Despite the government’s on-going support to sectors such as hospitality and gyms – nightclubs are the forgotten industry. Over 70% of people working in nightclubs are self employed and therefore were not eligible for the furlough scheme. No alternative financial support package has been proposed for the nightclub industry.

Stats:

Last month, #SaveNightclubs carried out a survey revealing that four in five nightclubs (81%) will be shut by Christmas unless the government urgently intervenes.

The #SaveNightclubs campaign calls on the government to:

Provide a financial survival package beyond the Recovery Fund, helping the sector weather Covid’s impact and assist in future reopening.
Introduce protection from eviction for nightclubs during and immediately after the crisis.
Extend business rate relief to April 2022, enabling nightclubs to get back on their feet in 2021.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter.

Respectfully yours,
Vincenzo Sibilia and Asher Grant of #SaveNightclubs campaign group


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MVT launches campaign to save CRF-excluded venues

Music Venue Trust (MVT) has organised a new crowdfunding campaign to help secure the future of 30 venues across the UK deemed ineligible for grants from the government-backed Culture Recovery Fund.

The #savethe30 campaign launches today on Crowdfunder and will aim to raise £1,750,000 by galvanising the support of audiences, local communities, local councils and the creative community. Once a venue’s target has been reached, the surplus donations will go towards the other venues in crisis.

London venues The Lexington, The Waiting Room, Windmill Brixton and Spiritual Bar are being supported by the campaign.

While the remainder of the 30 is venues throughout the UK including The 1865, Southampton; The Venue, Derby; Grand Elektra, Hastings; The Latern, Halifax; Mundell Music Backstage, Kinross in Scotland; Boom, Leeds; The Four Horsemen, Bournemouth; Hootananny, Inverness; and Beehive Jazz Cafe, Hull.

London venues The Waiting Room, The Lexington, Windmill Brixton and Spiritual Bar are being supported by the campaign

The Brunswick, Hove; The Hot Tin, Faversham; Woolpack Live, Doncaster; Arden Inn, Accrington; The Railway Inn, Winchester; Rossi Bar, Brighton; The Boulevard, Wigan and Pop, Hyde are also included.

The #savethe30 initiative launches as part of a broader ‘traffic light’ campaign, for which MVT has colour coded its member venues based on how imminent their threat of closure is.

Of its member venues, MVT says 353 venues are green – considered safe until 31 March; 273 are amber – at risk of closure between now and 31 March without additional support; 30 venues are red and face “imminent danger of permanent closure” and over 180 venues have not responded and have been coded blue.

The governments £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has so far awarded two rounds of grants, each divided into two categories of recipients awarded less than £1m and those granted between £1 and £3m.

 


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Academy Music Group, Ronnie Scott’s receive CRF grants

Academy Music Group (AMG), Ronnie Scott’s and London Venue Group (LVG) are among the eight arts and cultural organisations in the UK to receive grants between £1 million and £3m from the second Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) tranche.

Venue operator AMG, whose shareholders include Live Nation, will receive just under £3m (£2,981,431) to “help meet the core operating costs” of its 20 live music venues across the country, including O2 Academy venues in London, Leeds and Liverpool.

While world-renowned jazz club Ronnie Scott’s has received a grant of £1,272,631 to “explore streamed performance opportunities for emerging and established British musicians”. The club says it’s delighted that “the fundamental importance of Ronnie Scott’s” has been recognised.

And venue operator LVG, owned by Mumford & Sons member Ben Lovett, has been awarded £2,358,902 to maintain its venues Omeara (cap. 320), Lafayette (600) and recent addition The Social (250) during closure and “enable them to explore streaming options in the future”.

“We are overjoyed that we are able to ensure that all our members of staff can now look ahead to Christmas without the looming threat of redundancy, and to protect the extended Venue Group family; a team of bright, passionate, capable, industry professionals who we’ve been trying to support however possible since being forced to close our venues back in March,” Lovett wrote on Instagram.

“These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture”

“These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities,” says culture secretary Oliver Dowden at the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which has been working alongside Arts Council England to disperse the fund.

“From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”

Elsewhere, in Scotland, 203 organisations and venues have received a share of £11.75m through the first tranche of the Scottish government’s Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, delivered by Creative Scotland.

“The Scottish government is determined to do everything within our powers to see the sector through this crisis,” says culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.

“This emergency funding will provide vital support to a wide range of cultural organisations and venues across Scotland currently facing extreme challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has been designed specifically to help organisations cope with the immediate issues they are facing and to help save jobs.

“I am pleased to see such a wide range of organisations supported, from comedy clubs and theatres to galleries and production companies.”

See results from the first round of the UK’s CRF here.

 


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