MVT lobbies for £1 ticket levy after Moles closure
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) is lobbying the government for a compulsory £1 levy on tickets sold for UK live music events above 5,000 capacity after grassroots venue Moles in Bath was forced to shut down with immediate effect.
Moles opened in 1978 and has hosted early gigs by acts such as Ed Sheeran, The Killers, Fatboy Slim, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, The Smiths and Idles. But all future events have been cancelled at the storied 220-cap venue after its owners filed for insolvency, citing rising costs and the cost-of-living crisis.
“Making the decision to close Moles was horrendous, but the cost-of-living crisis has crippled us,” says co-owner Tom Maddicott. “Massively increased costs of stock, utilities and rent compounded by our customers also feeling the impact of the crisis has made it impossible to continue.
“It’s obviously an incredibly difficult decision to have to take, for our team, the staff, the local community, and the artists that over the years have created such an incredible history of music. But the reality is that live music at grassroots level is no longer economically viable and we will not be the only grassroots music venue forced to close.”
“Venues like these all over the country are going out of business, whilst helping nurture the artists that will go on to generate millions for the broader music industry”
According to the MVT, more than 120 grassroots venues (15%) have closed and a further 84 are currently in crisis, while at least seven new arenas are currently planned in cities across the UK.
“Today is a very sad day for our sector,” says Mark Davyd, CEO and founder of the MVT. “Grassroots Music Venues like Moles – one of the best loved and most efficiently run venues in the country for almost 45 years – have done everything they can to keep afloat, investing every penny they can into trying to fulfil their commitment to live music.
“Venues like these all over the country are going out of business, whilst helping nurture the artists that will go on to generate millions for the broader music industry. Put bluntly, they have been badly let down by those who profit from their efforts.”
The MVT has long campaigned for the wider live music industry to financially back the grassroots music sector, proposing that every ticket sold at an arena and stadium should make a £1 contribution into its Pipeline Investment Fund. But despite support from the likes of Enter Shikari, promoter Cuffe & Taylor, venues Piece Hall and Swansea Arena, and ticketing companies Ticketmaster, Skiddle and Good Show, Davyd says the business-at-large has been far too slow to react.
“There needs to be a major shake-up of the live industry with the big players supporting the grassroots where it all begins to secure that pipeline of talent”
“Unless it gets serious about its responsibilities to encourage, nurture and develop the grassroots live sector the music industry as a whole will face a catastrophic failure of artist development,” adds Davyd. “In France all major live music events are required to pay 3.5% of each ticket sale into a fund to support grassroots artists and venues.
“We have today written to the government and to opposition parties to insist that, in the event that the music industry will not act voluntarily, a compulsory levy on every ticket sold for every live music event above 5,000 capacity that takes place in the UK must be introduced by legislation to prevent the devastation of the sector.”
Maddicott adds to the calls for broader support, comparing the situation with other industries.
“There needs to be a major shake-up of the live industry with the big players supporting the grassroots where it all begins to secure that pipeline of talent,” he says. “Football gets it with the Premier League investing millions in the grassroots game each year to bring through new players. The music industry needs to do the same before the entire grassroots sector collapses.”
“It is inevitable that there will be more closures if urgent action is not taken”
Elsewhere in the UK, organisers of independent festival Nozstock The Hidden Valley have announced its 2024 edition, set for 18-21 July, will be its last.
“After the losses incurred over Covid, straight into a cost-of-living crisis, the financial risk is becoming too great,” says a statement from the festival, which has been running for 26 years.
Association of Independent Festivals CEO John Rostron says it is “inevitable” that more events will fold without swift intervention.
“It’s incredibly sad to see Nozstock The Hidden Valley forced to close its gates for good as a direct result of the financial strain faced by many following significant Covid losses and an ongoing cost-of-living crisis,” says Rostron. “After almost three decades of great events, Nozstock has become a key fixture on the UK’s independent festival calendar, and this should serve as yet another alarm bell warning of the perilous situation that many in this cultural sector are facing.
“Already, neither NASS Festival and Leopallooza will return in 2024; Bluedot is on a hiatus after a difficult 2023 edition, and the award-winning Field Maneuvers has announced its 2024 festival will be its last in its current form.
“The impact of Covid and high supply chain costs means the squeeze on festivals is increasing. It is inevitable that there will be more closures if urgent action is not taken. We again call on the government to review VAT on music festival ticket sales and lower the rate to 5% for an extended period to help support the recovery of the festival sector.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
LIVE, MVT respond to chancellor’s Autumn Statement
UK live music organisations have welcomed the extension to business rates relief for grassroots venues announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt as part of his Autumn Statement.
Relief was extended from 50% to 75% from 1 April this year, and Hunt confirmed today that the scheme would run for a further 12 months.
Jon Collins, CEO of trade body LIVE, the voice of the UK’s live music and entertainment business, has spoken out in favour of the move, saying it is both “pivotal” for the grassroots circuit and addresses a “core ask” of the recently published LIVE Music Manifesto 2023.
“LIVE welcomes the extension of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief scheme for another year in today’s Autumn Statement,” he says. The UK’s live music industry is an engine of growth, generating £5.2 billion in 2022 and employing over 228,000 people last year, with a gig held every four minutes. However, grassroots venues have been operating on a knife edge so it’s crucial that government continues to support this critical part of our sector with the right reliefs and funding mechanisms.
“The government is committed to supporting growth and innovation across the creative industries. The extension of business rates relief will be pivotal for those grassroots venues that are responsible for so much of the R&D in the live music sector.”
The Music Venue Trust (MVT), which works on behalf of over 900 venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, also backed the development.
“It was essential to keep this relief in place and we are pleased that our presentations to Treasury were listened to and acknowledged by this outcome”
“The potential cancellation of this relief presented the possibility of an additional £15 million in pre-profit taxation falling onto a grassroots sector suffering a severe crisis; over 100 venues have already closed in the last 12 months,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “It was essential to keep this relief in place and we are pleased that our presentations to Treasury were listened to and acknowledged by this outcome.
“We hope that this further extension into 2025 for this relief will provide the necessary window of opportunity for the government to complete the full review of Business Rates on Grassroots Music Venues, which it committed to in January 2019.”
Davyd notes that the Chancellor’s statement also included the announcement of a significant uplift to minimum wage.
“The grassroots sector is notoriously undervalued and underpaid, from the artists performing through all levels of roles and staffing, up to and including the venue operators themselves,” he says. “In 2022, the average grassroots music venue operator paid themselves £20,400 per annum, delivering 66 hours of work per week at a rate of £6.43 per hour. An uplift to fees and wages across the sector is long overdue.
“We look forward to working with the Chancellor, HM Treasury and DCMS to identify the necessary funding which can deliver this statutory increase to minimum wage and extend the scope and scale of it so that everyone in the grassroots sector can be adequately rewarded for their work.”
Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO John Rostron adds: “We support measures announced in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement that will help businesses in the broader grassroots music sector, such as the freeze on business rates.
”But, as far as independent festivals are concerned, what is urgently needed is the lowering of VAT to 5% on ticket sales. We will continue conversations with the government towards that end.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Ticketmaster to launch upsell option for MVT
Ticketmaster is launching a charity upsell option for the UK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) to coincide with its sponsorship of this month’s Venues Day.
The upsell, which will launch on Venues Day (17 October) and run for an entire month, means that anyone purchasing a ticket on Ticketmaster will be given the option to make a donation directly to MVT.
The initiative will run annually, with Ticketmaster pledging to match all donations received.
“This upsell provides a practical method for fans to support grassroots music venues, and we are incredibly grateful to the Ticketmaster team for putting it in place,” MVT CEO Mark Davyd tells IQ. “Ticketmaster matching all fan donations is a powerful message for the whole industry about the support our sector needs and the will of the music community to provide it.”
The move follows Ticketmaster’s booking fee rebate launched in 2021, where venues receive a 50% rebate on all booking fees. The ticketing company has been headline sponsor of Venues Day since 2016.
“Ticketmaster has been a long-term and committed partner of MVT, and their core support has been vital in developing us as the authentic voice of grassroots venues, artists and fans,” says Davyd.
The music charity’s annual Venues Day event will take place at The Fireworks Factory in London next Tuesday 17 October. Hundreds of delegates from across the UK’s grassroots music venue (GMV) sector, representing venues throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have already booked their places at the event.
“We need a radical intervention by everyone: the government, the music industry, artists and fans, to stop these closures”
This year’s theme, ‘Behind the Scenes’, covers workshops, discussions, presentations and networking to offer practical support to the people running venues and connect them with services that can help them.
“This year’s Venues Day is bigger than ever, with more venues attending, more delegates, more partners, and more on offer,” says Davyd. “Our goal is to match the size of the event with the size of ambitions for what is delivered on the day, and what we can bring to the sector.”
Last week saw the UK organisation announce the first acquisition under its Own Our Venues scheme. The Snug (cap. 100) in Atherton, Greater Manchester, became the first GMV to be bought by Music Venue Properties (MVP), the independent Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS) created by the MVT.
Own Our Venues was launched as a crowdfunded project in June 2022 as the first step in a long-term campaign to take control of the freeholds of music venue premises and bring them under a protected status of benevolent ownership.
“We believe that live music fans understand exactly how vital these venues are to the future of our whole music ecosystem and how much financial difficulty they are currently facing,” adds Davyd.
“127 grassroots music venues have closed in the last 12 months – more than one is permanently closing every week. We need a radical intervention by everyone: the government, the music industry, artists and fans, to stop these closures and turn this around.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
MVT’s Own Our Venues scheme makes first purchase
Music Venue Trust (MVT) chief Mark Davyd has hailed a “huge moment for grassroots music venues” after the UK organisation announced the first acquisition under its Own Our Venues scheme.
The Snug (cap. 100) in Atherton, Greater Manchester, has become the first GMV to be bought by Music Venue Properties (MVP), the independent Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS) created by the MVT (unlike a charity, CCBS can raise money via community shares).
MVP has secured the freehold of the building occupied by The Snug and has placed it into permanent protected status. It has also committed to removing The Snug from the pressures of the commercial lease market by offering a rent reduction and a contribution towards building repairs and insurance.
“I can’t say this often enough – there are solutions to this,” Davyd tells IQ. “A total of 127 [grassroots venues] have closed or stopped putting on live music in the last 12 months. This one will never stop putting on live music.”
Own Our Venues was launched as a crowdfunded project in June 2022 as the first step in a long-term campaign to take control of the freeholds of music venue premises and bring them under a protected status of benevolent ownership. The project was made possible by more than 1,200 individual investors including £500,000 investment from both Arts Council England and Arts & Culture Finance.
“This is not complicated stuff,” adds Davyd. “With a pound on a ticket at [an arena show], you can buy one every five shows. The audiences are telling us they want us to do this. The communities around the country are telling us they want to do this. We’ve gone off and done it.”
“We’ve got another two that are already in the final stages of being completed and we’re hoping to announce those in the next quarter”
The venue’s current operators have signed a ‘cultural lease’, which is an innovative agreement specifically created by MVP to guarantee that, as long as The Snug operates as a space for grassroots live music for their local community, they can enjoy the use of the building.
The official launch event and unveiling of a commemorative plaque was held today (4 October) at The Snug, attended by many of those who helped bring the initiative to fruition.
“Lots of people in music industry told me this wouldn’t work. Well, it has worked,” adds Davyd. “So I’m super-proud that our team has made it happen. I’m super-proud of the community in Atherton. I’m super-proud of the music community across the country that’s invested in this. It’s a huge moment for us and it’s a huge move for grassroots music venues. But we’ve got to do a lot more of it.”
In addition to The Snug, MVP has also identified another eight venues – five in England, one in Scotland and two in Wales – for a pilot project that will allow the scheme to establish proof of concept.
“We’ve got another two that are already in the final stages of being completed and we’re hoping to announce those in the next quarter, and then we’ve got six more that we’re looking at in this round,” says Davyd. “But I want to make it clear that the fund is reopened. Right now, the people who’ve already invested can put more money in and if you haven’t invested yet, we’ve bought a music venue. – come with us and you can own them with us.”
PHOTO (L-R): Claire Mera-Nelson, John Whittingdale MP, Jennifer King, Mark Davyd Rachael Flaszczak, Jamie Lawson
MVT survey reveals 4k grassroots job losses in UK
UK grassroots venues are closing at a rate of more than one a week, resulting in 4,000 job losses across the sector over the past year, according to the Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) latest annual survey.
The charity reports that 78 premises have permanently closed over the last 12 months, with dozens more premises also no longer operating as a grassroots music venue.
Further knock-on effects from the 15.7% decline in live music spaces have included the loss of 14,250 events, 193,230 performance opportunities, £9 million (€10.35m) of musician income and £59m of economic activity.
In response to the alarming findings, the MVT, which represents almost 900 UK grassroots music venues (GMVs), is calling on the UK government to extend business rate relief for its members.
“The current business rates system is anachronistic, inconsistent, and outdated and fails to meet the principles of good tax design,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “The UK government is currently conducting a consultation on wider reforms but the solutions they have so far proposed are in no way radical enough to redress fundamental inequalities that will lead to many more venue closures.”
“The government could throw a vital lifeline to GMVs already holding onto survival by their fingertips”
Sunak created a 50% rate relief specific to GMVs in January 2020 following lobbying from the MVT and others. It was subsequently zero rated for the entire retail, hospitality, and leisure sector as a result of the pandemic, with further concessions extended across these sectors in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
While the sector currently enjoys a 75% business rate relief as a result, it was recently announced that this is to end in April 2024, which the MVT calculates would impose an additional £15m of costs on the circuit.
“We are already losing GMVs at a catastrophic rate, which has had a knock-on effect of 4,000 jobs losses, the removal of 14,250 live music events and 193,230 performance opportunities for musicians, £9m of musician income and £59m of economic activity,” adds Davyd. “By extending business rates relief past next April the government could throw a vital lifeline to GMVs already holding onto survival by their fingertips.”
The main causes put forward for the permanent closures include the economic and logistical impacts of the pandemic; debt and bankruptcy resulting from energy prices, business rates, supply costs, or rent; financially unviable trading conditions; noise abatement orders and unachievable licence renewal terms.
Music Venue Trust seals Coca-Cola link-up
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced a new partnership with Coca-Cola which will see the drinks brand support the UK grassroots community through a series of activities.
The link-up will commence with a series of gigs organised by the charity, which represents more than 900 UK venues and has secured a 13-show headline run by indie-pop singer-songwriter Casey Lowry.
The tour will kick off at Moles in Bath on 27 September and conclude on 23 October at Camden’s KOKO.
“This is the start of an incredibly important partnership with Coca-Cola which we hope will bring support to grassroots music venues right across the country,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “Every local community deserves access to an excellent live music experience right on their doorstep. This project demonstrates how MVT can work with great partners to make that happen and keep music live right across the UK.”
“We recognise that the festival artists of tomorrow need to play in the grassroot venues of today”
Fans have a chance to win tickets by buying a 500ml Coke Zero or Coke Zero Cherry at any Co-op store and scanning the QR code on the in-store display by 22 August.
“Coca-Cola has a wealth of historical involvement in music and this summer has seen us give music fans a number of epic experiences at festivals across Europe,” says Paul Hiskens, associate director, partnerships & sponsorships at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB. “But we recognise that the festival artists of tomorrow need to play in the grassroot venues of today and by partnering with Music Venue Trust we will help support the venues in a number of ways moving forward.
“In our first activity we have funded a series of gigs to allow venues to raise funds, alongside giving fans of Coke Zero an unforgettable night out – and hope that they continue to support these venues ongoing, as we will.”
ASM Global pledges support to UK grassroots venues
ASM Global has pledged its support grassroots venues in the UK via Music Venue Trust (MVT) and an extensive set of new initiatives.
The venue management giant will step up its backing via donations, training and marketing support, with programmes that will roll out on a local level across ASM’s portfolio of UK venues.
OVO Arena Wembley has announced it will match Enter Shikari’s £1 per ticket sold donation to the MVT for their February 2024 show, while ASM will also make equipment and furniture in need of a new home available to grassroots music venues that need it. There will also be opportunities for additional fundraising activity.
“At ASM Global, we are very aware and concerned about the unprecedented cost pressures facing grassroots music venues, and in turn, the knock-on pressures placed on the pipeline of talent for the rest of the live music industry,” says recently announced MVT patron Tom Lynch, ASM’s commercial director and SVP Europe.
“This is an incredibly important first step towards ensuring that when an artist emerges from the grassroots sector, everyone shares in the success they generate once they reach the very top”
“Grassroots music venues are the lifeblood of our cultural fabric and where much of society truly falls in love with music for the first time. As a team, we have always admired the passion and hard work of Music Venue Trust, in providing a voice to grassroots music venues and creating a framework for vital support to keep the music playing.”
ASM will offer access to training either online or in its venues, as well as shadowing opportunities in key areas of operations to support the running of grassroots moving forward. ASM will be able to share guidance and insights received through its pledge to Greener Arena certification across its UK portfolio.
Elsewhere, marketing support will include inclusion in newsletters and linking to venue websites with event and ticketing information. The team will also offer social media support on a local level, as well as signage in venues, highlighting each city’s grassroots music venues, as well as more targeted support for specific venue shows.
“We want to thank ASM Global for being the first arena operators to respond to our call for support from the live music industry to deal with the crisis engulfing grassroots music venues,” adds MVT chief Mark Davyd. “This is an incredibly important first step towards ensuring that when an artist emerges from the grassroots sector, everyone shares in the success they generate once they reach the very top of the industry. We look forward to developing this important relationship.”
MVT welcomes £5m investment in grassroots scene
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has welcomed a new £5 million investment in grassroots music venues from the UK government.
Announced by culture secretary Lucy Frazer, the additional funding will be made available over two years through the Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund administered by Arts Council England.
“There is a well-documented and evidenced crisis at grassroots level,” says Rebecca Walker, the MVT’s live projects coordinator. “We have new and emerging artists who want to tour, venues who are desperate to host them, audiences that
want to see them, but the financial obstacles have simply become too great.
“With this additional £5 million we are going to be able to work with the sector to get artists back out across the country, producing thousands of shows that simply wouldn’t be able to take place without this funding.”
“This additional £5 million is a fantastic response from the government, recognising that we have a crisis at grassroots level”
The MVT recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with Enter Shikari, which will see £1 from every ticket sold for their arena tour in 2023 go into the organisation’s Pipeline Investment Fund, and MVT CEO Mark Davyd stresses it is continuing to press arenas and stadiums to play their part in addressing the need for financial support for the sector.
“This additional £5 million is a fantastic response from the government, recognising that we have a crisis at grassroots level which threatens the talent pipeline and the future prosperity of the entire live music industry,” says Davyd. “It’s now time for that industry to step up, take responsibility, and match this government action with its own positive response.
“At the top level, we are enjoying the greatest ever summer of live music in the UK. We need to ensure that grassroots music venues share in that financial success, and that can be achieved simply and effectively through a contribution from every ticket sold at every arena and stadium event.”
The number of shows taking place at grassroots level fell by 16.9% in 2022, representing a significant threat to the talent pipeline, compounded by rising costs including energy bills, rent and staffing, and the lack of funding to meet the increasing financial demands of touring.
“The UK’s live music sector is the envy of our friends across the globe”
The government’s Creative Industries Sector Vision, launched today, aims to grow the creative industries by an extra £50 billion while creating one million extra jobs by 2030. It describes the grassroots sector as “the lifeblood of our world-leading music sector and cornerstones of communities”.
Funding for the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) has also been expanded by a further £3.2 million over the next two years. The initiative, which is joint-funded by industry and government, is managed by the BPI and aims to boost UK music exports by making grants available to small-and medium-sized independent music companies to support artists’ careers in overseas markets.
Since its launch in 2014, MEGS has helped more than 300 UK artists, including Beabadoobee, Bicep, Dave, Rina Sawayama, Wolf Alice, Young Fathers, and many more across a broad range of backgrounds and genres. It has generated a return on investment of more than £13 for every £1 invested.
“The UK’s live music sector is the envy of our friends across the globe,” says Jon Collins, CEO of trade body LIVE. “However, in the face of increased energy costs, supply chain challenges, and difficulties faced by touring artists, performers and their crew, the true potential of the sector is currently being limited. The extra funding announced today to support music exports and grassroots music venues is welcome and will go some way towards helping the live music sector to bounce back to full strength.”
Enter Shikari announce arena tour in support of MVT
Enter Shikari have announced a 2024 UK arena tour, with a portion of ticket sales going towards Music Venue Trust (MVT).
The Hertfordshire-hailing band will embark on the seven-date outing early next year, in support of their new album A Kiss for the Whole World.
For every ticket sold, the band will donate £1 to grassroots music venues via the charity’s Pipeline Investment Fund.
“Music Venue Trust believes that it is the responsibility of the whole music ecosystem – artists, agents, managers, promoters, arenas and stadiums – to ensure that new and developing artists have a place to play in their local community,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd.
“MVT believes that it is the responsibility of the whole music ecosystem to ensure that new and developing artists have a place to play in their local community”
“Every musician needs a place where they can play the first song they wrote themselves in front of their first audience on their first stage. The way to make sure the UK continues to be a major force for music around the world is to ensure that every time anyone invests in a ticket to a major event, a small part of the money they are spending is making its way back to the grassroots music venues where every artist begins their career. It comes as no surprise to us that Enter Shikari have become the first major arena headlining artist to strike out and make this happen; throughout the life of the charity, Rou, Chris, Rob, and Rory have been right at the forefront of the campaign to protect, secure and improve the UK’s grassroots music venues.”
Enter Shikari lead singer and producer Rou Reynolds, who is also a patron of Music Venue Trust comments: “Grassroots music venues in the UK are under existential threat. Every time we lose another one we lose a vital part of our culture. Bigger venues that benefit from the productive pipeline that grassroots venues provide need to support these smaller venues, as do the artists that have come up through them. Enter Shikari stands with Music Venue Trust in their efforts to bring more solidity and community to our brilliant UK live music scene”.
Davyd adds: “Every ticket you buy to see Shikari’s arena tour will contribute to keeping local community music venues alive and thriving. This is our challenge to the rest of the music ecosystem: Don’t sit around waiting for other people to do it. Enter Shikari have taken a lead, everyone in the music ecosystem can follow. If they can make it work, so can you, join us; be part of creating a positive future for the UK’s live music industry.”
Enter Shikari’s 2024 UK arena tour dates are as follows:
Fri 09 Feb – First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK
Sat 10 Feb – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, UK
Mon 12 Feb – O2 Academy, Edinburgh, UK
Wed 14 Feb – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, UK
Thu 15 Feb – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, UK
Fri 16 Feb – International Arena, Cardiff, UK
Sat 17 Feb – OVO Arena Wembley, London, UK
MVT says venue closures ‘inevitable’ after budget
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) warns that 2023 will be the worst year for venue closures since the organisation was created after the government declined to intervene on energy costs for the sector.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced further support for theatres, museums, art galleries and orchestras in today’s Spring Budget, but the measures did not extend to grassroots music venues (GMVs).
“Already in 2023 one GMV is closing every week,” says MVT chief Mark Davyd. “The budget was an opportunity to ensure that this number of closures did not explode from the 1 April when GMV’s will be hit by excessive and unaffordable energy bills. The Chancellor has failed to respond to the evidence we submitted. There is no additional support for music venues and the inevitable result will be mass closures of venues.”
The MVT had recently presented details to DCMS and HM Treasury of the impact that failing to extend the enhanced business energy relief scheme from 1 April would have on the industry. It previously reported that some venues were seeing their energy bills increase by an average of 300% –in some cases as much as 740% – adding tens of thousands of pounds to their running costs.
“Regrettably, the failure to act on energy bills must inevitably mean that 2023 will be the worst year for closures since the creation of MVT in 2014”
“Regrettably, the failure to act on energy bills must inevitably mean that 2023 will be the worst year for closures since the creation of MVT in 2014,” adds Davyd. “In the absence of any action to this challenge by the government we will once again be reaching out to the energy supply companies to try to avert closures.
“It is plainly in no one’s interest to allow buildings that house GMVs to become abandoned as the cost of energy needed to open those spaces to the public and performers cannot be met by any venue operator.”
Davyd adds that the organisation remains keen to work with the government “to unlock the opportunity that the GMV sector presents”.
“We hope that in the near future a budget statement will be made that recognises and acknowledges the economic, cultural and community opportunity these venues present,” he says.
Elsewhere, the Musicians’ Union (MU) welcomed the announcement in the Budget that the rates of theatre and orchestra tax relief will be maintained at their current levels for a further two years from April.
The MU had lobbied for the higher rates of 45% and 50% respectively to be extended to help the sector to recover from the dual impacts of Covid-19 and the cost of living crisis.
“We are grateful that the government has listened to the MU and others in the creative sectors and extended the higher rate of tax relief for theatres and orchestras for another two years,” says MU general secretary Naomi Pohl.