Arts Council England is renewing its support for the grassroots music sector by extending the National Lottery Project Grants: Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund.
A ring-fenced fund of £1.5 million will be available until September 2023. After this time, it will continue as a Project Grant priority until September 2025.
Yesterday, we published an evaluation of the Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund carried out by the hub, which details the impact of the fund on grassroots venues and promoters so far. We hope to take these learnings into the next phase of the programme to make sure we are responding to the needs of the sector.
We are also proud to confirm that we have awarded a £500,000 grant to Music Venue Properties, to be used towards supporting the administration costs of the organisation and the purchase of a number of freehold grassroots music venues in England.
We recognise grassroots music venues are valued cultural spaces that provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds to experience live music. They support the development of emerging artists and the wider ecology of venue management teams, promoters and others who enable musicians to develop and thrive.
Since the fund's launch in 2019 we have invested £7.23 million in 378 projects ranging from Komedia in Bath who used the fund to improve their PA and lighting equipment, to Forum Music Studios in Darlington who supported 44 local artists to produce and stream professional quality recordings from their venue.
Arts Council England plan to continue to work with partners across the music industry to champion grassroots live music and provide advice and support.
Our Director of Music, Claire Mera-Nelson said: “I can map my own journey of musical exploration through venues across the country and want to see as many people as possible access the same kind of breath-taking introduction to new music. Grassroots music venues are important community assets that do vital work both within the industry - such as supporting talent development - as well as outside of it, like helping audiences discover their new favourite artists.
“I am excited about the opportunities today's announcements present and strongly urge the grassroots live music sector to continue to develop strong funding applications and to work collaboratively with us over the coming years.”