89% success rate for England’s music venues applying for emergency lifeline funding

However, 33 venues didn't receive the Cultural Recovery Fund and are still in danger

The Music Venue Trust have announced that a massive 89 per cent of England’s grassroots music venues who applied for the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund were successful, meaning that 251 will be receiving a share of over £41million.

Last Monday, the music industry celebrated over 1,000 venues, festivals and theatres being awarded Cultural Recovery Funding to survive until April and weather the storm of closures and complications brought on by the coronavirus pandemic – before a second round of funding was announced on Saturday, rescuing another wave of arts spaces and organisations.

With the results of the CRF funding for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to be revealed across the coming weeks, the Music Venue Trust have welcomed the impact of such an significant chunk of the £1.57billion bailout fund shared among grassroots venues in England.


The MVT report that 291 grassroots music venues applied to the fund with 251 successful outcomes (89%) and 33 unsuccessful applications (11%), with their venue members’ grants totalling £41,352,593.

“Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this very effective intervention by The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England into the grassroots music venue sector,” said MVT CEO Mark Davyd.

“As a result of this fund, the challenges facing the sector have been substantially reduced. Music Venue Trust will now shift its focus and will be announcing plans very shortly to tackle the remaining challenges facing sole traders, smaller venues that did not qualify for support, and the venues who were unsuccessful or were under-funded.”

Visit here to donate to the #SaveOurVenues campaign, to help the 33 unsuccessful venues still in need of funding to prevent permanent closure.

Save Our Venues
Save Our Venues (Picture: Press / Save Our Venues)

A number of major London dance clubs have also been denied funding, with Printworks, The Egg, Studio 338, Oval Spaces and The Pickle Factory among the most notable names to be denied financial assistance from the £1.57billion grant.


Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said he was “shocked and dismayed” at the scale of the oversight, leaving major dance venues in an “extremely difficult financial position.”

“We have been aware all along that the fund would not be able to support everyone, and will leave many businesses who have missed out on this opportunity awaiting on a perilous cliff edge,” Kill said.

“But given the significance of some of the businesses that have been left out, we are concerned with regard to eligibility and fair consideration around the types of businesses and the criteria they have been measured against.”

With full-capacity gigs currently expected to return safely in April, the cash injection will help to mothball live spaces until COVID restrictions subside. While the Cultural Recovery Fund news is welcomed, many fear that workers and road crew are being “ignored” by the chancellor’s new Job Support Scheme.

Many industry spokespeople representing musicians, crew workers and other freelancers and self-employed continue to call for a tailored sector-specific support package to help them survive until full capacity live music can return – including a ‘Seat Out To Help Out’ scheme.