Liverpool’s Cavern Club and Leeds’ The Brudenell are among the venues which have received a lifeline from the government to survive the financial impact of coronavirus.
The grassroots spaces are among 1,385 theatres, museums and cultural organisations across England which have benefitted from a £257million grant – the largest chunk of the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund to date.
The Cavern, which hosted early gigs from The Beatles, has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians. They will be streamed online to provide employment opportunities for technical staff and artists from across Merseyside.
The Brudenell, widely considered to be one of the UK’s greatest grassroots venues, will also receive £220,429 to host a free weekly event as well as livestreams.
The crucial lifeline against the financial effects of coronavirus comes after cultural organisations initially applied to Arts Council England for support in August.
All of the venues to receive funding today are those that requested grants of under £1m and also include London’s Wigmore Hall and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation.”
“It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.”
The funding for the Cavern comes months after Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson warned that the city could lose the venue forever if it failed to secure funding.
“The prospect of losing a national jewel like The Cavern is a horrible scenario for all concerned, be they Beatles fans, music lovers and above all those whose livelihoods depend on it,” he said in June.
The funding announcement comes after The Music Venue Trust announced a state of red alert and rallied for public support to save hundreds of venues. The MVT declared the situation “critical” last month, with the fate of hundreds of venues still hanging in the balance. Many more today will discover that they have not received emergency funding.
Speaking of the plight of venues who won’t receive bailout money, MVT CEO Mark Davyd told NME: “The Government has put all its eggs in one basket and has no back-up plan to prevent the complete collapse of this entire cultural sector, placing at risk over 200,000 jobs and billions of pounds of economic activity.”
Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of MVT, said: “Music Venue Trust is extremely concerned that the situation has become Schrodinger’s fund; hardly anyone has received any significant support from the Cultural Recovery Fund yet, but everyone is going to be saved by it. This is not a coherent strategy; the government does not even control the distribution of the funding they have made available and on which their entire strategy for the UK live music sector now rests”.
Check back at NME to here more about the venues still in danger.