London’s Lexington “still in serious peril” after receiving only 40% of the funding they applied for

The venue say they are now "working out a way to meet this funding shortfall and secure our long-term future"

London venue The Lexington say they are “still in serious peril” following yesterday’s Cultural Recovery Fund announcement (October 12) after they were only awarded 40% of the funding they applied for.

Over 1300 music venues, theatres, museums and cultural organisations in England will receive funding from the £257 million grant, which is part of the UK government’s £1.57 billion bailout fund to help the country’s various cultural industries during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lexington were among the beneficiaries of the Cultural Recovery Fund, which is being administered by Arts Council England, and the venue say that those “funds will go some way in mitigating the financial damage and debt accumulated over the last seven months of closure”.

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However, the Lexington revealed in a Facebook post today (October 13) that they are among the small number of grassroots music venues “who received a lesser amount than needed to ensure recovery and survival”.

Confirming that they were only awarded under 40% of the amount of funding they applied for, the Lexington thanked “the vital work and direct help” of the Music Venue Trust in helping them secure any funding at all.

Like many grassroots music venues this week we’re happy to announce that we secured funding from Arts Council England's…

Posted by The Lexington on Tuesday, October 13, 2020

“While the funding received is welcome and we’re delighted to see friends and colleagues across the industry receive a vital lifeline, from our perspective the recovery of the venue and the long term survival of our staff and freelancers is still in serious peril,” the Lexington added in their post.

“It is only with our dedicated team that we can continue to provide opportunities to thousands of artists at the earliest stages of their careers and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the venue and the people who make it what it is can survive this crisis.

“We’ll be spending the coming weeks working with Music Venue Trust to work out a way to meet this funding shortfall and secure our long-term future. Watch this space.”

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Speaking to NME yesterday, Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said that there are now fewer than 20 UK grassroots music venues that are considered to be in “critical red alert status”.

“Two weeks ago we were on ‘Red Alert’ — now we can honestly downgrade that because it’s only critical for a very small number of venues now,” Davyd told NME. “We’re going to take a little bit of time to understand what they need to get them through to April.

“The number of venues that we need to do that for is tiny — it’s less than 20 that are in urgent danger. It sounds like a lot, but it’s far more manageable to the 400-500 that we were faced with back in March.”

Davyd added: “In March we decided that we’d save every grassroots venue until they could open safely. In October, we’re now confident that with the support of the public and the whole sector pulling together, we may achieve that.”

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