Sadiq Khan pledges £450,000 to help London grassroot music venues hit by COVID-19

"We will continue to do all we can to help"

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged a £450,000 emergency fund to help London grassroots venues “devastated” by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Khan has said the cash injection will help up to 141 venues across the capital.

He wrote on Twitter: “London’s world-leading music venues have been devastated by the impact of COVID-19. That’s why I’m giving £450,000 to support 141 grassroots venues across our city, tailored to their unique needs, such as rent disputes, local council discussions, or direct financial aid.”

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In a press release on his website, Khan added: “I am pleased that we have been able to support music venues with essential advice and support to stay in business, and provide funding for those most in need to cover rent and other ongoing expenses at this challenging time. We will continue to do all we can to help, including pushing government to protect jobs and provide the clear guidance that is required so they can plan for their future in our capital.”

The Mayor of London is also providing help and advice to venues and creatives through the Culture at Risk Office and the London Growth Hub and lobbying the government with the Night Czar Amy Lamé to get venues the support they need.

This includes calling on the government to extend the furlough scheme for the cultural sector.

Crowd at a gig – Credit: Alamy

It comes as numerous cultural businesses, such as music venues, continue to struggle and face closure as a result of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

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Legendary London rock bar The Crobar was one of the latest victims over the weekend after it was announced that the venue was closing its doors.

The bar opened in Soho in 2001 and was loved by bands and music fans alike, with Dave Grohl a frequent visitor who hired out the space to host a Foo Fighters’ Wembley Stadium after-party there in 2008.

In July, the UK government announced a £2.25million fund to help grassroots venues through the coronavirus pandemic. The first 135 recipients were announced in August when the fund was also increased to £3.36million.

Meanwhile, a series of intimate gigs at Corsica Studios in London’s Elephant and Castle were recently announced to help raise money for the UK’s grassroots music venues.

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