The people behind the UK’s small and independent venues are celebrating a major victory following the Government’s decision to reduce their business rates by 50 per cent.
The reduction is the result of a hard-fought campaign by the Music Venue Trust in response to what they call a “prolonged crisis” for independent venues over the last decade, during which 35 per cent of grassroots music venues have closed.
230 venues will benefit from the changes, with the average saving per venue estimated by the Music Venue Trust to be £7,500 each year.
Reacting to the news, Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said: “This is a much needed and long overdue boost for Grassroots Music Venues. Music Venue Trust has been working hard with government on this issue for the last four years and it is a huge breakthrough for us and the members of the Music Venues Alliance.”
A number of small venue owners have rejoiced at the news. “We are overjoyed to hear this much overdue news of support to Music Venues,” said Nathan Clark of the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.
Toni Coe-Brooker of the Green Door Store in Brighton said: “We are relieved and happy to hear this news and to be acknowledged by the government. The rate relief we would receive as a Grassroots Music Venue would make a significant impact on our ability to continue doing what we do, supporting our local community and incubating new talent.”
Meanwhile, 2020’s edition of Independent Venue Week began its seventh edition today (January 27).
A host of artists — including Twin Atlantic and Frank Turner — are set to take part to help celebrate the event, with Anna Calvi appointed as an ambassador for the event back in November.