Music groups react to Culture Recovery Fund announcement

Music groups react to Culture Recovery Fund announcement

Music industry bodies have responded to the release of the first round of funding from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

More than 1,300 arts and cultural groups have received a share of £257 million by Arts Council England, which is distributing funding on behalf of DCMS. 

Organisations that applied for grants under £1 million were informed on Monday (October 12), with further funding due to be announced in the coming days and weeks. Successful applicants included Ministry Of Sound (£975,468), Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (£220,429), DHP Family (£908,004), Liverpool's Cavern Club (£525,000), London's Bush Hall (£679,603), 229 The Venue (£471,680), Hackney Empire (£585,064), Village Underground (£398,000) Islington Assembly Hall (£235,564), Clapham Grand (£300,000), The 100 Club (£491,486) and Camden's Electric Ballroom (£206,974), Manchester's Gorilla (£255,500) and Deaf Institute (£148,000), promoters Crosstown Concerts (£212,950) and Eat Your Own Ears (£99,066) and Sound City (£75,000).

This funding is fantastic news and will be a lifeline for so many music venues

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, UK Music

The Music Venue Trust (MVT) hailed the announcement as a "huge step forward" in its efforts to reopen every venue safely, while new UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “This funding is fantastic news and will be a lifeline for so many music venues that have been struggling to survive since they first felt the impact of Covid-19 in March.

“It is a huge vote of confidence in the £5.2 billion UK music industry, and recognises that our industry will be a key part of the post-pandemic recovery. The music industry has worked hard to help itself and all those who depend on it to make a living, and shown incredible ingenuity in its fight to get back on its feet. 

“This crucial government investment in our cultural infrastructure will reap major dividends in the years ahead as we emerge from the pandemic. While the music industry will still need support to help it recover, particularly for the 72% of our sector who are self-employed, today is a hugely welcome first step.

“Culture secretary Oliver Dowden and the government should be congratulated for these vital steps to preserve our world-leading music industry. This funding will help pave the way for music to become one of the great British success stories of the next decade.”

Greg Parmley, chair, UK Live Music Group, said: “Today’s announcement throws a substantial lifeline to many organisations across the commercial live music sector, which has never needed Government support before. This huge cash injection is so welcome at this time and DCMS, Arts Council England and the Treasury should be applauded for it. We look forward to continuing to work closely with colleagues at DCMS in the coming weeks and months to ensure the UK live music sector is able to regain its place at the forefront of the world.” 

Record labels association the BPI has also welcomed the support for the live business.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: "We applaud this investment by government into the future of music and arts. We are delighted to see a wide range of different organisations, from famous venues to orchestras, local pubs and nightclubs, receive funding. This will not only help sustain our cultural life, it will make it easier for music to bounce back as a major driver of economic growth.”

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: "It’s fantastic to see the first tranche of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund announced. While there is still a long way to go, this is a great start and we are grateful to see £257 million distributed to such a broad range of applicants, who are being supported across so many art forms and music genres, and in so many different parts of the country.

We will continue to engage with our colleagues at DCMS and the Arts Council to help wherever we can to optimise each round of funding as it becomes available, making sure it is invested broadly but also strategically so that our sector can bounce back as rapidly and holistically as possible.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said; “The announcement of recipients of the Cultural Recovery Fund by the Arts Council, has been long awaited with many relying heavily on the outcome of this funding allocation for several weeks.

“We have seen some success for businesses in live music, events, supply chain and some venues, but with very limited numbers of dance music clubs and events receiving funding and we hope the ones that have not been successful will be considered for further funding opportunities in the future.

“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, which will result in further redundancies in the coming weeks. We need the Government to step up and support our sector."

Incorporated Society of Musicians’ (ISM) CEO Deborah Annetts, said: "While we welcome funding from the government for the arts, today’s announcements are insufficient to stimulate a ‘cultural bounceback’. Arts venues and performers need support that makes it financially viable to reopen within social distancing safety requirements. That is why the ISM is campaigning with the Musicians Movement to #MakeMusicWork and calling for the creation of a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme.

"Containing both a cultural exemption on VAT for tickets and a guaranteed fee for each performer, this proposal puts freelancers at the heart of a sustainable funding model for venues. With musicians' livelihoods on the line, we are calling on the UK government to truly provide a ‘vital boost for the…culture sector’s recovery’ by implementing funding that doesn’t just help the arts survive, but enables them to thrive once again.

"Until the music sector can fully go back to work, freelancers need a bridging scheme. Therefore, the government should deliver on its pledge to ensure parity between employees and the self-employed by maintaining the existing level of support provided by the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and expanding the eligibility criteria. The UK music industry relies on world-leading talent to make a huge contribution to our economy and global influence, so it is vital that measures are put in place to help freelancers until they can fully return to work."

Nathan Clark, owner of The Brudenell in Leeds, which was awarded £220,429, said: "We are delighted at the news and the huge immediate impact it will have. The support the Culture Recovery Fund will give, directly provides long term survival, security and resilience for the Brudenell. We recognise the opportunity and responsibility the package gives, which allows us to look to the future, continuing to create artistic opportunities, work for our community and to further expand our offering."

Jon Keats, director of Liverpool's legendary Cavern Club, which received a grant of £525,000, said: "We are delighted to have received positive news at a time of great uncertainty for our industry as a whole. This funding will help protect ninety jobs and to potentially recoup around 20% of our total losses over the period March 2020-21. Importantly, 50% of our funding will go directly to the self-employed musicians and technicians who have not been able to earn since March. We will bring substantial live music back into our venue as soon as we are allowed to and we are already looking to stream our musicians performances in the meantime."

Becky Ayres of Sound City, which received £75,000, said: “We are very grateful for the vital support we will receive from Arts Council England, DCMS and HM Treasury. It will help us to continue to support thousands of artists and industry professionals now and into the future. This is a lifeline for us and many others in the industry. We are acutely aware that there are many who did not receive funding today. We remain committed to supporting the music industry as much as we can through these tough times and beyond.”

Ally Wolf, manager of The Grand in Clapham, which has been awarded £300,000, said: “We would like to thank The Arts Council for their continued support, without which we would have most likely had to close by now. We would also like to thank the Music Venue Trust, and The Night Time Industries Association for their incredible and invaluable advice and support throughout this Covid-19 era.

“More them anything we’d like to thank our audiences who have shown us huge support since we had to close during lockdown -with their donations to our Crowdfunder, and their faith in our ability to host safe physically distanced shows by coming back to us now that we are reopening. Also, a huge thanks to our staff and the performers who have worked incredibly hard in this challenging time to make sure we keep this dream of a venue alive! Without people you are nothing and more than ever is this true. 

“We will now concentrate all our efforts on making sure we make The Clapham Grand the best possible venue we can, a home for everyone to come and be entertained, escape reality and leave laughing - having made memories, friendships and experiences to last lifetimes. We are incredibly lucky to have been given this lifeline and are incredibly happy - but more than anything we are hungry to make the business a success."

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