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Arts Council England Announces £1.5 Million Budget to Support Grassroots Live Music

The Musicians’ Union (MU) welcomes Arts Council England’s (ACE) announcement of a new ring-fenced budget to support projects hosting and promoting live music in grassroots venues.

Vocalist performing on stage. Photograph: Shutterstock

Open from 13 May, the budget will support applications for between £1,000 and £40,000 covering diverse genres including rock, pop, folk and world music.

Supporting Grassroots Live Music will operate as a strand within ACE’s National Lottery Project Grants programme with its own ring-fenced budget.

By setting aside this funding, ACE aims to encourage applications from small music venues and promoters by reducing the high level of competition they face when applying to the main Project Grants stream.

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge responded to the news:

"This is a much needed move and we congratulate ACE in recognising that the crisis in the grass roots music venue scene needs to be addressed.

"The MU wholeheartedly supports the initiative as a first step in rebuilding this essential ingredient in the UK's music talent pipeline."

Grassroots venues essential to the music industry

Darren Henley, CEO, ACE said:

“Grassroots music venues are essential both for our world-renowned music industry and communities across the country, and there needs to be a collective effort from both the public sector and music industry to support them.

"With this fund we’re ensuring that grassroots venues and promoters working in genres such as rock, pop and hip-hop have the support they need to create the best possible environment for artists and audiences.”

Sector wide support

The fund will complement initiatives by other organisations, such as the Music Venue Trust, PRS Foundation, Musicians' Union, and Independent Venue Week that together form part of a sector wide approach to supporting grassroots venues.

By supporting projects that bring a range of contemporary popular music genres to live audiences, the fund will enable the sector to develop talent and reach new audiences across the country.

The portal for applications will be open from 13 May 2019 to 31 March 2020, and can be found alongside further guidance on ACE’s website.


Published: 10/05/2019

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