Arts Council England Denies Music Venue Trust Funding Request

LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — More live music venues in the United Kingdom may be facing closure after Arts Council England rejected a funding proposal from Music Venue Trust, a non-profit that helps to protect grassroots music venues in the nation.

“We are in a critical position with venues,” Beverley Whitrick, the strategic director of the Music Venue Trust told the Guardian in a recent interview. “The next [ACE] funding round is in another four years. We can’t even guess how many venues will close in the next four years. That’s not ACE’s fault, but the fact that we cannot build the level of support we want to offer makes it more likely that more venues will close.”

“We thought we were winning the argument about these clubs being cultural venues, and so this feels like a slap in the face,” Whitrock added.

Music Venue Trust was launched in 2014 in response to what they describe as an increasingly dire environment for live music venues in the UK. According to MVT, more than half of London's live music venues have closed since 2007, pressed by increasing regulation such as noise abatement laws, and increasingly expensive real estate and rent.

In the latest round, the lion's share of ACE's funding (about £367m) went to support the music sector but primarily went to support opera and classical music. The Royal Opera House the single largest recipient of ACE's largesse, receiving £96m according to figures compiled by the Guardian. Other recipients included Southbank Centre, who received £73m and the National Theatre, who were awarded £59m in funding.