The Scottish music industry received an overdue but welcome reprieve as it was announced that Scottish Grassroots Music Venues will receive £2.2 million from the Scottish Government to stabilise venues and prevent permanent closure. The fund will support Grassroots Music Venues until October and is intended to intended to cover fixed costs which include rent, non-furloughed staff, servicing debts, and utilities.
Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of Grassroots Music Venues across the UK and 74 member venues in Scotland, has been working with Scottish Government since venues were forced to close due to lockdown in March.
Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of the Music Venue Trust said ‘Music Venue Trust is delighted to have agreed this funding with Scottish Government, and we thank them very much for their commitment to grassroots music venues. This funding will stabilise venues in the short term and prevent permanent closures, and we can begin to plan towards reopening every venue safely.‘
Nick Stewart, of Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh says ‘This provides a lifeline for venues like Sneaky Pete’s whose future hangs in the balance. With no income in the pipeline and no reliable timeline for opening, venues’ staff have been distraught, especially as other enterprise or arts funding schemes were inaccessible to them. This will provide well-earned relief for these venues, and not before time. At Sneaky Pete’s we can begin to plan our recovery now, so that we can bring back music to our community who have really rallied behind us in an incredible way. We’re over the moon that we’ve been assured we can survive to eventually get back to making more paid performance opportunities for musicians. I think this time has really seen audiences realise how much they value their local music venues. We get supportive messages every day from music fans aching to see us reopen. They say you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, but thanks to this great news we are still here!”