The grants have been administered as part of the UK government’s £1.57 billion package for arts, culture and heritage industries, with the Arts Council England taking the lead on determining grassroots venues in need of support to survive the pandemic. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden stated smaller venues are the first recipients of support from the larger fund. As part of a program called the Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund, £3.36 million has been distributed to nightspots across Britain (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are supporting venues to the tune of £188 million via their own programs).
The initial list of venues receiving cash infusions from the government includes Corsica Studios, EartH, FOLD, Phonox, the CLF Art Cafe (the Peckham complex housing the Bussey Building and Rye Wax) and XOYO in London. Other recipients include the Soup Kitchen, The Deaf Institute and Gorilla in Manchester. The 135 sites will receive between £1,000 and £80,000 based on their applications. The full list of venues is available on the Arts Council website.
“This is vital funding for the cultural sector that is being hit the hardest by Covid,” Gilles Peterson said on the announcement. “So many people in the music world are reliant on the live music sector, and without this government help irrevocable long-term harm threatened the world leading UK music industry and those who rely on it for a living.”
As of August 14th, socially distanced shows are permitted in venues across England, however, the economics of mostly-empty clubs means few venues feel prepared to reopen, reported The Guardian. Beginning August 28th, illegal rave organisers could face fines of up to £10,000.
The news on the disbursements, which will have a positive effect on many small clubs across England, follows the #LetUsDance campaign, which aimed to ensure clubs and festivals were eligible for the larger Culture Recovery Fund.
Read the full statement on the program on GOV.UK.