Our Brighton and Hove music venues and clubs have been shut since mid-March due to Covid-19 and many are facing the severe threat of closure. This has created unprecedented turmoil within local businesses who have been catering for live music and nightclubbing within the city.
Clearly this is the case right across the land and last month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden rolled out his plan for a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, including £2.25 million for music venues. This figure has now thankfully been adjusted and increased to £3.36 million due to high demand.
The Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund will be split between 135 grassroots venues, thus giving them a breathing space during these difficult times. Clearly, not every job will be saved as a result of this action, but it is certainly a welcome step in the right direction in order to keep music venues and nightclubs from going under and thus greatly affecting the grassroots scene here in Brighton and across the country.
These grants are intended to cover ongoing running costs including rent and utility bills and the amounts range from £1,000 to £80,000, with the average working out at £25,000 per venue.
Here in Brighton, as you might expect, those sums are right across the ball. Out of the £3,367,039 pot, here’s how much of this has been awarded to our local businesses:
Chalk, Brighton – £80,000
Club Revenge, Brighton – £37,729
Concorde2, Brighton – £14,000
The Green Door Store, Brighton – £20,500
The Latest Music Bar, Brighton – £22,450
The Pipeline, Brighton – £8,500
The whole list can currently be downloaded from the Arts Council web-page HERE.
The Government has stated that indoor performances can now restart with socially distanced audiences, so in theory, some music venues are able to reopen. Although the logistics of doing so are arguably somewhat preventative at this current moment in time. The future remains uncertain for many, however, especially with the furlough scheme coming to an end in November.