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Council proposes £100k support for live music venues

Cllr Smalley, outside the Crescent community music venue with staff.

Published Thursday, 19 August 2021

Members of City of York Council’s Executive will be asked to approve plans for a £100,000 package of support for York’s live music venues at a meeting later this month, 26 August.

Under the proposals, £100,000 of York’s final £1.4 million instalment of the Additional Restrictions Grant from the government, would be used to support live music venues in the city.

The proposals reflect the council’s commitment to live music venues in the city, recognising them as an integral part of York’s cultural offer. The council unanimously passed a motion in support of “Protecting Live Music Space” in December 2019, recognising that a thriving, vibrant, diverse and responsibly managed early-evening, evening and night-time offer is a crucial part of the city’s economy.

At its March 2020 meeting, Executive recognised the importance of York’s live music venues as an integral part of the city’s cultural offer and agreed to a range of measures including a commitment to work closely with the York Music Venues Network to assist in supporting and developing this crucial part of the city’s night-time economy.

Although live music venues have received grant funds through the Arts Council, support is now diminishing and venues are facing a very challenging financial period, as they are still only able to open with limited audience numbers and are reliant on the live music industry returning to previous touring patterns and levels over the coming year.

If plans are agreed, the £100k would help venues to meet ongoing costs while there is a shortfall in income, and help them reopen and reengage with audiences.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, City of York Council, said:

York’s live music scene is a crucial and vibrant part of the city’s cultural offer. We recognise the ongoing challenges venues are facing as we ease out of the national restrictions and people get used to a new ‘normal’. We are committed to working with the sector to provide support.

“We have some fantastic grassroots music venues on our doorstep in York. If the scheme is approved, applications will be open to individual venues, extending the support previously provided by the Arts Council through the Cultural Recovery Fund. Our proposals include making some funding available to York Music Venue Network to help attract people back to enjoy live music in the city.”

Chris Sherrington - York Music Venue Network, said:

York Music Venue Network is thankful to City of York Council for their ongoing and exemplary commitment to the sector.

“This proposal recognises the importance and continuing challenges these venues face as the sector reopens. This support will impact along the local ecosystem, benefitting artists, crew, promoters, staff and audiences across the region.

“It will allow venues to safely deliver events to help revive live music in the city bringing amazing talent and programming to these stages for all to enjoy.

Hopefully other authorities will follow the example set by the council and engage with grassroots music venues and music venue trust to help secure a future for these cultural incubators."

Pictured: York businesses join Cllr Smalley to support the promotion of how the council proposals will make some funding available to the York Music Venue Network, to help attract people back to enjoy live music in the city.

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