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Music Venue Trust’s Work Recognised by DCMS Live Music Inquiry Report

A cross party government report released today recognises five years of work by Music Venue Trust with a clear statement that echoes the core of the charity’s message: Grassroots Music Venues matter. They matter to us, to the artists, to the audiences and to the people that love them. They are core to our communities, to the life of our towns and cities, and to the future prosperity of our £4.5 billion music industry. The report puts forward 6 recommendations which will support MVT in its work to protect, secure and improve these vital venues going forward.

"Urgent action is needed if the live music industry is to continue to make a significant contribution to both the economy and cultural life of the country. We also look to the music industry to make sure that enough of the big money generated at the top finds its way down to grassroots level to support emerging talent. It happens with sport, why not music?” - Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee

Between 2007 and 2015, the UK lost 35% of its grassroots music venues. As the report makes clear, there was a complete failure by government, cultural sector and music industry to identify that crisis and to act to stop it. This situation changes today with the publication of the report.

Included in the recommendations are:
1. Recognition of the importance of grassroots music venues to the music industry and culture of the UK, and the fact that the Government has not responded promptly enough to the crisis.
2. Business rates need to be tackled immediately
3. Agent of Change being included in Planning Policy is a step forward but more needing to be done to protect venues from development threats
4. The impact of the Live Music Act 2012 should be reviewed, and the Government should extend creative industries tax relief to other areas of music than orchestras
5. Arts Council England must redress the imbalance in funding for grassroots venues and contemporary music
6. A taskforce should be established to explore how the industry may be supported and incentivised to invest more effectively in supporting grassroots talent, with MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund initiative cited as a way forward.

Mark Davyd, founder and CEO of Music Venue Trust said, “Five years ago, we launched Music Venue Trust in response to the challenges facing our venues. We did that because we strongly believed that grassroots music venues were not properly being understood by those key stakeholders, and we believed that the collective loss of hundreds of these venues had long term social, cultural and economic impacts that were much more serious and important than the loss of any one single venue, no matter how important or loved that venue was. With the help and support of an expanding army of supporters, we've grown this cause into an effective and meaningful campaign that has made a real change in the way venues are perceived, treated and valued.

Strategic Director Beverley Whitrick said:
The DCMS Report recommendations provide a clear path for key stakeholders, the government, the cultural sector, the music industry, to act together with Music Venue Trust to deliver a comprehensive and sustainable solution to this crisis. We will be reaching out, once again, to our colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UK Music, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland to begin the process of working with them to deliver these recommendations. Thank you to everyone who supported and helped us to get to this point.”

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