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Scottish Government supports grassroots music venues with £2.2m fund

grassroots music venue
King Tut's Wah Wah Hut is a grassroots music venue in Glasgow

Crucial support for grassroots music venues has been made available through a £2.2 million government fund.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund on 10 July, with applications opening next Wednesday.

The fund will be delivered through Creative Scotland, with the purpose of saving grassroots live music venues from permanent closure.

Venues across Scotland have struggled financially during the nationwide lockdown, having been forced to close their doors to comply with health guidelines.

The government said work is currently ongoing to ensure venues can re-open in a “safe and sustainable” way.

Until that can happen, the fund will provide stability for many spaces which have been worried about the future.

Ms Hyslop described grassroots venues as “the heartbeat” of Scotland’s music scene.

Eligible venues for the fund should be permanent, indoor spaces in Scotland in the grassroots sector (i.e. those working with new, developing, musical talent), which have a public audience.

They should have a capacity of under 600. Applications from venues with capacities of up to 1,000 will be considered if a significant grassroots focus can be demonstrated.

Venues are able to apply for grants of between £5,000 and £50,000.

Online application forms will be available on the Creative Scotland website at 12 noon on Wednesday 26 August 2020.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Grassroots venues are the heartbeat of Scotland’s music scene, and they have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. We are all extremely keen to see grassroots venues reopen again but further work is needed to ensure this can be done in a safe and sustainable manner.

“This £2.2m funding will provide some much needed stability for grassroots venues over the coming months and I am determined to continue working with the sector on what further help we can provide. It’s a long road to recovery but hopefully this marks the beginning of a brighter future after the very recent dark times.”

Iain Munro, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland said: “In these extremely challenging times, this fund will provide much needed emergency support to Scotland’s grassroots music venues which are an important part of Scotland’s music ecology, developing music and audiences as well as supporting the talent for which Scotland is so renowned.

“As we look to move forward through the Covid-19 crisis, grassroots venues will, when it is safe to do so, play a crucial role in bringing people of all backgrounds together to experience the joy of live music.”

Applications must be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday 3 September 2020.