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GRASSROOTS VENUES GET A CASH LIFELINE  

Grassroots music venues have been given the first tranche of funding—£2.25m ($2.89m)— from the U.K. Government's £1.57b cultural recovery package. It will be used to save about 150 venues from insolvency. 

The support for venues will be administered by Arts Council England and will target those at severe risk of insolvency. Grants of up to £80,000 will be provided to help them survive the next few months and will be used to cover essential ongoing costs including rent, utilities and maintenance.

 "Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this essential funding for desperate grassroots music venues facing urgent, short term challenges,” Beverley Whitrick of the Music Venue Trust said. “Without this help, the sector would be facing a wave of permanent closures. Throughout this crisis we have worked closely with DCMS and are delighted that the urgent need for this intervention has been recognized and responded to."

The £1.57bn package, which is the largest ever government investment in U.K. culture, was announced earlier this month. It will be used to help support the performing arts and theatres, museums, heritage, galleries, independent cinemas and live music venues through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Without our grassroots music venues, we wouldn't have The BeatlesAdele or Elton John. Nearly all of our globally successful music stars started out at U.K. clubs and live music venues—and we must make sure those organizations weather the Covid storm."

It is expected that funding will be received by organizations within the next few weeks. Subject to successful trials at a number of test venues, indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will be able to take place in the U.K. beginning 8/1.

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