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MVT OPENS A DOOR TO VENUE OWNERSHIP

Got some spare quid you’d like to spend on a hall or club that presents concerts? The Music Venue Trust has got an opportunity for you.

MVT has an ambitious new plan, Music Venue Properties, a Charitable Community Benefit Society that will purchase the freehold of grassroots music venues.  

Unlike a charity, a CCBS can raise money via community shares. Investors provide funds to allow MVP to buy freeholds, then receive a 3% APR return on their investment.

MVP has identified nine venues for the pilot project that will allow it to establish proof of concept. Six venues are in England, one is in Scotland and two are in Wales. With an initial target of £3.5m to purchase these venues, the first community share offer opened today. The plan is to purchase the venues before the end of 2022.

“This is the most ambitious initiative Music Venue Trust has ever undertaken,” MVT CEO Mark Davyd said. The long-term security and prosperity of grassroots music venues depend almost entirely on one thing—ownership. Too many have been at the mercy of commercial landlords whose motivations revolve primarily around profit. The Music Venue Properties scheme will allow ethical investors and music fans to invest in the future of live music while receiving a healthy return on their money.”

More than 35% of grassroots music venues have closed in the last 20 years, and 93% of them are tenants, with the typical operator having only 18 months left on their tenancy. Since the start of the COVID crisis, the sector has amassed more than £90m of debt, yet 67% of Culture Recovery Fund grant aid was paid directly to landlords.

If the plan works, further venue freeholds will be identified and secured once they become available. MVP will continue to raise funds through community shares and borrowing against the freeholds purchased. All rental income received from the purchase of venues will be reinvested toward the expansion of the portfolio.

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