According to the Music Venue Trust, Britain's plan to mitigate rising energy costs will lead to the shuttering of music venues.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a scheme earlier this week that will replace the current financial support offered to British businesses to help with energy bills, which ends in March. Rather than capping the unit cost of gas and electricity, it will provide energy users with a discount on wholesale energy prices until the end of March 2024.

The “bizarre” arrangement, according to a statement from Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd, is so vastly insufficient that it will result in permanent closure of venues. It’s also at odds with support offered to libraries and museums.

“We don't mean that the current venue operator will not be able to survive,” he explained. “We mean that whole buildings currently used for live music will become economically impossible to stage live music in, purely on the basis of the cost of the energy required.”

Davyd said venues are facing energy bills that have increased by an average of 278%. In addition, “demands are being made for excessive deposits, suppliers don't actually want to supply and frankly, there is no market,” he said. “There is simply an expensive monopoly with extraordinary prices and conditions.”

Hunt has sent a letter to energy regulator Ofgem asking it to do something about the challenges faced by venues—a move, Davyd said, that’s suggests Hunt is aware of the situation but not prepared to take.

“Mr. Hunt has told Ofgem he would like to see the results of the investigation he has asked for in time for the budget,” Davyd said. “We would strongly urge them to complete that work with sufficient expediency that the chancellor can revisit the support in that budget and recognzse that grassroots music venues should have been included within the exceptional support he has offered to libraries and museums.”