The U.K.’s Music Venue Trust has said 2023 will be the worst year for venue closures since 2014, thanks to energy-bill hikes and lack of government support.

In 3/15’s announcement of the Spring Budget—a number of measures that aim to achieve economic growth in the U.K.—there was no additional support for music venues. This despite MVT campaigning for an extension of the enhanced business energy relief scheme, which ended at the beginning of April. As a result, an MVT statement warns of a “mass closure of venues” that is already underway at the rate of one per week.

“As per the last five years of budgets,” an MVT statement reads, “significant opportunities to support the grassroots music venue sector have been overlooked. Regrettably, the failure to act on energy bills must inevitably mean that 2023 will be the worst year for closures since the creation of MVT in 2014.”

In the absence of action by the government, MVT will be reaching out to energy companies to try to avert closures. It concluded: “It is plainly in no one's interest to allow buildings that house GMVs [grassroots music venues] to become abandoned as the cost of energy needed to open those spaces to the public and performers cannot be met by any venue operator.”

Pictured: Sunbird Records, Darwen, Lancashire