Pop Brixton gets £24K grant from music venues rescue fund

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Pop Brixton and the Windmill, Brixton, are among the first 135 venues to receive emergency funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

All applied for support from the Grassroots Music Venues section of the fund to save themselves from insolvency as a result of the pandemic.

The government said the fund has £3.36m “to help as many venues as quickly as possible”.

The Culture Recovery Fund has a total of £1.57 bn to aid the recovery of cultural sectors of the UK economy.

Other South London venues to receive support in the first round of grants include:

Corsica Studios, Elephant & Castle which gets £50,000

Magic Garden in Battersea, £20,000

The CLF Art Café, Peckham, £12,000

The Sound Lounge Trust, which is planning to move to Sutton soon, £8,500.

Pop Brixton’s grant is £24,400; The Windmill gets 19,810. The largest grant was £80,000.

Lambeth council recently extended Pop’s lease for its site in central Brixton.

The Columbo Group, whose venues include three Blues Kitchens, one of them in Brixton, gets £18,000 for the Jazz Café in Camden.

The Society for the Advancement of Black Arts, which is based in Bethnal Green with an office in West Norwood, gets £1,650.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I encourage music fans to help too by supporting music and cultural events as they start to get going again.” 

The funding for venues was delivered by Arts Council England. It is intended to cover ongoing running costs incurred during closure, including rent and utilities. 

Darren Henley, chief executive officer, Arts Council England, said: “I’m pleased that the Arts Council has been able to use its expertise to administer this fund, ensuring that we are supporting music venues in these challenging times.”

Mark Davyd, Chief executive officer of the Music Venue Trust, said: “We warmly welcome this first distribution from the Culture Recovery Fund which will ensure that the short-term future of these venues is secured while we continue to work on how we can ensure their long term sustainability.

“Both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England have worked very quickly to fully understand the imminent risk of permanent closure faced by a significant number of grassroots music venues across the country, and the funding they’ve brought forward creates a real breathing space for under pressure venues.”  

DJ Gilles Peterson, who runs the Brownswood Recordings label, said: “This is vital funding for the cultural sector that is being hit the hardest by Covid. So many people in the music world are reliant on the live music sector, and without this government help, irrevocable long-term harm threatened the world-leading UK music industry and those who rely on it for a living.”

Andrew Roachford, who has postponed his tour to promote a new album released next month, said: “It is good to see that the emergency funding has reached the grassroots music venues that were most at risk, and that those venues are now able to survive until the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund is processed.

“Without grassroots music venues there will be no sustainable live music industry. Hopefully enough of that Culture Recovery Fund will be made available to the grassroots music venues to ensure that this absolutely vital sector of the arts will survive and thrive.”

Music venues can also apply for grants from a £500m fund for cultural organisations run by Arts Council England. Application close on 4 September.

Full list of grants

Full government announcement