Revenue / 09.27.23
One Closure Per Week: U.K. Grassroots Venues in Need of Relief
Pollstar (09/26/23) Gottfried, Gideon
Britain's Music Venue Trust (MVT) is urging the U.K. government to extend its business rates relief program for the music industry, with the nonprofit's yearly survey finding that “closures are currently taking place at a rate of more than one week,” as a press release stated. The government established a 50% rate relief for grassroots music venues (GMVs) in January 2020, which was zero for the entire retail, hospitality, and leisure sector in March 2020 to help it cope with the pandemic lockdown. Following the extension of additional concessions across these industries in 2021, 2022, and 2023, MVT said grassroots venues are now seeing a 75% business rate relief. These reliefs will expire in April 2024, which MVT estimates will cost the sector another £15 million ($18 million). “Pleas are being made to the U.K. government to extend the current arrangements and to carry out a radical reform of the business rates to prevent a further decline of the GMV sector, which according to the organization's recent annual survey saw 78 venues permanently close in the last 12 months,” the nonprofit declared. MVT CEO Mark Davyd said the rate of GMV loss is already “catastrophic” with “a knock-on effect of 4,000 jobs losses, the removal of 14,250 live music events, and 193,230 performance opportunities for musicians, £9 million [$11 million] of musician income and £59 million [$72 million] of economic activity. By extending business rates relief past next April the government could throw a vital lifeline to GMV's already holding onto survival by their fingertips.”
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Tags: Venues , Revenue