‘This Is A Lifeline For Us’: Reactions To UK Funding Round

Impressions from Liverpool Sound City 2018.
Jazamin Sinclair
– Impressions from Liverpool Sound City 2018.
Sound City CEO Becky Ayres said the government grant was “a lifeline for us and many others in the industry.”

The first round of the UK government’s cultural recovery fund has been released, which marks a lifeline for many live entertainment businesses in the country.
In total, the UK’s department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) has paid out £257 million ($335 million) among 1,385 arts organizations, including theaters, arts venues, museums and other cultural organizations.
The money represents the biggest tranche of money awarded so far” from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), which encompasses £1.57 billion ($2.1 billion) in total.
Organizations that applied and were deemed eligible for grants under £1 million in the first round were informed on the morning of Oct. 12 of their awards by Arts Council England, which is distributing the funds on behalf of the DCMS. 
Recipients include the Cavern Club in Liverpool, Royal Academy of Dance in London, Bristol Old Vic, Beamish in County Durham and Stowmarket’s John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.
Sound City Ltd in Liverpool, a city that has been hit with the UK strictest lockdown measures in its three-tiered system, has been awarded £75,000 to sustain a future.
Rebecca Ayres
– Rebecca Ayres
Managing director of Liverpool Sound City.

The company promotes the emerging talent festival Sound City, which has given  more than 4,000 emerging artists a stage since 2008. Artists, who gathered some early live experience at the annual event include Catfish The Bottlemen, Stormzy, Florence + The Machine, Christine & the Queens, and more.

The festival also features an industry-facing conference, aimed at creating export and networking opportunities for those working in the biz, as well as take care of the training of future generations.
The received money will be “vital in ensuring that these initiatives can continue to run during the coronavirus pandemic and that Sound City can continue to support young artists, executives and businesses that will go on to shape the future of the music industry,” a statement from Sound City reads.
Sound City MD Becky Ayres said: “We are very grateful for the vital support we will receive from Arts Council England, DCMS and HM Treasury. It will help us to continue to support thousands of artists and industry professionals now and into the future.
“This is a lifeline for us and many others in the industry. We are acutely aware that there are many who did not receive funding today. We remain committed to supporting the music industry as much as we can through these tough times and beyond.”
The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) also welcomed the first payouts. 71%, or 22 our of 31 AIF member, who had applied for round one of CRF payout were successful – with total allocated funding for AIF members equalling £4,461,976 ($5.8 million).
According to the AIF, individual grants ranged from £50,000 to £783,939.
Commented AIF CEO Paul Reed: “We warmly welcome this intervention from Government and the results of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund. 71% of AIF members who applied for a CRF grant in round one have been offered funding and it’s nothing short of a lifeline for those who have been successful.
“We thank DCMS and Arts Council England for this support, which amounts to almost £4.5m into the independent festival sector across our membership. This will have a hugely positive impact on the survival of these businesses. 
“We are pleased that we were able to work positively with DCMS officials to ensure that festival organizers were eligible for the fund and they should be praised for their diligence in supporting the sector. 
“We’re also aware that not all independent festivals had good news today and not all received funding. We’ll continue to support, represent and fight for our membership throughout this crisis.”
Other recipients of CRF money, include The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which received £748,000, to provide a short, socially distanced program, all of which will be recorded to stream at a later date, according to the announcement from DCMS, which lists all 1,385 organizations eligible for the fund.
Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse At The 100 Club
Samir Hussein/Getty Images
– Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse At The 100 Club
Amy Winehouse made a surprise appearance as she performs with Mark Ronson at the 100 Club, July 6, 2010, in London, England.

London’s iconic 100 Club has been awarded £491,486 ($641,000). Club owner Jeff Horton said, “this funding gives us a real fighting chance of surviving this current crisis, gives all of our staff security and will make a major contribution in allowing the 100 Club to be visited by future generations.”

London’s iconic music, comedy, drag and variety venue, The Clapham Grand received £300,000 ($391,000) from the Arts Council to help the venue continue to trade.
Clapham Grand manager Ally Wolf commented, “We would like to thank The Arts Council and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, for their continued support, without which we would have most likely had to close by now. 
“We would also like to thank The Music Venue Trust, and The Night Time Industries Association for their incredible and invaluable advice and support throughout this Covid-19 era.
“More them anything we’d like to thank our audiences who have shown us huge support since we had to close during lockdown – with their donations to our Crowdfunder, and their faith in our ability to host safe physically distanced shows by coming back to us now that we are reopening. 
“Also, a huge thanks to our staff and the performers who have worked incredibly hard in this challenging time to make sure we keep this dream of a venue alive!”
The Clapham Grand hosts more than 400 events and more than 100,000 customers per year, by it own admission. Including freelancers, up to 60 people work at the building.
The venue raised over £50k themselves as part of the ‘Save the Grand’ campaign through the summer. The refurbished Upper Circle increased the distanced capacity of the venue by 100, taking it to 400. 
The Clapham Grand London.
– The Clapham Grand London.
The refurbished Upper Circle increased the distanced capacity of the venue by 100, taking it to 400 in distanced times.

Capacity is still less than 50% of the 1,250 people the venue can actually hold. But 100 extra tickets at least give the venue more chance to make the new financial model work and survive this period. 

The Music Venue Trust, whose team has been working tirelessly throughout this crisis to ensure grassroots music venues are listened to by politicians and given the grants they need.
In a statement, MVT CEO Mark Davyd praised the UK’s DCMS and Arts Council for their efforts, “particularly the Secretary of State and the Chancellor,” for understanding grassroots music venues required, developing a solution, and making it happen.
“This is just the start,” said the UK’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden, adding, that “hundreds of millions pounds more” were “on the way for cultural organizations of all sizes that still need our help.”
The UK’s Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) pointed out that businesses in live music, events, supply chain and some venues may have seen some of the money, but only a very limited number of dance music clubs and events. 
“We have been aware all along that the fund would not be able to support everyone, and will leave many businesses who have missed out on this opportunity awaiting on a perilous cliff edge, which will result in further redundancies in the coming weeks,” NTIA CEO Michael Kill said.
And he added, “The announcement of further restrictions in the north is expected from the Government later today and we are still awaiting clarity on eligibility of venues that have been closed since March from the Chancellor’s announcement last week.
“We need the Government to step up and support our sector.”