Music Venue Trust Makes Five Key Appointments In UK

MVT collage
Now working for MVT in permanent roles. Top row, from left: Rebecca Walker, Jay Taylor, Sophie Asquith. Bottom row, from left: Matt Otridge and Chris Sherrington.

The U.K.’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) has given permanent roles to five former freelance consultants to support the expanding membership of the Music Venues Alliance.

Rebecca Walker has been appointed live projects coordinator. Walker joined MVT in March 2021 on a freelance contract to coordinate The National Lottery’s Revive Live campaign, and will now report directly to MVT CEO Mark Davyd. Walker had previously spent 11 years at Sheffield’s Leadmill venue, where she rose through the ranks to become senior promoter.

Jay Taylor and Sophie Asquith have assumed the positions of MVT coordinators (England). Both Taylor and Asquith became freelance coordinators in April 2020 and worked to support venues in north-west England and London, respectively, as part of a wider regional team until October 2021.

Taylor has worked for the Musicians Union, SJM Concerts, PRS Foundation, Sound City Festival and In the City Festival and has played a key role in the success of Manchester’s Night & Day Café. Asquith, who originally studied sculpture at the world-famous Slade school of Fine Art, spent six years as general manager and booker at London’s Bush Hall.

Their roles have now become permanent and they will be the primary point of contact for MVT member venues. Taylor and Asquith will report to Clara Cullen, venue support manager, and will work with her and COO Beverley Whitrick to appoint and develop a team of coordinators across the UK.

Matthew Otridge has been announced as MVT’s lead coordinator on MVT’s groundbreaking new initiative #OwnOurVenues. Reporting to Mark Davyd, Matt has been working with MVT on a freelance basis since 2020, initially as a Coordinator for south-west England during the pandemic before helping develop the #OwnOurVenues community ownership project, which will help realise MVT’s long-term goal to secure the future of grassroots music venues by taking them out of the commercial rental market.

Otridge started working as a promoter in Bristol venues 20 years ago. This eventually led to becoming the owner of The Croft and then a new venue, Exchange, in 2012. In 2019, he spearheaded a successful community ownership campaign to help ensure the building’s longevity.

Chris Sherrington, who previously held the freelance position of MVT coordinator for north-east England, has been appointed policy & strategy support officer. Having transitioned into a guidance role, updating the team and membership on legislation and policy during the pandemic, he will report to Mark Davyd while working closely with Clara Cullen and Beverley Whitrick. Sherrington has been involved in live music and club nights for over 20 years, the last six of which have been running his own venue, The Fulford Arms in York.

Beverley Whitrick, COO of Music Venue Trust, said, “These permanent appointments of amazing colleagues who have already proven themselves invaluable members of the grassroots music community during an incredibly challenging period for the sector will take MVT’s ability to innovate, advocate and coordinate to a new level. All five bring proven experience, skills, insight and passion to our team and we are delighted to welcome them on board.”

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