As it closes in on its £2.5 million fundraising target, the Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) Own Our Venues scheme has set a final deadline of 30 March to secure the remaining investment needed to start the purchase of properties.
Own Our Venues was launched as a crowdfunded project in June 2022 as the first step in a long-term campaign to take control of the freeholds of music venue premises and bring them under a protected status of benevolent ownership.
The concept is built on the Community Share model and is seeking to acquire nine venues in its first phase, with further venue freeholds to be identified and secured as and when they become available. Of the target total, £1.8m has already been secured and MVT aims to begin purchasing its first venues in April.
“THE BEST PEOPLE TO OWN OUR VENUES ARE THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM, NEED THEM AND USE THEM”
“We know that changing the ownership model of grassroots music venues is the single most important change we can make to this sector,” says MVT CEO and founder Mark Davyd. “The best people to Own Our Venues are the people who love them, need them and use them. We want to see everyone who has a stake in the future of these venues become a direct financial stakeholder in that future; local communities, artists, audiences, the music industry.
“The success of these venues is vital to the future of live music for all of us. This isn’t a time to sit on the sidelines hoping someone else will do this for us, it’s down to us to make it happen.”
On completion of purchase ,the venues will be offered an immediate rent reduction and help contribute to building repairs and insurance, while also guaranteeing long term security and market resistant rents.
Since the launch of the initiative, hundreds of individuals, companies and organisations have pledged their support, including high profile investors such as Ed Sheeran, Frank Turner and Ben Lovett, alongside companies such as Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music.
Arts Council England has also confirmed a grant of £500,000 to the project, which not included in the crowdfunded total.
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