Grassroots Investor is a two-stage strategic intervention programme, designed to immediately take steps to prevent venue closures – through a central legal team, acoustics team, a lobbying arm and a central crisis fund - followed by direct investment into grassroots venues.
MVT said, through the programme, it aims to act as a central agency that is able to represent venues and defend them at a national level, to help halt closures, change government policy and make sure the sector’s needs are addressed properly by cultural strategy, licensing, insurance and legislation.
Jack Daniel’s is the first partner to join the project, which was created following feedback from the organisation’s Venues Day, which took place in December.
Developing 'world-class' standard
Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of MVT, said: "A combination of low aspiration and severe under investment means we've ended up content to describe this sector as the "toilet circuit" and accept conditions in them that reflects all that description implies.
“There are examples from round the world of world-class venues at this level, and through Grassroots Investor we aim to work with our partners to match those standards here in the UK.”
MVT CEO Mark Davyd added: “Despite the incredible passion, dedication and commitment of the people running these venues, what we're offering at grassroots level doesn't meet the high standards we've set elsewhere in UK music.
“It isn't good enough that we are letting small venues close for the sake of good legal representation or letting venues fall into disrepair because of lack of available investment.”
Michael Boaler, senior brand manager at Jack Daniel’s, said: “We’re really proud to be one of the founding members of the Music Venue Trust’s Grassroots Investor programme.
“Jack Daniel’s has always had a strong affiliation with music and we’ve been doing a great deal of work over the past few years supporting iconic small venues such as Southampton's Joiners, Glasgow's King Tut’s and Birmingham's Rainbow because we believe that music is best enjoyed live.
“We’re in complete agreement that a longer term strategy is needed rather than a quick fix and we want to help achieve something really significant through this campaign and support the places where future legends are created in any way we can.”
MVT has recently been appointed to chair a taskforce set up by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to look at the steps the city can take to protect and secure its network of live music venues.
The taskforce will be taking feedback from venues, local government and leading musicians and the first meeting is due to take place on 27 March.
Make Some Noise
The PMA's Make Some Noise campaign is calling for the Government to implement an ‘agent-of-change principle’. This outlines that a person or business that causes a change in environment is responsible for managing its impact.
It means if residents move, or developments are built, near to a pub they would have to adapt their building to cope with any noise.
If you have a story to tell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01293 610305. To join in the debate tweet us using the hashtag #pubsnoise or post a message on our Facebook page