Music Venue Trust acquires struggling Preston venue The Ferret


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Preston music venue The Ferret has been acquired by grassroots music charity the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

The 200-capacity venue and community hub has been located on Fylde Road, Preston since 2006 — though it has been threatened by closure in recent years due to its building being put up for sale, BBC reports.

However, its future is now secured, after the MVT purchased it; allowing the owners to sign a “cultural lease” — guaranteeing The Ferret’s continued use of the building provided it doesn’t change its function from a community music venue.

The Ferret has hosted a number of big names in its time, as a crucial grassroots music venue that has provided a platform for now-established acts such as Ed Sheeran, Buzzcocks, Alt-J and IDLES.

Read this next: 10% of UK grassroots music venues will close by the end of 2023, say Music Venue Trust

The purchase is part of MVT’s Own Our Venues scheme, a project which aims to “protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues”, by directly addressing the issue of venue ownership.

In response to the news, venue director Matt Fawbert told the BBC: “We want to thank everyone who invested & donated, but today we especially want to thank our friends at Music Venue Properties.”

Read this next: Grassroots venues suffered their “most challenging year” in 2023, report finds

“To have a landlord that is dedicated to live music and supporting grassroots music venues gives us the security and confidence to continue delivering great live music to the people of Preston,” he continues. “But also to invest even more in grassroots music and culture and create something very exciting in our city.”

[Via the BBC]

Jamaal Johnson is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Instagram

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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