​UK government announces £5 million support fund for grassroots music

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The UK government has announced a £5 million support fund to be distributed amongst grassroots music venues, recording studios, festivals, promoters, clubs, and more.

Grants of up to £40,000 will be awarded across the music industry by the Arts Council England (ACE) per the culture secretary Lucy Frazer, who is encouraging applicants to use the fund to create revenue streams and develop & improve facilities.

“This investment by the UK Government and Arts Council England reaffirms our commitment to supporting this hugely important part of the music industry,” says ACE CEO Darren Henley.

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“People value the opportunity to develop and express their creativity, and the grassroots music sector excels at allowing communities to design and develop creative and cultural activity where they live.”

The scheme is distributed by The National Lottery Project Grants as part of an £8.5m boost to the music industry, which was announced earlier this summer in the UK Government’s Creative Industries Sector Vision.

Arts Council England first launched the grassroots support fund in 2019, distributing more than £9 million across 450 projects over the years.

Applicants can apply now for grants of up to £40,000 until March 2025. Those looking to apply must also be part of an organisation, as opposed to individual bands, artists, DJs, and so on.

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Despite the move to support grassroots music in the UK, it should be noted that the Arts Council England’s full support grant for 2024 is a whopping £458.5 million – but this figure is still less than 0.05% of all government spending.

Theatre director and writer Nicholas Hytner wrote in length about arts funding in the UK for The Guardian earlier this year, explaining: “Even doubling it would make barely a dent in the national finances.

“But a significant increase would be transformational out of proportion to the relatively modest sums involved: on the confidence and productivity of artists, the size and enthusiasm of audiences, the well-being of communities, our town and city centres and our international reputation,” he said.

Find out more about the Supporting Grassroots Music fund here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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