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New community ownership initiative launched to protect the UK’s grassroots music venues

According to Music Venue Trust, 93% of the UK's grassroots music venues are tenants with an average of 18 months remaining on their lease

New community ownership initiative launched to protect the UK’s grassroots music venues

Music Venue Trust is launching a new endeavour to 'Own Our Venues' in an attempt to provide stability and longevity to live music venues.

An extension of the group's ongoing efforts to advocate for grassroots music venues (MVT defines these as "small- to medium-scale venue[s]... focused on the development and presentation of new live music," in the New Statesman), Music Venue Properties is a  Community Benefit Society which will seek to purchase freeholds and rent them out to live music operators "at a fairer rate than their present landlords, with greater security and better understanding of the sector," according to the Crowdfunder information. Fans can also invest in MVP via the fundraiser and see a 3% APR on their investment, encouraging the music community to gain ownership of these spaces.

The initial plans include raising £3.5 million to purchase the freehold of nine properties that MVP has already identified. Six of those venues are in England, two are in Wales and one is in Scotland.  

MVT's ownership coordinator Matt Otridge told NME, "We're hoping that eventually it will grow and grow into a point where we have hundreds of venues that are owned by Music Venue Properties and hundreds of venues that would benefit from having a landlord that literally can't be motivated by profits because it’s a not-for-profit organisation, as well as a landlord that shares their ambitions in seeing more money going back into the circuit."

According to Music Venue Trust, 93% of grassroots music venues are tenants with an average of 18 months remaining on their lease. 

For more information, check out the campaign on Crowdfunder, read this in-depth feature in the New Statesman, and watch the video below.