Two Scottish music venues have received vital grants from the charity Music Venue Trust (MVT).

Backstage At The Green in Kinross received £4,050.00 from MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund to pay for a new sound desk, while Ayr’s Venue38 was the recipient of £5000 from the initiative to make internal improvements.

Backstage At The Green promoter David Mundell said: “We had an old analogue desk that was no longer working properly and needed to replace it. However, due to the rise in energy costs and cost of living increase, we have noticed a reduction in attendance on numerous gigs so we have had to protect our cash flow and couldn’t proceed with a new mixing desk.

“Being awarded the grant by Music Venue Trust has enabled us to improve the front of house sound and demonstrate our commitment to live music in Kinross and Scotland. It also helps college students, who are familiar with digital desks but not analogue, gain valuable experience in a live music setting when shadowing our sound crew” .

Venue38’s owners were similarly delighted with their award. “The lower level of the venue has been a bit of a ‘dead’ area,” explains Tracy Anne McGregor, co-owner of Venue38. “When the work is complete the space can be used during the day by students from the local college for filming, music and sound production as well as local artists for rehearsals. In the evening it will incorporate a dedicated merchandise area and a green room for performers, as well as a more secure bar.”

“We had been hoping to make the improvements for a while however, due to the rising cost of living, it is taking longer than we hoped for ticket sales to return to pre-pandemic levels,” she added. “Having access to this fund has enabled us to move ahead with this project along with utilising our own income to complete it.”

Both venue owners turned to the Music Venue Trust following the announcement of the charity’s Pipeline Investment Fund, a major new funding initiative which provides grants of up to £5,000 for UK Grassroots Music Venues. Small scale grant applications were invited to support two key areas of work:

Small scale capital projects; including lights, sound, access, ventilation and minor building alterations, and
Staff and Training; workforce diversification, succession planning, skills development and strengthening local community ties.

The Pipeline Investment Fund was established with the support of members of the Music Venues Alliance and was primarily funded by donations from ticket sales of MVT’s recent ‘Revive Live’ programme of gigs around the UK, which was a partnership with The National Lottery.

The first recipients of the grants are 11 Grassroots Music Venues across the UK who have received almost £40,000 in total for a range of lighting, sound and associated equipment purchases, air conditioning units and building work.

Mark Davyd, Founder and CEO of Music Venue Trust said, “The Pipeline Investment Fund is proof of what a huge difference relatively small amounts of money can make to local Grassroots Music Venues. Music Venue Trust is investing this money directly into facilities for artists and for local music communities improving venues for everyone. We’d like to see every stadium and arena show in the country making a small contribution to this fund.

“Every headline artist should be able to know with confidence that when they reach the top of our industry the impact of their success ripples back to directly support the venues and communities where the launched their career. MVT has created the mechanism to make that possible, we need the music industry to come together and make it happen.”

The fund prioritised support for organisations who may have been excluded from other available funding and was open to all venue operators and organisations that meet any of the three definitions of a Grassroots Music Space, which can be found here.

Music Venue Trust is actively seeking further donations, particularly from the wider music industry, to maintain and expand the Pipeline Investment Fund and make it a permanent source of support for Grassroots Music Venues. Contact [email protected] for details of how this work can be supported.

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