Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) Music Venue Properties (MVP) board met recently to discuss the outcome of the ‘Own Our Venues’ campaign, which has raised £2.3m (€2.6m/$2.9m) from 1,261 individual investors.
The board voted unanimously to move ahead with modelling the purchase of the first set of grassroots music venues.
MVT set up the Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS) Music Venue Properties in May last year, to help grassroots music venues by purchasing freeholds. MVP will then be able to lease the properties back to operators with reduced rents and help with insurance or repairs.
A total of £2,318,210 was raised and MVP will now write to all investors before April 17, with a clear plan to start the purchase of venues. There are plans to complete the purchase of its first set of venues before this summer.
Mark Davyd, chief executive of Music Venue Trust, said: “MVT has a motto: ‘People who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of the people doing it’. I am immensely proud of my team for once again proving that the grassroots community are the people who can get it done.
“I would especially like to single out Matt Otridge, who has steered this project through incredibly turbulent times to a fantastic conclusion. Without Matt’s dedicated work across the last ten months this simply would not have been possible.”
Rhoda Dakar, MVP board member, added: “Today I’m so happy because we’re at the beginning of a beautiful partnership between all of you who love seeing live music in grassroots venues and all of us who play in and run those venues.
“MVP has raised the money to make a start on a new ownership model creating permanent homes for live music, no longer relying on the temporary benevolence of commercial landlords. It’s a model we want to roll out across the country, stabilising this sector in perpetuity. Let’s go!”