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Academy Music Group and Ben Lovett’s London Venue Group among the latest Culture Recovery Fund beneficiaries

By | Published on Monday 9 November 2020

Culture Recovery Fund

Arts Council England announced another round of grants from its COVID Culture Recovery Fund this weekend, with the Academy Music Group, London Venue Group and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club among the music venue beneficiaries this time.

The Culture Recovery Fund, of course, is distributing a significant portion of the £1.57 billion in sector-specific funding provided by the UK government to help the cultural and heritage industries weather the COVID storm. There have been four rounds of grants announced by the fund so far, the first two all grants under million pounds, the latter two over a million pounds.

Just eight organisations were included in the latest announcement. The Live Nation-allied Academy Music Group will receive £2,981,431; the London Venue Group, headed up by Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons, secured £2,358,902; and the owner of the Ronnie Scott’s venue in London gets £1,272,631. All three will use the monies to keep their venues ticking over while it’s not possible to stage shows because of the ongoing COVID shutdown.

The funding for Lovett’s London Venue Group comes as that business – which operates the Omeara and Lafayette venues – confirms an alliance with another London venue, The Social. It’s hoped that partnership will help safeguard the future of The Social, which was already facing a number challenges before COVID kicked in.

On that tie-up, Lovett said this morning: “Ever since The Social announced that it was at risk of closure in 2019, I have been actively engaged in trying to figure out a way to prevent that from happening. We have been working together on a solution that retains the entire independence and ownership for the founders whilst teaming up together to ensure the long-term viability of the venue”.

The Social’s Robin Turner added: “When we met Ben and the Venue Group, we immediately knew they were kindred spirits – people who recognised the transformative power of a good night out, and were dedicated to offering audiences and bands the best gig experience possible. We’re extremely excited about The Social taking its next steps forward with them”.

Meanwhile, back at the Arts Council, Chair Nicholas Serota commented on the latest CRF grants, telling reporters: “Culture makes a huge and increasing contribution to our national life, bringing communities together, fuelling our creative industries, and representing our country on the world stage”.

“These grants”, he went on, “add to those announced last month, and will put these organisations in a better position to bounce back and help their communities recover from this crisis. The Arts Council is grateful to the government for the special support being made available to the arts and culture through the Culture Recovery Fund and we’re proud to support all the organisations receiving awards today”.

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