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10/26/22

A wealth of supporters have rallied for Music Venue Trust’s Own Our Venues campaign, which has attracted funding from Sony Music, Warner Music, PPL, Ticketmaster and others.

The initiative aims to purchase the freehold of grassroots music venue properties via a Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS) named Music Venue Properties (MVP). MVT wants to raise £3.5m in initial investments to acquire nine venues, which they plan to purchase by the end of the year.

Sony U.K. boss Jason Iley said the label is “delighted” to back the project to help provide local venues with more stability so that they can thrive “for the good of artists, fans and local communities.”

Warner Music U.K. CEO Tony Harlow added: “Britain’s grassroots music venues are an essential part of our musical history and future. We hope [this project will] make a real difference to artists, fans and communities across the U.K.”

Ed Sheeran was announced as a backer in September and he’s since been joined by a number of companies. Alongside those mentioned above, they also include the Music Managers Forum, trade body LIVE, charity Help Musicians, Ben Lovett’s TVG Hospitality and MBW’s A&R Awards.

After the pilot project, further venue freeholds will be identified and secured as and when they become available. On completion of purchase, the venues will be offered an immediate rent reduction and help with building repairs and insurance, with long term security and market resistant rents guaranteed.

“I don't want to keep walking in and out of people's offices for the next decade begging for short term cash because this or that beloved venue is under threat of closure,” MVT CEO Mark Davyd said of his motivation for the campaign.

“With our Own Our Venues initiative, Music Venue Trust has created a real, long term, deliverable solution to the challenges facing grassroots music venues, and we are delighted that its value is being recognized by leading voices in our industry across every sector.”