Since its launch in May 2022, the campaign has raised over £2.3 million in donations and investment from 1,212 investors, and the venue purchasing project has now been greenlighted to go ahead by the Music Properties Board.
Announcing the news in a social media post, Mark Davyd, the founder and CEO of MVT said: “We’re delighted to say that the Own Our Venues project has just been accepted by the Music Properties Board.
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“It means we will be buying venues, this radical plan that we had to completely change the ownership of buildings – the grassroots music venues of the UK – is live,” he continued.
“But this is it. After all these years of talking about it, everything we’ve ever discussed, all those messages you’ve had to put up with from me, from our team – it’s live, Own Our Venues is happening.”
We did it!! The community raised £2,318,110 made up of 1212 investors for the #OwnOurVenues campaign. For more info on what happens now watch Mark’s video or read our full statement on our website https://t.co/RnLM6Wo6xn pic.twitter.com/rCnGVpDvMD— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) March 31, 2023
The figure raised is less than the original target of £3.5 million, which MVT had hoped to raise by the end of last year, which was to be used to purchase the freeholds of nine grassroots music venues in the UK.
However, having raised a still considerable amount, it is enough to kickstart the project. MVT plans to use profits raised from operating the venues to further expand and invest in further spaces. Purchasing the freeholds will allow venues to operate under their current guises and management structures, but with reduced rents and help contribute to insurance and repair costs.
The plan was created in the face of a turbulent time for music venues in the face of lost income from closure during the pandemic lockdowns, and now inflation affecting the cost of living. Read Mixmag’s investigation into how the Cost of Living Crisis is affecting venues and promoters here.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter