Government urged to give £50m to save live venues as lockdown leaves The Leadmill and Corporation "on a cliff edge"
Three major music venues in Sheffield are at risk of closing for good unless the Government gives an immediate cash injection to save them.
The Leadmill, Corporation and Abbeydale Picture House have been put on the at risk register by the Music Venue Trust, a charity which represents hundreds of grassroots venues.
The Leadmill has warned the entire arts sector is "on a cliff edge" and says it has zero income coming in. Corporation hasn't been able to claim any grants and also has no income.
Both venues have furloughed staff but are worried about how they will top up wages once the scheme ends in August. And both say it will be spring 2021 at the earliest before any live acts can return.
The Music Venue Trust says 90 per cent of venues and festivals currently face permanent closure. It has issued an urgent warning to the Government that £50m is needed to prevent mass closures in July, August and September.
The Trust says the catastrophic effects of lockdown means a rescue package is fundamental to the survival of a large number of venues.
In addition, it's proposing a one-off cut in VAT on ticket sales for the next three years for venues and promoters.
Chief executive Mark Dayvd said if venues closed en mass, it would mean a total collapse of the sector and thousands of job losses including promoters, production companies, managers, agents and artists.
"When we eventually emerge from lockdown, grassroots music venues, the absolute bedrock on which our world beating £5.2 billion per year industry has been built, are going to be essential to live music bouncing back.
"It is economically short sighted and frankly ridiculous to put a £5 billion a year industry at long term risk for lack of a short term £50 million investment.”
The Music Venue Trust launched its #saveourvenues campaign in April, which has so far raised over £2m to help venues in the short term but warns the situation is still dire.