City of York Council has awarded funding to four live music venues, as part of a total fund of £90K from the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant to support events, activities and festivals.

The Crescent, Fulford Arms, Victoria Vaults and the National Centre for Early Music will all benefit from the grants, which will support venues to meet ongoing costs while there is a shortfall in income, and to reopen and reengage with audiences as agreed earlier this year.

Music venues have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. While venues have been receiving grant funds through the Arts Council, support is now diminishing and local venues are facing a very challenging financial period and are reliant on the live music industry to return to previous touring patterns and levels over the coming year. 

To ensure that music venues can survive, City of York Council has provided them with funding to meet ongoing costs while there is a shortfall in income and to help them reopen and reengage with audiences. 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, City of York Council, said:

York’s live music scene is a crucial and vibrant part of the city’s cultural offer. We recognise the ongoing challenges venues are facing as we ease out of the national restrictions and people get used to a new ‘normal’. We are committed to working with the sector to provide all possible support, including promoting the great experiences on our doorstep thanks to the many brilliant live music venues across our city.

Dr Delma Tomlin, MBE, NCEM Director said: 

We are delighted to receive this generous grant from the City of York Council.  Financial help from the ARG Fund ensures that we can stage the annual York Early Music Christmas Festival, a week of music celebration featuring a line-up of world class performers.

The festival is hugely popular with residents and attracts visitors from all over the UK, who make it part of their Christmas calendar. It’s wonderful to see the city coming back to life and we’re very proud to be able to be part of its fabulous programme of events celebrating the festive season. We can’t wait to welcome audiences back to our beautiful home of St Margaret’s Church."

The grant to the four music venues supports City of York Council’s standpoint that a thriving, vibrant, diverse and responsibly managed early-evening, evening and night-time offer is a crucial part of the city’s economy. It also places emphasize on the council’s commitment to live music venues in the city, recognising them as an integral part of York’s economy.