Music Venue Trust calls for more support over energy costs

Though saying that Liz Truss’ new policy over energy costs “goes some way in alleviating the challenge” faced by the live music sector, the Music Venue Trust have urged the government “to take further action to ensure a long-term solution”.

Live music

The policy, announced by the new Prime Minister today on her second day in office, includes a £2,500 annual price cap for typical households for their gas and electricity bills, which is set to kick-in from the start of October.

When it comes to businesses, schools and hospitals, however, a six-month scheme will provide similar such support over the winter. Further support will be aimed at specific industries like hospitality and the events sector, with a review in three months’ time set to determine which sectors will benefit.

With a lack of specifics announced for the live industry sector today, the Music Venue Trust have today said in response to the policy announcement that the government should “take further action to ensure a long-term solution for energy provision for Grassroots Music Venues providing an energy supply which is affordable, reliable and sustainable.”

“We need this action to take place as soon as possible to protect, secure and improve our Grassroots Music Venues,” it added, explaining the current rise in energy prices equates to £90 million in costs for the sector.

Yesterday the Music Venue Trust, which serves to protect and secure the future of grassroots music venues, set out points of action for the new Culture Secretary, Michelle Donelan. These included short-term financial interventions and a long-term investigation into the energy market for the sector.

A survey run by the charity found that its 941 venues faced an average rise in fuel bills of 316%, taking the average fuel bill cost from £1,245 to £5,179 per month. It found one venue reported on its £13,200 yearly bill rising to £42,000, which their supplier asked for upfront.

Whatever comes of the review for businesses in three months’ time, the live sector will be hoping it can alleviate the concerns for the long-haul. Michael Kill, the CEO of Night Time Industries Association, was considerably more critical of today’s policy announcement, saying: “We are extremely disappointed at the announcement by the Prime Minister today, this half-measure package is tantamount to support experienced during the pandemic, but lacks considerable detail to alleviate current business concerns.

100 club venue

“We have no time for drip-fed support, or to await the impact assessment of incremental measures, this needs to be a concise and immediately accessible package, which is proportionate and scalable.

“As the first major announcement of the Prime Minister and Chancellor’s tenure, the government has failed businesses today, and with mounting debt across the sector we will see many have no choice but to consider the future, placing thousands of jobs at risk in the coming weeks, without additional support.”

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