Ed Sheeran gets behind Music Venue Trust’s intervention to save grassroots venues

Ed Sheeran (Getty Images)

Ed Sheeran has pledged his support for the Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) Own Our Venues initiative.

Own Our Venues is a long term campaign which launched in June. It aims to intervene to help take ownership on some of the UK’s Grassroot venues.

The plan hopes to take control of the freeholds of these venues across the country and put them under a protected status of benevolent ownership.

“Own Our Venues is an initiative I’m really passionate about getting behind,” Sheeran said of the scheme, which hopes to raise an initial £3.5m by the end of 2022.

“Small, independent venues are so, so important to the music community, and I’ve played some of my favourite gigs of my career in these rooms.

“We’ve got to do all we can to protect these beautiful venues that we’ve all come to love for years to come.”

Own Our Venues is based on the Community Share model, which has been used to support local businesses such as pubs and post offices.

The scheme plans to acquire nine venues across the UK, with the first purchase happening by the end of 2022.

Since campaign launched in June, hundreds of individuals and companies have pledged their support either through direct investment in the project or via its Crowdfunder campaign.

“This is a campaign that is really resonating with music fans who understand exactly how important it is to keep access to live music in our communities, our towns and cities right across the UK,” said Mark Davyd, CEO and Founder of MVT.

“We have extended the deadline for investors to come on board through until 31 December 2022 to give everyone a chance to get behind this project and make it a reality,” Matt Otridge, Ownership Coordinator for Music Venue Trust added.

We have had an incredible response to this initiative right across the music industry and the music community, and we can’t wait to announce some very substantial investments from key stakeholders shortly,” he added.

In other news, Sheffield’s prestigious Leadmill venue was recently been served an eviction notice by new landlords, giving them one year to vacate the premises before the new owners take over.

Supporters for the venue have come forward across the UK, including Sheffield-born artist Richard Hawley who told The Independent: “If they win, I will never ever set foot over the threshold again – ever.”