Music Fund throws lifeline to Mersey businesses

Launched in April by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, the fund was designed to help small businesses in the Merseyside music sector through the coronavirus crisis. Tony McDonough reports

Music, guitar, band, performance
Businesses including venues, studios and promoters all accessed the Music Fund


A £150,000 Music Fund has thrown a lifeline to more 50 businesses across the Liverpool city region.

Launched in April by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, the fund was designed to help small firms through the coronavirus crisis. Businesses including venues, studios and promoters have all taken advantage of the cash pot.

Many were at risk and not covered or eligible for national government support, to help them through the pandemic. It was administered by a panel from the membership of the Liverpool City Region Music Board, formed in 2018 as an independent, sector-led board.

The fund was launched at the same time as the £250,000 Film and TV Development Fund which is investing in the development of content across all feature film and TV genres. This remains open until September 30, 2020.

Applications were received from a range of music industry businesses including event and tour management services, studios and music venues, with grants made ranging from £500 to £5,000.

The funds were originally earmarked for projects taking place later in the year but were brought forward by the Combined Authority, in response to the struggles facing many music businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Rotheram said: “Creativity is in our collective DNA and our music, film and TV industries are huge assets to the city region, contributing £228m to our economy every year and providing 5,000 jobs.

“The scale of the challenge facing the creative sector generally is huge and will need serious investment from central government.  We have done all we could with this fund but I’m conscious that no city region alone can provide support on the scale that is necessary.

“That said, we know from the feedback we’ve received that this funding is making a real difference to those companies it has supported.”

Deputy chair of the Liverpool City Region Music Board and managing director of Sound City, Becky Ayres added: “As a UNESCO City of Music, and with its unparalleled history, Liverpool as a city region is globally significant. We also have the evidence to prove the economic importance of the music sector to the local economy.

“The overarching purpose of this fund is to ensure that the sector is a position to bounce back and continue the growth trajectory we were on once we are out of the current situation.”

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