Hove Grassroots venue The Brunswick hopes to transform live music experience thanks to charity grant


A music venue in Hove has received a grant from the charity Music Venue Trust (MVT). It is part of a third round of recipients for its major new funding initiative, which provides grants of up to £5,000 for UK Grassroots Music Venues. The Brunswick received £4127.50 from MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund to pay for an array of sound and lighting equipment to improve production quality.


A representative from The Brunswick said: 

“This funding means we are going to be able to upgrade our lighting and sound in The Cellar Bar, as well as have better sound insulation. This means the quality of our live shows will be greatly improved. We host over 500 shows a year at The Brunswick, with a healthy chunk of those happening in The Cellar Bar.

We host so many incredible grassroots bands and artists who go on to have brilliant careers in the music industry, The Cellar Bar helps us facilitate these bands at the early stages of their journey and to know we’re able to provide great sound and lighting for them can only help with their progress. This is what The Brunswick is all about and we are thrilled we are able to continue improving what we have to offer with the help of The Pipeline Investment Fund.”

The Pipeline Investment Fund was established in 2022 with the support of members of the Music Venues Alliance and was primarily funded by donations from ticket sales of MVT’s recent ‘Revive Live’ programme of gigs around the UK, which was a partnership with The National Lottery.

Small scale grant applications (up to £5,000) were invited from UK based Grassroots Music Venues to support two key areas of work:

  • Small scale capital projects; including lights, sound, access, ventilation and minor building alterations
  • Staff and Training; workforce diversification, succession planning, skills development and strengthening local community ties.

The inaugural round of payments in December 2022 saw 11 Grassroots Music Venues receive £40,000. A further 14 were awarded almost £70,000 in January. This is the third round of payments and sees a total sum of £55203 awarded to GMVs across the country.

The full list of new charity grant recipient venues are:

The Piper – St Leonards On Sea, The Fulford Arms – York, The Loco Klub – Bristol, Esquires – Bedford, The Depo – Plymouth, The Mill – Bradford, Dubrek Studios – Derby, Tunbridge Wells Forum – Tunbridge Wells, The Brunswick – Hove, Trinity – Bristol, Black Box – Belfast, Queens Hall – Narberth, The Exchange – Bristol

The fund prioritises support for organisations who may have been excluded from other available funding and was open to all venue operators and organisations that meet any of the three definitions of a Grassroots Music Space, which can be found here.

Music Venue Trust is still actively seeking further donations, particularly from the wider music industry, to maintain and expand the Pipeline Investment Fund and make it a permanent source of support for Grassroots Music Venues. Please contact ozlem@musicvenuetrust.com for details of how this work can be supported.

Last month, Music Venue Trust released their 2022 Annual Report, which was launched at a reception for MPs at The House of Commons. The report details the immense contribution of Grassroots Music Venues to the UK economy, and the current threat they face as a result of the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing post-covid recovery.

MVT is calling on the government to review the VAT on ticket sales that is currently limiting profitability and crushing a sector responsible for nurturing new, upcoming talent in the UK – talent that goes on to define British culture and create huge profit for the industry.

The report also outlines plans to ensure all new arenas opening in the UK contribute to the wider music eco-system by investing a percentage of every ticket sale into Grassroots Venues. As, without the work of GMVs to nurture new talent, there will be no big artists to fill these venues in the coming years.

Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust said:

The Pipeline Investment Fund proves what we have been saying for some time – small amounts of money, sensibly invested, can make a real difference to grassroots music venues. This fund is essential for artists and audiences, improving the places they love and ensuring that they are keeping up to date with the latest equipment, training, access and sustainability opportunities. We hope the industry will seize the opportunity to get involved”

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