The social investment arm of The Big Issue has announced a £2.75m investment into Village Underground’s live performance venues.
The funding, which comes as the venue celebrates its 15th anniversary, will support further refurbishment of its buildings and the training of young people to provide opportunities to enter the music industry.
As part of the investment, Big Issue Invest (BII) created a new holding company, VU X EartH, which owns both Village Underground and EartH Hackney live performance venues in London.
VU founder Auro Foxcroft said, “We’ve just finished building a new terrace and have started work on a second terrace. Both overlook Kingsland Road and are connected, giving a large, licensed outside space. We’ve also installed new lighting rigs across the all the venues for a much better aesthetic and technical capability.
“Importantly, we’ve successfully soundproofed between the three venue spaces, meaning that we can run three shows simultaneously. We’ve also built one of two new connections between the venues, so that we can run whole venue take overs.”
Big Issue Invest Fund Management director John Gilligan said, “We are helping emerging and ignored artists break through and people who have been left behind get trained to make a contribution to an industry where the UK leads the world. The people we train will have an unprecedented opportunity to be there at the coal face of the UK arts scene from the day they enrol.”