English grassroots venues are to receive the first £2.25 million of funding from the Government’s £1.75 billion culture aid package.

The funding will be targeted at 150 venues that are considered at imminent risk of closing.

Administered by Arts Council England, the initiative will see grants of up to £80,000 per venue awarded to venue operators who need urgent help to cover costs such as rent, maintenance and utility bills.

The funding is expected to be available within the next few weeks.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “Nearly all of our globally successful music stars started out at UK clubs and live music venues – and we must make sure those organisations weather the Covid storm.

“We’re working to deliver the rest of the £1.57 billion emergency package as quickly as possible, so that we can protect and preserve our precious culture, arts and heritage for future generations.”

Meanwhile, a £2.2 million rescue package has been created for Scottish grassroots venues, with the scheme administered by Creative Scotland.