The Music Venue Trust (MVT) said it has attracted widespread investment and support for its ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative, from companies and organisations including Sony Music, Warner Music, LIVE and PPL.

Launched in June, the project aims to raise £3.5m to purchase the freehold of nine grassroots music venue properties via a Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS) named Music Venue Properties (MVP).

Further venue freeholds will then be identified and secured as and when they become available. On completion of purchase, the venues will be offered an immediate rent reduction and help to contribute to building repairs and insurance, while also guaranteeing long-term security and market-resistant rents. MVT plans to purchase the first nine music venues by the end of December 2022.

With the grassroots music venues now also facing a critical threat from spiralling energy and cost of living costs, MVT has reiterated and reinforced its aim to tackle short-term threats alongside the need to provide long-term solutions.

MVT recently unveiled Ed Sheeran as a key backer of the campaign. He has been joined by senior industry figures including: Sony Music UK & Ireland chairman and CEO Jason Iley MBE; Warner Music UK CEO Tony Harlow; LIVE chief executive Jon Collins; PPL chief executive officer Peter Leathem; Music Managers Forum chief executive Annabella Coldrick; Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons; Help Musicians chief executive James Ainscough; and TVG Hospitality CEO Ben Lovett.

Collins said, “With MVT behind them, operators will have greater leeway to invest in new talent, an investment that will pay off for all music lovers down the line. And right now, with the multiple operational and economic challenges facing venues, initiatives such as this our vital if we are to avoid closures and build resilience.

MVT CEO Mark Davyd said, “I don’t want to keep walking in and out of people’s offices for the next decade begging for short term cash because this or that beloved venue is under threat of closure. With our ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative Music Venue Trust has created a real, long term, deliverable solution to the challenges facing grassroots music venues, and we are delighted that its value is being recognised by leading voices in our industry across every sector. We have a thriving music industry that has survived and is thriving despite a major pandemic, and our job is to ensure the grassroots music venue sector isn’t left behind.”