Music Venue Trust (MVT), the UK charity which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues has announced the second acquisition by Music Venue Properties (MVP) under its Own Our Venues scheme.

The Ferret in Preston, a 200-capacity venue which has hosted artists such as Ed Sheeran, IDLES, Alt-J and Royal Blood will now be placed into permanent protected status.

Own Our Venues was originally launched as a Community Share Offer in 2022. MVT said that almost £2.6m has now been raised from over 1200 individual investors. Funding was matched with a £500,000 investment from Arts Council England, and the figure includes loans of £150,000 from Preston City Council and £500,000 from Arts & Culture Impact Fund.

Following the purchase, The Ferret’s operators have signed a ‘cultural lease’ with MVP, which is an agreement specifically created by MVP to guarantee that, as long as The Ferret operates as a space for grassroots live music for their local community, they can enjoy the use of the building.

“This is a monumental moment for The Ferret,” said Matt Fawbert, director & programme manager of The Ferret. “We’re extremely pleased to be able to say that our venue is now safe and secure for years to come.”