The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced that its Own Our Venues campaign has raised close to £2.2m, from 1,261 investors, after closing last Thursday (30 March).

MVT set up the campaign in May 2022 with the aim of raising £2.5m and taking control of the freeholds of music venue premises.

The campaign, which won the backing of Ed Sheeran, was launched in response to 35% of grassroots music venues having closed in the past 20 years.

The organisation said the Music Venue Properties (MVP) will write to all investors before 17 April with a plan to start the purchase of venues, with the aim of completing the purchase of the first venues before the summer.

MVT CEO Mark Davyd said, “MVT has a motto: ‘People who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of the people doing it’. I am immensely proud of my team for once again proving that the grassroots community are the people who can get it done.

“I would especially like to single out Matt Otridge, who has steered this project through incredibly turbulent times to a fantastic conclusion. Without Matt’s dedicated work across the last ten months this simply would not have been possible.”

MVP board member Rhoda Dhakar said, “MVP has raised the money to make a start on a new ownership model creating permanent homes for live music, no longer relying on the temporary benevolence of commercial landlords. It’s a model we want to roll out across the country, stabilising this sector in perpetuity.”