Music Fund supporting city region’s economic recovery
The Liverpool City Region’s Music Fund has supported more than 50 music industry businesses, including venues, studios and promoters, through the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling them to play their part in the city region’s economic recovery.
Established in April by Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, the £150,000 Music Fund has provided urgent support to microbusinesses and SMEs, many of which were at risk and not covered or eligible for national government support, to help them through the pandemic.
The Fund has been administered by a panel from the membership of the Liverpool City Region Music Board, formed in 2018 as an independent, sector-led Board. The Board, which reports directly to the Metro Mayor, is responsible for growing and supporting the music sector.
The Fund was launched at the same time as the £250,000 Film and TV Development Fund which is investing in the development of content across all feature film and TV genres. This remains open until 30th September 2020.
Applications were received from a range of music industry businesses including event and tour management services, studios and music venues, with grants made ranging from £500 to £5,000.
The funds were originally earmarked for projects taking place later in the year but were brought forward by the Combined Authority, in response to the struggles facing many music businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:
“Creativity is in our collective DNA and our music, film and TV industries are huge assets to the city region, contributing £228million to our economy every year and providing 5000 jobs.
“The scale of the challenge facing the creative sector generally is huge and will need serious investment from central government. We have done all we could with this fund but I’m conscious that no city region alone can provide support on the scale that is necessary. That said, we know from the feedback we’ve received that this funding is making a real difference to those companies it has supported.
“At some point we will emerge from this pandemic and we want to ensure that, when we do, as much of our cultural ecosystem as possible has survived.
“I am committed to building our economy back better than it was before – greener, cleaner and more inclusive – and protecting these sectors, which play such a key role in our wellbeing and happiness, is a key part of that challenge.”
The application process has also revealed the range of small businesses in the music industry based across the Liverpool City Region. This has enabled the Liverpool City Region Music Board to better understand the level of current need and explore further ways to generate future support.
Deputy Chair of the Liverpool City Region Music Board and Managing Director of Sound City, Becky Ayres said:
“As a UNESCO City of Music, and with its unparalleled history, Liverpool as a city region is globally significant. We also have the evidence to prove the economic importance of the music sector to the local economy. The overarching purpose of this fund is to ensure that the sector is a position to bounce back and continue the growth trajectory we were on once we are out of the current situation.”
Gary Murphy, from Centro Del Blanco, a tour management business based in Knowsley, said:
“My work in the live sector of the music industry has come to a complete standstill. With new social distancing measures my ability to earn a living has disappeared overnight. The impact will be felt right though out the sector from the talent through to drivers, merchandise men, bar staff and stage hands, we will all feel the effects of Covid 19. The support I and others have received from the music fund is invaluable and will allow myself and others to return to normal trading once restrictions are lifted.”
Andy McLoughlin, from Audio Dust in Wirral, said:
“The Liverpool City Region Music Fund is a great help to my business. It will enable me to explore new avenues during a difficult period and to help my business grow. It is essential to my being able thrive in the face of current adversity”
Louise Nulty, Project Manager at the Studio in Widnes, said:
“LOOSE and all at the Studio in Widnes are thrilled to be able to continue working with the young people of Halton. With our rehearsal rooms and recording studio being shut because of Covid-19 and Lockdown we have been concerned about the musicians getting enough support. Through this funding we can now re-energise the young musicians and even explore avenues we might not have been able to to, looking at home recording and tuition which is additional to what we can normally offer. We have started working with some new people and look forward to building on those relationships as we move forward out of Lockdown, we are hugely grateful to this fund for enabling this work. We have called it Making Waves as that is what we will be encouraging the young people to do regardless of the current restrictions.”
Applications to the Music Fund are now closed but the Film and TV Development Fund is open until 30th September 2020. For more information go to: https://www.liverpoolfilmoffice.tv/development-fund/