Ask us for money – Vaizey

Music venues are being encouraged to apply for funding from arts councils across the UK.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey told a conference discussing the future of small music venues they should “not be shy" of applying for arts funding,

"A vibrant music venue which is breaking new acts has just as much right to be considered a cultural venue as a local or regional theatre," he said.

He was backed by Joyce Wilson, London area director of Arts Council England who said that only a small number of venues - including Band on the Wall in Manchester, Cecil Sharp House in London and The Stables in Milton Keynes were funded.

But she added, "Not many of you do apply to the arts council. It's really hard to support you if you don't come and talk to us."

The conference, Music Venue Day, heard how live music venues have been closing across the UK in recent years, thanks to rising rents, noise complaints and licensing restrictions. 35% of small and medium venues in London have closed since 2007.

Major music stars like Midge Ure and Noel Gallagher have highlighted the threat that such closures pose to the music industry’s grassroots. "You play the small places on the way up,” said Gallagher. “But it seems to be a problem nowadays that there's only really tiny pubs or huge arenas to play."

But Mark Davyd of the Music Venues Trust said few venue owners had time to fill in hours of paperwork.

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