THE Forum has received a grant of over £4,000 for ‘futureproofing’ upgrades, thanks to a music charity’s ‘pipeline’ fund for small venues and the grassroots music and artists they support.
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) set up the Pipeline Investment Fund in 2022, to ‘secure the long-term future’ of what it called ‘iconic’ grassroots music venues, naming the Tunbridge Wells Forum, among others.
MVT’s CEO Mark Davyd, who is also Co-Owner and Co-Founder of The Forum, said: “The Pipeline Investment Fund proves what we have been saying for some time – small amounts of money, sensibly invested, can make a real difference to grassroots music venues.
“This fund is essential for artists and audiences, improving the places they love and ensuring that they are keeping up to date with the latest equipment, training, access and sustainability opportunities.
“We hope the industry will seize the opportunity to get involved.”
Venues can apply for grants of up to £5,000 for small capital projects or staff development.
The Forum received its grant of £4,324.17 earlier this month, which it confirmed had paid for a new amplifier to run the PA, as well as replacing an ageing system to improve and secure production.
A representative from The Forum said: “Rising utility costs, hidden taxes and a cost-of-living crisis have eroded any potential funds we could have saved for improvements.
“Fundamentally it comes down to a choice of staying open without the improvements or making the upgrades and risking our longevity as a community space.
“The grant has allowed us to make the necessary upgrades to the venue, futureproofing our sound system for the next few years. We can be very flexible with our offerings to touring shows, theatre, art exhibitions and immersive audio productions with the new amp.
“The purchase of the drum shield not only improves the sound for customers, but also improves monitoring onstage and will help bring the overall level in the venue down.”
The Pipeline Investment Fund was established with the support of members of the Music Venues Alliance, primarily funded by donations from ticket sales of MVT’s recent ‘Revive Live’ programme of gigs around the UK, in partnership with The National Lottery.
This was the third round of grants. Round 1 in December 2022 gave out £40,000 to 11 grassroots music venues.
A further 14 were awarded almost £70,000 in January.
To donate to the Pipeline Investment Fund contact: firstname.lastname@example.org