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Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage receives Arts Council England Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund

The considerable grant which will allow the venue to upgrade its sound, lighting, and accessibility

Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage is the latest successful applicant to Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund.

As a result, the popular London Grassroots Music Venue has received a considerable grant which will allow it to upgrade its sound, lighting, and accessibility.

The Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund is a £1.5 million ring-fenced fund, launched in May this year, to support venues, promoters and other key stakeholders working in the grassroots sector.

Venues across England are being supported in the application process through a network of commercial and charitable partnerships established by Music Venue Trust. These partnerships enable venues to successfully engage with the new fund and make applications that have a meaningful impact on artists and audiences in the touring network. Partnerships available to venues include Whitelight, Yamaha, d&b, Shure, Chauvet, Volunteer It Yourself, and Attitude is Everything.

Steve Dix from Paper Dress Vintage commented: “We’ve just celebrated our 12th birthday at Paper Dress Vintage and this funding award is the best birthday present we could have wished for. We’ll be investing in a new state of the art d&b PA and lighting rig and generally improving our facilities, sprinkling a bit of much-needed investment into our magical little corner of Hackney Central.

“Grassroots Music Venues have been crying out for this type of investment for years and we’re very grateful that Arts Council England recognised the cultural importance of these venues and created a fund specifically to address those needs. Like all Grassroots Music Venues across the country, we’ve received fantastic support from Music Venue Trust across the last five years. They’ve been absolutely fundamental in both making the case for support and in assisting us and other venues to make a successful application.

“At Paper Dress Vintage we’re very lucky to be surrounded by so many creative people in Hackney, not to mention all the emerging artists who travel from all over the world to play on our little stage. We can’t wait to bring even bigger and better shows to you all in 2020 and beyond. Long live MVT and long live Grassroots Music Venues.”

Beverley Whitrick from Music Venue Trust said: “MVT is continuing to work closely with venues and Arts Council England to deliver great applications to this fund and to prove the value of investment into these vital spaces right across the country just like Paper Dress Vintage. We are absolutely delighted for Steve and his team, especially as this investment into their infrastructure is exactly the type of sensible intervention that makes a huge, long term difference to artists performing on the grassroots circuit.”

We conducted an interview with London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé about her fight for the health of grassroots venues earlier this year, which you can read here. In addition, Insure4Music recently created an interactive map of the UK’s open and closed music venues, which you can access here. Insure4Music’s research revealed that one small music venue closes every month.