Grant for Level III in nationwide live music cash boost

By Barrie Hudson - 24 August 2020

Arts and Culture

A Swindon venue has been awarded £8,322 in a Government bid to help grassroots live music.

  • Violet McLaren and Darren Simons, who are in charge of Level III and sister venues The Vic and The Rolleston Arms

    Violet McLaren and Darren Simons, who are in charge of Level III and sister venues The Vic and The Rolleston Arms

The money awarded to Level III is part of the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, and Level III is among 10 in the South West to be helped.

Indoor music has been cleared to restart, and details of what's on at Level III can be found at http://level3swindon.com/

Level III, like sister venues The Vic and The Rolleston Arms, is run by Violet McLaren and Darren Simons.

A delighted Violet said: "Having this money means we'll be able to cover our rent and costs for a couple of months."

Violet hopes that further grants will secure the future of Swindon music venues still further.

She urged music-lovers: "Come and support us - we have a capacity of 60, down from 400, and everybody has their own distancing.

"We have table service and sanitisers - it's socially-distanced live music at the moment but we need the gigs we're putting on to be at capacity in order to break even."

This Sunday, 30 August, the band at Level III is Peleton, with a show called Songs You Thought You'd Forgotten. It starts at 8pm.

Ministers and MPs across the South West are encouraging everyone to visit reopened venues and support cultural organisations which are starting to put performances back on.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This government is here for culture and these grants show we are determined to help our exceptional music industry weather the Covid storm and come back stronger.

“Grassroots music venues are where the magic starts and these emergency grants from our £1.57billion fund will ensure these music venues survive to create the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of the future.

“I encourage music fans to help too by supporting music and cultural events as they start to get going again.

“We need a collective effort to help the things we love through Covid.”

The 10 venues in the South West to be helped will share £226,789.

The list includes three in Bristol - Motion Events Ltd in Pennywell Road (£79,906), The Old Bookshop in Bedminster (£46,101) and The Louisiana in Wapping Road (£5,500).

Also receiving funding are Madding Crowd in Bournemouth (£28,000), Komedia Bath in Bath (£20,000), St Austell Band Club in St Austell (£13,460), 23 Bath St in Frome (£11,000), The Hutong Café in Plymouth (£9,000) and The Barrel House Ballroom in Totnes (£5,500).

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