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Covid funds help music venue

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By Donald Turvill
Dumfries and West
Covid funds help music venue

A POPULAR Dumfries music venue has welcomed emergency funding to soften the blow of Covid-19 downfall and prevent closure.

The Scottish Government and Creative Scotland awarded the Coach & Horses Inn in Whitesands with £17,000 through its Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund.

The fund, launched in early September, received applicants from 98 struggling music venues across Scotland. £2.2 million has now been shared amongst 72 ‘eligible applicants’.

Also among the beneficiaries is the The Vault Arts Centre in Newton Stewart. Nathon Jones, project coordinator at the Trad Music Trust, who runs the venue, has called the funding a “huge lifeline”.

“Live music isn’t looking possible until at least next year so it’s a lifesaver for us and allows us to get on with other activity,” he said, adding: “We’ve had nice support from the community – we would’ve scraped through, but this will allow us to do some projects as well; we do some youth work and this allows us to press on with that.”

Speaking about the effect of the loss of live music on the venue, he added: “We had a spring/summer programme ready to go, it was quite an ambitious program. To have that removed from us removed all sense of income that was going to come in.”

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland said: “Live music has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19, and Creative Scotland is only too aware of the severity of that impact.

“These awards, to 72 venues across Scotland, will help bring short-term stability to the grassroots music sector and alleviate some of the challenges that the ongoing pandemic has presented.

“We look forward to the day when we’ll all be back together, cheering on artists face to face – but, until then, this fund will provide a lifeline to one of the most vibrant scenes that Scotland has to offer.”

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