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Tayside and Fife music venues included in multi-million pound funding scheme

Chris Woods and Sandy Stirton
Chris Woods and Sandy Stirton

Live music venues across Tayside and Fife have been thrown a funding lifeline from a £4 million scheme intended to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.

The Scottish Government’s Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund has awared payouts to 82 venues across the country, including five in Dundee, three in Perth and another five in Fife.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on concert venues, which have been unable to fully reopen for almost a year.

The move has been welcomed by many in the sector, including Sandy Stirton, owner of Twa Tams in Perth.

He said: “We’re delighted to get a share of the funding, we’ve had trouble getting other types of funding just because of our specific situation.

“We’re definitely glad that we applied for it.”

The venue, a longtime landmark on the Perth live music scene, was granted just over £66,000 in the scheme, enough to see the team through until they are allowed to reopen.

Sandy added: “With all this in mind, we are feeling very confident about the future.

Chris Woods and Sandy Stirton in the pub.

“The pandemic has been a huge challenge for us but we are now looking ahead to the future and thinking about potentially streaming more of our concerts.

“It’s looking good.”

In Dundee, Beat Generator Live!, Conroy’s Basement, King’s, The Church and The Hunter S Thompson are to split a total of £220,000.

Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee’s Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are now beginning to see sector specific funding which is really helpful, it’s absolutely great.

Alison Henderson of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce

“Dundee is a hugely creative and musical city, so it’s great to see that it’s been recognised in this funding.”

It comes after the city’s live music scene was dealt a blow last September with the announcement that Clark’s on Lindsay Street was closing its doors.

Bosses said social distancing requirements and other coronavirus restrictions had made it impossible for the venue to continue.

Businesses in Perth will receive £134,000 of funding, with Fife businesses getting an additional £155,000.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for the live music sector and it is important that we support our grassroots music venues – which are key to our rich and diverse music scene – to survive until they can reopen.

Fiona Hyslop

“This fund, part of our ongoing commitment to support cultural sectors during the pandemic, aims to do that by ensuring financial support reaches a wide variety of music venues across the country.

“I thank the music sector for continuing to work with us to identify the most effective ways to help it.”

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