A radical, rewarding & exciting opportunity for the live music community to own, protect & improve UK Grassroots Music Venues. #OwnOurVenues
by Music Venue Properties in United Kingdom
For the last 8 years Music Venue Trust has led the campaign to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues in the U.K.. Supported by you – our incredible community of music fans, artists, and crew – the charity has grown from strength to strength and currently provides support for over 900 venues in the U.K.
Now we want to make the most radical change of all. We want to permanently secure a future for these venues by changing the ownership model. We believe these vital venues should belong to us. All of us that care about them, that play in them, that visit them.
We want you to join us.
Let’s Own Our Venues.
Music Venue Properties is a Community Benefit Society that purchases freeholds of UK Grassroots Music Venues and rents them back to the operators at a fairer rate than their present landlords, with greater security and better understanding of the sector - to make them more valued and to help them grow.
Music fans and ethical investors can buy community shares in Music Venue Properties from £200 to £100,000 and receive 3% APR on their investment. It's a better rate than a savings bank and we all get to #SaveOurVenues because we #OwnOurVenues.
Before the end of 2022, we will raise £3.5M to buy the freeholds for 9 UK Grassroots Music Venues. And after that, we're going to keep reinvesting - to buy, own and protect as many venues as we can.
By subscribing for shares issued by the society in this share offer you will become a member of the society and a co-owner of the society and its assets. Our rules and other supporting documents are available on our website musicvenueproperties.com and also at the bottom of the page.
Join us to make the most radical collective and collaborative positive change to the Grassroots Music Venue sector since Music Venue Trust was formed in 2014.
• 35% of Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs) have closed in the last 20 years.
• 93% of GMVs are tenants and the average operator has 18 months left on their tenancy.
• Since the start of the COVID crisis the sector acquired over £90m of new debt, yet 67% of Culture Recovery Fund grant money was paid to Landlords.
• GMVs and Landlords have different motivations. Landlords want to maximise investment. GMVs want to plan for the future, invest in sustainability, accessibility, diversity, artists and the venue itself.
• This issue of ownership underlies almost every other challenge that GMVs have faced during the last twenty years; gentrification, noise complaints, under investment, poor economic model and an inability to plan for the future.
There are three options:
1. GMVs purchase their own properties. This is difficult to achieve and creates long term problems such as succession planning.
2. GMVs create Community groups to purchase freeholds. We support operators / communities with advice and guidance to achieve this, but many do not have the resources or the ability to raise funds. Others are in areas of high deprivation.
3. Music Venue Trust (MVT) creates a central charitable organisation to remove venues from commercial ownership. By purchasing freeholds and renting them back to operators on a friendly lease we can reduce rents, make contributions to insurance / repairs and offer rent breaks in the face of adverse conditions.
• MVT has set up a Community Benefit Society (CBS) named Music Venue Properties (MVP). The society has charitable objects and has applied for recognition of its charitable status from HMRC.
• Unlike a Charity, a CBS can raise money via Community Shares.
• By purchasing these shares, music fans and ethical investors will help raise funds MVP will use to buy freehold, whilst also receiving 3% APR on their investment.
• We can offer the majority of current operators an immediate rent reduction and help contribute to building repairs and insurance.
• MVP will offer long term security and market resistant rents.
• MVT’s #SaveOurVenues campaign raised over £4.1m with over 80,000 people contributing during COVID. We already have the crowd - we just need to ask them to invest.
• MVP has identified 9 venues for a pilot project that will allow us to establish proof of concept. 6 venues are in England, 1 in Scotland and 2 are in Wales.
• We will raise £3.5m to purchase these venues and associated costs.
• This share issue will create the circumstances where great venue operators have the security and confidence they need to create great venues.
• We will then continue to identify and purchase venue freeholds as and when they become available. We will continue to raise funds through selling community shares and borrowing against the freehold we have purchased.
• We will reinvest the rent received from the initial pilot venues to allow us to expand our portfolio.
The Community Shares Standard Mark is awarded by the Community Shares Unit to offers that meet national standards of good practice. These standards ensure that:
• The offer document and application form are easy to understand
• You are provided with all the facts you need to make an informed decision
• The facts are supported by the annual accounts and/or business plan for the society
• Nothing in the documents is purposefully incorrect, confusing or misleading
Societies are asked to sign a Code of Practice requiring them, among other things, to give the public a right of complaint to the Community Shares Unit.
For more information about community shares, the Community Shares Standard Mark and the Community Shares Unit go to: https://www.uk.coop/support-your-co-op/community-shares
To download a text only version of our Community Share Offer document please click here
If you'd like to see more detailed financial modelling for this project, please email: [email protected]