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New funds to help young people enter music industry

New funding from The Big Issue Invest will help secure a London music venue’s future.

The investment will allow improvements to the EartH performance venues in Hackney and additional refurbishment to be undertaken so that the business can establish a workspace needed to train young people entering the music industry.

Village Underground and EartH will be working with local providers such as Hackney Empire and Progression Sessions – a music charity – to train young creatives for careers in the industry over the next five years. 

This February, EartH is collaborating with Hackney Empire to showcase young talent in the borough. The event, Pure Vibez- Creators Collide is being put on by the Hackney Empire Young Producers who create their own events for young people. Other projects coming up will help young people to create and record their own music.  

One young producer commented: “It is amazing to put our gig on at EartH because it makes the possibility of being a full time musician feel more real and in a space that loads of big artists have performed at too.”

Acts which have performed in the relaunched venues since September 2021 include a diverse range of names including IDLES, Arlo Parks, Katy B and Bastille, as well as comedians Katherine Ryan and Nish Kumar.

Auro Foxcroft, from the venues said: “We are grateful for Big Issue Invest’s support to lead us out of difficult times allowing us to launch new education facilities and programmes, renovate our venues and reopen bigger and better than ever before. We’re getting right back to hosting some of the greatest musicians from around the globe, supporting new talent, inspiring people and changing lives.”

John Gilligan, Director, Big Issue Invest Fund Management, commented: “Post Covid, we all need the chance to get together and share experiences again.  We are backing Auro’s vision of EartH Hackney as a cultural and educational hub.  We are helping emerging and ignored artists break through and people who have been left behind get trained to make a contribution to an industry where the UK leads the world. The people we train will have an unprecedented opportunity to be there at the coal face of the UK arts scene from the day they enrol.”

Like many other music and arts venues affected by Covid-19 and related opening restrictions, VU’s sites were almost totally closed for 18 months from March 2020 to late summer 2021. The business remained in suspended animation when many similar enterprises failed, but the team’s tenacity and determined relaunch meant that VU has traded well since reopening. The growth funding underwrites the relaunch of Village Underground and EartH Hackney in the post-Covid era.

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Image: Exterior of Village Underground. Credit: Village Underground

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.