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Leeds' Wharf Chambers Needs Help Accessing Arts Council Funds
Christian Eede , August 5th, 2020 12:42

A loophole in the Culture Recovery Fund, which has been set up to help struggling arts venues, means that the much-loved Leeds venue is unable to apply for much-needed funds

Leeds venue Wharf Chambers is requesting help in raising awareness of a loophole in Arts Council England's Culture Recovery Fund, which means the Leeds space is unable to apply for financial assistance.

As Wharf Chambers is structured as a co-operative members club, it does not meet ACE's criteria that venues should be registered with Companies House or the Charity Commission. Whilst the venue is listed with Companies House, it reports to the Financial Conduct Authority and thus does not meet the current criteria.

The venue says that access to the fund, and approval of its application, would ensure that it can cover ongoing running costs until March 2021 amid the COVID-19 shutdown. Wharf Chambers also adds that it is not the only grassroots independent music venue that this loophole affects and that it is seeking an expansion of the criteria on advice of the Music Venue Trust.

Wharf Chambers is calling upon those in the UK who want to help protect the space, and others like it, to write to their local MP to ask that they apply some pressure on ACE and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to change the current rules. It's a time-sensitive issue as the fund opens on August 10.

You can read more on the matter via Wharf Chambers' Twitter page here.

Wharf Chambers is a much-loved co-operative bar and gig venue in Leeds that provides a home for a number of club nights open to communities across the city, while also hosting events focused on art, film and politics. Find out more about what the venues does here.