Grant funding is a vital component of Independent Venue Week and with the recent announcement of a dedicated £1.5 million from Arts Council England specifically for venues and promoters, grant funding is more important and prominent than ever for independent venues and promoters. 

This panel will focus on the different grants available to venues and promotors in each nation. Grant administrators from each of the nations will discuss what grants are available, what their main funding aims are and tips for making the process as easy as possible as well as how to make your application as appealing as possible. 

We will also hear from The Smokehouse in Ipswich, a venue who were successful in securing funding from Arts Council England for a three-year project called ‘Smokehouse Live’. 


[ezcol_1fifth][/ezcol_1fifth]Adrian Cooke is Music Relationship Manager for Arts Council England, based in the South East area but with a national role for Contemporary Popular Music. A champion for increased public funding for the rock & pop sector and talent development, Adrian has previous experience in promoting live music, running festivals, record label management and rights licensing.



[ezcol_1fifth][/ezcol_1fifth]Maxie joined the PRS Foundation team in May 2016, delivering the communications strategy including work to champion a diverse range of music creators and make all PRS Foundation opportunities as accessible as possible. Maxie is from Norwich and is passionate about supporting underrepresented voices in music. She founded Gravy, a musical collective that provides a stepping stone for emerging artists, has a MMus in Sonic Arts, and currently plays drums in Graceland and Current Bond. Maxie has lectured on gender diversity in the arts and hosts LGBTQ+ club nights. She has worked for festivals, venues and talent development organizations in a range of genres, programmed hundreds of new music shows, and occasionally presents radio shows too.


[ezcol_1fifth][/ezcol_1fifth]Joe started his journey towards owning a music venue after setting up a recording studio called Punch Studios in early 2009. Over the next 8 years he expanded his business, opening multiple rehearsal rooms and formed Out Loud Music CIC in order to engage disadvantaged communities and young people with SEN through music technology.  In October 2016, with grant funding from Biffa Award, Joe established new music venue The Smokehouse. During the daytime The Smokehouse hosts a multitude of voluntary organisations using music and media to work with hard to reach communities. At the weekends The Smokehouse transforms into a bespoke 88-capacity live music venue with a DIY ethic, supported by over 100 volunteers. The Smokehouse encourages artists and promoters to put on their own gigs for a small fee with them retaining 100% of the door takings. As a part of Independent Venue Week in January, The Smokehouse started promoting it’s own shows as ‘The Smokehouse Presents’ bringing This Is The Kit, Snapped Ankles, Robyn Hitchcock, The Stroppies and Rozi Plain to the venue so far this year. The organisation are this year gearing up to produce Sound City Ipswich (with Liverpool Sound City) in October, a multi-venue festival taking place on four stages across the town with over 20 bands and artists.


[ezcol_1fifth][/ezcol_1fifth]Karen Boardman started her music career at the age of nineteen when she decided to make her constant attendance at The Hacienda official, persuading the management to give her a job. Over the next couple of years she helped looked after a host of visiting bands including Depeche Mode, Echo and The Bunnymen and Madonna. She eventually moved to London after landing a job at London Records working with the likes of Salt n Pepper, Voice of the Beehive and Fine Young Cannibals.  This day to day dealing with artists led her to set up her own company, Rage Management. Over a 10yr period Karen worked alongside artists such as The Orb and Lamb.  A full time move back to Manchester  gave Karen the opportunity to project manage Manchester City Music Network, a chamber of commerce style organisation, giving advice, training and funding to over 700 music sector businesses in Greater Manchester.  Karen Boardman is currently a Director of Crisis Management LLP, an artist management company based in Manchester. Crisis represented and managed the careers of a number of artists including Karima Francis (Vertigo Records), Rae Morris (Atlantic Records) and JP Cooper (Island Records) to name a few. She is also a Music Relationship Manager for Arts Council England.


[ezcol_1fifth][/ezcol_1fifth]Chloe has been part of Independent Venue Week for six years, having previously worked in festival and award production. She is now Head of IVW in the UK, taking over the day to day running of IVW three years ago. She is supported by Ruby and Charlie who joined IVW in 2018 and are back for IVW 20. She has written the successful funding applications for Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Northern Ireland and PRS Foundation for the last year years. Her colleagues think she is “well good”.