Year On Evaluation: LCR Music Industry Support Fund
In 2020 the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved an award of £2m of SIF (Strategic Investment Find) to support the Liverpool City Region Music Industry Sector Development Pilot Project; delivering a programme of business growth, skills and talent development, and associated work to strengthen the LCR music ecosystem.
The LCR Combined Authority approval was for an initial £250,000 from SIF (with the remaining £1,750,000 subject to funding). However, within days of the SIF award approval, on 23rd March 2020 the Prime Minister made announcements to confirm that the country was in effect in lockdown.
In response, £150,000 of the projects funding was repurposed for the Music industry Support Fund, recognising the inevitable implications that lockdown would have on the industry and its associated supply chain. The fund was established in partnership with Culture Liverpool (UNESCO Music office within Liverpool City Council) and was overseen by LCR Music Board.
The Music Support Fund was a welcome source of funding to the Music Sector in the Liverpool City Region at the start of the first national lockdown (2020), when business closure was a risk felt by applicants, all of whom had lost some proportion of income at the time of application. In total, 52 local music businesses were supported through the fund with grants of up to £5,000 per business.
As well as speaking to the recipients about how they have put their funding to great use, an evaluation of the impact of this fund was carried out by the City Region Combined Authority evidence, intelligence and research department, who have now published the the report on their website.
Key information/findings identified in the report:
- Business closure was a risk to most Music Support Fund recipients at the time of application
- All respondents had lost some proportion of income at the time of applying for the Music Support Fund.
- The majority of the Music Support Fund was used to help pay business rent/mortgage and to support businesses to pivot their activity during the pandemic.
- In December 2020, when the Liverpool City Region was in Tier 2 national lockdown restrictions, nearly all of the respondents to Music Support fund evaluation agreed (98%) with the statement “The Music Support Fund helped my business address the challenges faced as a direct result of Covid-19” and 96% agreed “The Music Support Fund has helped you sustain my business through this difficult time”
- 100% Satisfaction with the Music Support Fund application process
- 100% of businesses who received the fund were still trading in December 2020, but with varied levels of success.
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