Lancaster Music Co-op gets £300k funding boost as it makes plans to reopen

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The future of Lancaster’s much-loved Music Co-op has received a significant boost thanks to a successful £300,000 funding bid.

The news was announced at a special event organised by the Co-op to provide updates on the popular facility, which has been closed since 2020.

Following a lengthy bid process, £250,000 from the Community Ownership Fund along with £50,000 revenue funding was allocated by the government’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the Spring Budget.

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Holly Blackwell, representing the Music Co-op, said “We were absolutely thrilled to receive the news that we had been successful in our bid.

Lancaster Music Co-op has been awarded £300,000 in government funding.Lancaster Music Co-op has been awarded £300,000 in government funding.
Lancaster Music Co-op has been awarded £300,000 in government funding.

"It couldn’t have come at a better time as we were able to share it with a very supportive crowd, including local musicians and councillors, at our event in The Pub on Thursday."

She added: “Things are looking increasingly positive at the moment but we still have a lot of work to do to secure the future of the Music Co-op but we are absolutely determined to see this vital community hub back at the heart of the city’s creative community."

Members of the Co-op’s steering group now plan to sign a long-term lease with Lancaster City Council, who own the Lodge Street building.

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Once favourable terms are agreed, it is hoped that renovation work will swiftly follow.

Lancaster Music Co-op, established in 1985, is a non-profit rehearsal facility, recording studio and music space for the music community in Lancaster and the surrounding area.

The Music Co-op has been at the centre of the local music community as well as serving as a launch pad for upcoming aational music artists.

In 2018, Lancaster City Council issued the Music Co-op with an eviction order. However, the local community fought hard in a nationwide campaign to save this vital community resource.

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Receiving nationwide support from the likes of Abbey Road Studios, Butch Vig, Sleaford Mods and Maximo Park, councillors unanimously voted to secure its future for good by rescinding the eviction notice, assuring the Co-op they would grant a long-term affordable lease below market value and promising to carry out much needed repairs to the building.

Since 2020, the facility has been closed and discussions with Lancaster City Council are ongoing to secure the future of the Co-op.

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