An open letter from the Music Venue Trust to the UK government, highlighting the need for an immediate £50million financial support package, has been signed by 560 of the Trust’s member venues.

In the letter, the venues state: “Last year there were more than 175,000 events in our venues that gave people the experiences they love and the artists the opportunities they need. Since 20 March there have been no events.

“This is because our sector has complied with the public health guidance. We did the right thing. We closed to protect our communities. We engaged with the government task force and we explored every option available to reopen safely and bring live music back. We understand that in order to protect the public, it should not be done until the health guidance changes, and we also know that trying to do it is economic folly, which would be financially ruinous; not just for us but for our entire sector.”

The members use the letter to argue that if the financial support package - and a reduction of VAT on future ticket sales - is introduced, the measures would: “prevent the closure of hundreds of grassroots music venues. They [the measures] are the right thing to do. We are a dynamic, innovative and inventive sector. We do not need permanent government intervention to exist. We are not asking to become a permanently subsidised drain on the public purse. We do not need the government to step in and tell us how to run our venues. We need government to take two simple steps and leave us to work out how to do the rest