- Social investment arm of The Big Issue has announced a multi-million pound investment into Village Underground’s iconic London live performance venues
- Funding will support training of young people to provide opportunities to enter the music industry
Big Issue Invest (BII) has committed to a significant new investment in VU X Earth Limited (“VU”), a social enterprise, and owner of the Village Underground and EartH Hackney live performance venues in London. The growth funding for planned capital expenditure will allow improvements to the EartH performance venues and additional refurbishment to be undertaken so that the business can establish the training workspace needed to train young people entering the industry.
The funding will allow Village Underground and EartH to extend their reach to young talent through creative development opportunities. VU will be collaborating over the next five years with local providers such as Hackney Empire, Hackney Music Service and Progression Sessions – a music charity that platforms young artists and trains young creatives for careers in the industry.
This February, EartH is collaborating with Hackney Empire to showcase young talent in the borough. The event, Pure Vibez-Creators Collide is being put on by the Hackney Empire Young Producers who create their own events for young people like them. This is only the start of the creative training programme, with projects to come including Progression Sessions coming to EartH, enabling young people to create and record their own music.
One HE Young Producer said of the Young Producers project“It is amazing to put our gig on at EartH because it makes the possibility of being a full time musician feel more real and in my reach in a space that loads of big artists have performed at too”.
Furthermore, the investment will enable VU to build on its 15 year legacy of providing a platform to showcase emerging talent, support artists launching their careers, as well as more established musicians from refurbished, upgraded sites. Acts which have performed in the relaunched venues since September 2021 include a diverse range of names including IDLES, Arlo Parks, Katy B and Bastille, as well as comedians Katherine Ryan and Nish Kumar.
Auro Foxcroft, CEO, VU X Earth Limited, said “We are grateful for Big Issue Invest’s support to lead us out of difficult times allowing us to launch new education facilities and programmes, renovate our venues and reopen bigger and better than ever before. We’re getting right back to hosting some of the greatest musicians from around the globe, supporting new talent, inspiring people and changing lives.”