Independent music venue’s electricity costs rises ‘from £16,000 to £72,000’ per year

The Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes has seen a huge rise in their running costs due to the cost of living crisis

Megan Graye
Monday 30 January 2023 11:14 GMT
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Managers at independent music venue The Craufurd Arms say they have seen unprecedented increases in running costs.

Max Harvey from the venue in Wolverton, Milton Keynes, said that the “real threat” to the venue was the energy bills.

The co-runner was speaking to the BBC as part of Independent Venues Week, an annual seven-day period dedicated to highlighting the importance of independent venues across the country.

Harvey explained that the venue had just scraped through the pandemic by relying on public donations and arts council funding, but now they were facing even more challenges.

"Now the biggest threat is rising costs. Energy bills are just insane," Harvey told the BBC. 

The venue runner said that their electricity costs had gone up by as much as £56,000 annually.

"Our electricity has quadrupled from £16,000 a year to £72,000 a year - that’s not including gas and water which have both doubled,” he said.

"These are the biggest increases in overheads we have ever seen, which is a real threat to the viability of the business."

The Craufurd Arms say they have seen unprecedented rises in running costs at the venue
The Craufurd Arms say they have seen unprecedented rises in running costs at the venue (Google Maps)

The cost of living crisis has affected many music and entertainment venues across the country, with businesses struggling to afford their rent and running costs.

Independent Venue Week begins today and will celebrate venues across the UK for the next seven days.

The week not only celebrates the venues themselves, but “also the people who own, run and work in them” according to the IVW website.

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Speaking to The Independent for a feature on the forthcoming closure of Sheffield’s independent venue The Leadmill, Founder of IVW Sybil Bell discussed the cruciality of these types of venues.

“Being truly independent is so important to so many venues, and is what allows them to put on artists they believe in, especially early on in their careers,” she said.

“Independent venues and artists are such a huge part of the authenticity of the community.”

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