Supporting grassroots live music and arts venues

Keeping the grassroots live music and arts scene alive by supporting venues with vital renovations and improvements. We’re working with Barclaycard as part of its ongoing involvement in the live music industry. The activity sits alongside wider Barclays community activity, which includes working with VIY to support boost access to football and sports to underrepresented groups. Here’s what we’ve done so far.

Aaja Music, Deptford, South London

This local grassroots music organisation were forced out of their pre-Covid space. We helped them set up a new long-term new home on Deptford High Street, by kickstarting their underground transformation of an old M&S unit. We did a full partition of the space to become a workable live music and community space, complete with radio studio. They’re set to open to the public in 2024.

See this project in action here

“It’s lovely knowing that the space that’s going to be ours for ten years is being handbuilt by these young people.”

Sam, Co-Founder, Aaja Music

Nottingham Arts Theatre

We helped this city centre theatre turn their large hall upstairs, previously unused due to water damage and clutter, into a usable rehearsal space – now a clean bright space able to accommodate an extra 150-200 young people during the summer holidays for theatre and arts groups, and for external exhibitions and local events. We also transformed less than desirable dressing rooms into creative spaces to attract more acts and groups to hire the theatre. All to ensure financial stability and a brighter future for the theatre.

Co-funded through our programme with Nottingham City Council and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Hear what the experience meant to the theatre and those involved

Interest and private hires of the theatre and internal spaces have increased significantly since the VIY renovations


Norfolk Community Arts, Norwich

This space is used by various groups to introduce art/culture to young people – playing instruments, songwriting, singing, using arts as social/emotional development and to promote wellbeing/resilience. As a heritage building, feedback stated groups “would love to use it but it’s too tired/shabby“, so we repaired walls and redecorated their main performing space/reception/offices/toilets, all with the aim to drive revenue and participation to rent out space to local groups. Co-funded as part of our programme with Norwich City Council.