Much loved Gloucester Road spot boosted by Music Venue Trust Funding

Much loved Gloucester Road spot boosted by Music Venue Trust Funding

Posted on: 12 Jan 2023

Cloak and Dagger is one of many venues that has been at risk of imminent closure recently but a timely grant from the MVT has given the popular venue well-deserved support.


Pipeline Investment Fund is a new grant-giving fund from Music Venue Trust with the support of venue members of the Music Venues Alliance.


PIF welcomes small-scale grant applications (up to £5,000) from grassroots UK music venues to support small-scale capital applications (such as lighting, sound, access etc) and staff and training issues (diversifying workforce, skills developments etc).



Cloak and Dagger CEO Jenna Graves has spoken extensively about the impact of the funding and the reasons her venue needed it in the first place. “The last few years have certainly put the pressure on venues to work as hard as possible with tighter revenue and greater expenditure”, she says.


The venue is run by a small and dedicated team of six staff that take care of every aspect of running an independent business, from bar work to event management, cleaning to finance.


“For this reason, continuing to train our employees in every area of the business and the nightlife industry in general is something that we must do in order to keep our vision and service consistent. Our aim is to give our employees the tools they need to progress in the area of their choice”, Jenna explains.


“With the numerous challenges we’ve faced since we opened in 2019, finding the money as well as time to fulfil this vision has proved challenging.”

Now, thanks to the Music Venue Trust funding, Cloak and Dagger are able to train staff in all aspects of their work, thus allowing the team to continue to improve the space and make a positive impact on the wider community.


The space has also fallen victim, like so many independent venues, of noise complaints. Jenna explains:“Although our neighbourhood is famed for nightlife into the early hours, 7 day a week clubbing scene and turbo island parties we have fallen victim to unhappy residents after the quiet time from lockdown.


“Like many live music venues across the UK, we have become threatened by noise complaints. Although we have worked closely with Environment officers, local neighbourhood police, licensing, local landlords and solicitors and tried to enforce Agent of change, it has sadly become a continuous challenge absorbing more time and money than we have.”


The fund will also allow Jenna and her team to invest in more permanent PA equipment to help regulate sound levels regularly. It will also help staff and regular promoters train to be sound technicians, meaning that they will be able to utilise their MVT-supplied equipment correctly without causing a disturbance.

Small, non-profit, community venues such as Cloak and Dagger are such vital parts of the UK’s burgeoning night-time economy, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult - and expensive – for these amazing spaces to keep their head above the water.


The support of organisations Music Venue Trust and Music Venues Alliance makes this just a little bit easier for community figureheads like Jenna to continue their good work serving Bristol’s partyers.


Cloak and Dagger, 182-184 Cheltenham Rd, Cotham, Bristol BS6 5RB

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Article by:

Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and he spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city, immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturdays are spent watching his team both home and away.