Late-night sector leaders have questioned the criteria on which grants under the Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF) have been determined as some of London’s leading independent operators were refused support.

Some of the capital’s most prominent dance venues including Printworks, The Egg, Studio 338, Oval Spaces and The Pickle Factory were all denied the funding, causing leaders to raise concern over the eligibility and fairness of the CRF criteria.

“Shocked and dismayed” at the number of venues unable to qualify, Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill highlighted the “perilous cliff edge” that awaits businesses without additional support.

“We are keen, alongside hundreds of unsuccessful businesses, to understand the criteria with which some of these decisions have been made, and gain an understanding of when and if there will be further support for the sector through cultural funding, as we are losing important businesses and people every day,” he said.

Simeon Aldred of Printworks said he was “completely broken” but the CRF’s decision, adding that despite generating 34,000 freelance shifts at its shows last year and paying millions in VAT and tax, “Many of our contemporaries in the uk got the grant (which I am pleased about) but we have not been given a penny.”

“All of our venues sit in major regeneration areas and in addition to providing cultural experiences provide jobs for local economies something I would have thought the government would be supportive of,” he said.

“We will keep fighting for the millions of people who attend our shows as we love what we do but hope the arts council could reconsider our application for support.”

Dan Perrin of Studio 338 said that whilst he was “delighted” to see operators including Ministry of Sound and Resident Advisor receive funding, “it is clear from my research that the venues and organisations which received support used consultants to complete the paperwork and those which didn’t have this resource or experience of asking for public money were rejected.

“This is plainly wrong as it means large organisations receive funding whilst independents do not.”

Requesting the Arts Council to rethink its decision, Perrin added that for an online ticketing website such as Resident Advisor to receive £750k and Studio 338 to receive nothing is “plainly wrong and seems to be based on a competition to see who can write the best proposal as opposed to being a fair system to allow all venues the opportunity to survive this existential threat.”

“For the biggest nightclub in the capital to be denied this help whilst we are closed for the good of public health is frankly astounding.”

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