A POPULAR music venue in York has announced that it is staying closed until further notice - to avoid the risk of bankruptcy.

While The Crescent can open just as a pub from July 4, it isn’t allowed to stage any gigs.

The team at The Crescent, including owners Ed, Bob and Alice Leyland, have issued a statement on the venue's website saying they have considered the viability of opening just as a pub on July 4 to get some income in, but have confirmed this won't be happening.

Explaining their decision, they said the business mortgage, utilities and bills were renegotiated to cheaper rates or deferred on the basis of the venue being closed.

"Opening to very limited income but facing the full weight of these bills will quickly bankrupt us. It is cheaper to stay closed than open with extremely limited income," they said.

The team are "keen to observe what best practices emerge from the sector in terms of apps, serving techniques, registering customers and maintaining physical distancing," adding: "The guidance as it stands is very vague and potentially expensive to enforce."

They said that they want to see if the R rate goes up before opening as a result of "rapidly moving out of lockdown."

They also said they have been "hard at work fixing up the venue," but are not ready to open yet.

The team said they agree with the decision not to allow live performances yet.

But they have criticised Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden for announcing a ‘roadmap to reopening’ with no details on how this will be funded or how long this is expected to take.

They said: "Obviously selling audiences alcohol whilst watching live music is our primary means of survival, and the same is true of many other music venues. Without an imminent government bailout, venues and theatres across the country will close at an alarming rate. Many have rents they cannot afford to pay that are due at the end of this month."

The Crescent was one of more than 500 grassroots music venues to back the Music Venue Trust’s open letter calling for £50 million to hibernate music venues until October, plus a reduction in VAT on cultural tickets.

"If they act now, they can prevent mass closures and redundancies across the sector," the team said.

They thanked everyone who has helped The Crescent achieve its £15,000 fundraising target.

They added: "Overall, safety of our customers, staff and community is paramount. It does not seem clear to us that the guidelines put in place adequately achieve this yet.

"As such, for now we will remain closed until further notice as we see how the situation develops. This is not an easy decision to make, but as a team we are in agreement that it’s the best route forward for now."