CHRISTMAS has come early for a top York music venue, thanks to a ‘generous’ council grant.

The National Centre for Early Music says the £22,200 grant from City of York Council will help pay for the cost of this year’s York Early Music Christmas Festival in December.

The money has come from the council’s ARG fund, which supports businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NCEM was forced to close its doors for several months during the pandemic.

Earlier this year, it received a separate £25,000 in grant funding from Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund, which it described as a ‘lifeline’.

This latest grant will guarantee that the Early Music Christmas Festival can go ahead, said NCEM director Delma Tomlin.

Tickets will be on sale for York Early Music Christmas Festival from Monday October 10 from