FOUR live music venues in York have been awarded grants to help them meet the continuing costs of the Covid pandemic.

City of York Council awarded the funding to The Crescent, the Fulford Arms, the Victoria Vaults and the National Centre for Early Music, as they reopen and re-engage with audiences.

A spokesperson said local venues were facing a 'very challenging financial period' and were reliant on the live music industry to return to previous touring patterns and levels over the coming year.

"The grant to the four music venues supports City of York Council’s standpoint that a thriving, vibrant, diverse and responsibly managed early-evening, evening and night-time offer is a crucial part of the city’s economy," they said.

"It also places emphasis on the council’s commitment to live music venues in the city, recognising them as an integral part of York’s economy."

The money is part of a total fund of £90,000 from the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant to support events, activities and festivals.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, said York's live music scene was a 'crucial and vibrant' part of the city’s cultural offer. "We recognise the ongoing challenges venues are facing as we ease out of the national restrictions and people get used to a new ‘normal.'

"We are committed to working with the sector to provide all possible support, including promoting the great experiences on our doorstep thanks to the many brilliant live music venues across our city.”

Dr Delma Tomlin, director of the early music centre, said the financial help would ensure that it could stage the annual York Early Music Christmas Festival, a week of music celebration featuring a line-up of world class performers.

"The festival is hugely popular with residents and attracts visitors from all over the UK, who make it part of their Christmas calendar," she said.

"It’s wonderful to see the city coming back to life and we’re very proud to be able to be part of its fabulous programme of events celebrating the festive season."