Own Our Venues - The Ferret, Preston

by Music Venue Properties in Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Own Our Venues - The Ferret, Preston
We did it
On 30th March 2023 we successfully raised £20 ( + est. £5.00 Gift Aid ) with 1 supporters in 141 days

A radical & exciting opportunity for the live music community to own, protect & improve UK Grassroots Music Venues including The Ferret.

by Music Venue Properties in Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom

This Crowdfunder page allows you to make a donation of any size towards the Music Venue Properties' #OwnOurVenues initiative. If, instead, you are interesting in investing in our Community Share Offer then please visit our investment Crowdfunder page.




For the last 8 years Music Venue Trust has led the campaign to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues in the U.K. Supported by you – our incredible community of music fans, artists, and crew – the charity has grown from strength to strength and currently provides support for over 900 venues in the U.K.

Now we want to make the most radical change of all. We want to permanently secure a future for these venues by changing the ownership model. We believe these vital venues should belong to us. All of us that care about them, that play in them, that visit them. 

Let’s Own Our Venues


Music Venue Properties

Music Venue Properties is a Community Benefit Society that purchases freeholds of UK Grassroots Music Venues and rents them back to the operators at a fairer rate than their present landlords, with greater security and better understanding of the sector - to make them more valued and to help them grow.

Music fans and ethical investors can buy community shares in Music Venue Properties from £200 to £100,000 and receive 3% APR on their investment. You can find out how by visiting our community shares page.  

Since launching the Share Offer in May 2022 the support has been amazing but we understand that some people who want to back this initiative are unable to buy a share at this time

We have therefore taken the decision to open up Crowdfunder donations pages for all 9 venues who are a part of our pilot project where supporters can donate other amounts to show their support. 

What's more, we will be converting the money raised for each venue into community shares and issuing them randomly to people who have donated and live in the local community.

Before the end of 2022, we will raise £3.5M to buy the freeholds for 9 UK Grassroots Music Venues including The Ferret. And after that, we're going to keep reinvesting - to buy, own and protect as many venues as we can. 

Let's #OwnOurVenues.


What is the problem?

• 35% of Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs) have closed in the last 20 years.

• 93% of GMVs are tenants and the average operator has 18 months left on their tenancy.

• Since the start of the COVID crisis the sector acquired over £90m of new debt, yet 67% of Culture Recovery Fund grant money was paid to Landlords.

• The Ferret is currently being marketed for sale via Morgan Martin Estate Agents.

• The Ferret's tenancy expires in September 2023.


The Ferret

Housed in a centuries-old mill building, The Ferret has been a 200-capacity live music venue since 2006 when it first opened as The Mad Ferret. Since then, The Ferret (as it became known in 2014) has played host to thousands of live musicians, with hundreds performing every year - past visitors include IDLES, Ed Sheeran, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Buzzcocks & A Certain Ratio. Surviving when other Preston venues have fallen by the wayside, The Ferret has recently seen investment in a new stage and sound system - attracting some of the most exciting names in touring live music including Bob Vylan, Billy Nomates & The Orielles in the last 12 months. 

As well as the big names, The Ferret is the regular haunt of the local music community - with new bands & artists learning their craft on its stage, at open mic nights - both acoustic and MC-led, at open decks events for budding DJs, and as support acts for touring artists. Students from the neighbouring University of Central Lancashire run regular live music sessions and have the opportunity to shadow The Ferret’s sound engineering team, learning on the job. Local promoters are given chance to host their own events, and previous members of The Ferret team have gone on to work nationally & internationally on live music promotion and production. 

“The Ferret’s commitment to alternative culture in the City of Preston is unparalleled. We see it as our duty to champion new music, and to bring to Preston the kinds of artists that would rarely, if ever, be seen around these parts. Having the support of MVP as our landlord would give us the security and confidence to invest even more in grassroots music and create something truly special in our city.” - Matt Fawbert, The Ferret



  • Music Venue Trust will be receiving donations on behalf of Music Venue Properties.
  • These donations will be used alongside capital raised via Community Shares, grants and corporate donations to help purchase these 9 venues.
  • We will be proportionately converting donations into Community Shares, so if £5,000 is raised we will issue the 25 shares. These shares will be issued randomly to anyone who lives within 10 miles of the venue and donated.
  • Although these shares will not have a monetary value to the recipient, they will become a member of Music Venue Properties Community Benefit Society and have the same voting rights as everyone else who has invested.
  • If Music Venue Properties are unsuccessful in raising the capital, or simply unable to buy The Ferret for whatever reason, then you will be offered a refund on your donation.


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