STAFF at one of Oxford’s best-loved music venues have welcomed an emergency cash award which will help save them from permanent closure.

The Bullingdon in Cowley Road has played host to international stars, local up-and-coming bands and groundbreaking club nights for more than 20 years. However, like all live music venues, it was forced to close the doors in March as part of efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

While shops, pubs and restaurants have been allowed to reopen, venues like The ‘Bully’ are still unable to stage shows in front of a live audience.

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It received £212,000 from the Government’s £1.6 billion Culture Recovery Fund. It came as part of a first tranche of £257m to 1,385 cultural organisations across England.

The club, which recently hosted reformed Oxford band Supergrass for a live-streamed ‘virtual reality’ charity show, welcomed the cash.

Manager Paul Williams said: “We are absolutely elated in our new found security through these uncertain times.”

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Mark Heelis, from Abingdon, said: “This is superb news, congratulations to The Bully. It is so important to our local music scene – a stage for local, national and international artists. See you when it’s safe to do so!”

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Other beneficiaries include the Oxford Playhouse, which, received £458,000; Arts at the Old Fire Station, which got £96,000; East Oxford community arts charity Fusion Arts, with £86,000; Chipping Norton Theatre, which was granted £144,000; and Modern Art Oxford and The Story Museum, both in Pembroke Street, which were given £91,000 and £170,000.