FERMANAGH man Neil Hannon has become the latest patron of the Music Venue Trust.

Created in January 2014, the Trust’s aim is to protect the UK live music network.

It has a five year plan to ensure famous venues across the UK can continue to play a crucial role in the development of British music.

Artist patrons to date include Travis’ Andy Dunlop, Frank Turner and Savages.

Now part of Music Venue Trust family, The Devine Comedy frontman, Neil, said it was his “honour” and duty” to be a patron.

“Right now bands and artists are more reliant on live music to build and support their musical careers than ever before,” he said, “Small venues are where most musicians start their careers, develop their songs, and first connect to their audiences.

“They are our superstar nurseries and as such are absolutely vital to the future success of live music in the UK and Ireland. We all know the problems small music venues are facing, every month seems to bring the news that we’ve lost another icon of the music scene to developers, planning issues or due to declining audiences. But perhaps with proper support and investment we can protect the venues that we have left, and ensure they can start many more bands and artists on a path to success.”