Successful applicants from the first round of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) Music Export Growth Scheme are to receive financial support to market themselves around the world, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) revealed on Thursday.
UKTI and BPI established the Music Export Growth Scheme to help small and mid-sized independent music companies promote their artists overseas, as part of the UK government’s efforts to get a further 100,000 companies into the export trade. The scheme is funded by UKTI and will make up to GBP2.5m of grants available over two and a half years.
Further application rounds are to take place periodically over the next two and a half years and the next application round, which is open to all UK music companies meeting the application criteria, is now open for submissions until 17 March 2014.
Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced that 14 UK-signed acts will receive the funding, following the BRIT Awards event on 19 February 2014, which celebrated UK artists who have helped British music exports increase to over 13% of the global market.
Music companies and acts that have successfully applied to receive the grants come from London, Glasgow, Sheffield, Wiltshire, Leeds, Nottingham and Monmouth (Wales) and cover genres of music such as rock/alternative, pop, dance/electronic, urban, classical, jazz and world music. The artists include: Afrikan Boy, Beth Jeans Houghton, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Drenge, Filthy Boy, Fred V & Grafix, George Benjamin, Holy Mountain, Melt Yourself Down, Public Service Broadcasting, The Crookes, The Temperance Movement, Throwing Snow and Zara McFarlane.
A panel of music industry experts, independently chaired by John Kennedy OBE, allocated funding to the signed acts and music companies, which were selected from a pool of 118 applications received in the first round of the programme. BPI, UKTI, the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the Music Managers Forum (MMF), and representatives from some of the UK’s leading independent record labels provided advice and guidance.
Lord Livingston said: “Last night’s BRIT Awards showed the depth of music talent in the UK and why we sell more records around the world than almost any other country.
“50 years on from the Beatles arriving in the America, the Music Export Growth Scheme will give more talented young British artists the chance to be successful on the international stage.
“This scheme is just one of a number of ways UK Trade & Investment helps music businesses to get into the rhythm of exporting.”