UK independent artists to share £ 300,000 grant

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A total of 20 UK independent artists received a grant of £ 300,000 in the final round of a national funding program.

The money will be split between the recipients, including Bristol punky IDLES, indie rock band Black Country, London’s New Road, and Belfast-born electronic and techno producer Max Cooper.

The announcement by the trade association of independent and major labels, BPI, is part of the Music Export Growth Program (MEGS) which has invested £ 4.3million since its launch in 2015.

So far, returns of over £ 51million have been made.

The program is run in partnership between industry and government and aims to boost UK music exports by supporting small and medium-sized music companies looking to grow their profile internationally.

Our music industry is one of the UK’s strongest cultural and economic assets.Mike Freer, Department of International Trade

The 20 artists were selected as part of the 20th MEGS cycle to reflect the great diversity of British music across different genres, the BPI said.

Other recipients included Margate electro-pop artist BABii; the interpreter of R’n’B Eloise; Poppy Ajudha, singer-songwriter from London influenced by jazz; Devon folk guitarist John Smith; Welsh-born multi-instrumentalist and songwriter The Anchoress; and Scottish goth-glam band Walt Disco.

The BPI said the funding was needed to help the UK maintain its position as the second-largest exporter of recorded music as global competition intensifies.

Mike Freer, Minister of Exports at the Department of International Trade (DIT), said: “Our music industry is one of the UK’s most important cultural and economic assets.

“Every year countless songs are written in the UK and performed around the world.

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“We want to continue to make the most of the global opportunity to develop UK music and DIT is proud to co-fund MEGS with the industry to support labels and independent artists.”

Geoff Taylor, Managing Director of the BPI, Brit Awards & Mercury Prize, said: “British music faces more intense competition than ever in a streaming business that is rapidly globalizing.

“MEGS’s funding enables a wide range of brilliant independent artists – from rap to rock and electro to jazz – to grow their fan bases overseas and increase their global streaming revenues.

“MEGS is a great investment for the government, sending 12 times its cost back to the economy.

“Now is the time for the government to work with the industry to expand it, so that more small businesses and UK artists across the country can capitalize on the rise of streaming.”


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