UK independent artists to split £300,000 grant

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A total of 20 UK independent artists have been awarded a £300,000 grant in the latest round of a national funding scheme.

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

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

Returns of over £51million have been made so far.

The scheme is run in partnership between industry and government and exists to boost UK music exports by supporting small and medium sized music businesses looking to raise their profile internationally.

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

The 20 artists were selected as part of the 20th round of MEGS 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; jazz-influenced London singer-songwriter Poppy Ajudha; 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 biggest exporter of recorded music as global competition intensifies.

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

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

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

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

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

“MEGS is an excellent investment for the government, returning 12 times its cost to the economy.

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

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