Press release

Independent music companies to receive export help

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Music Export Growth Scheme opens for second round.

Fourteen talented UK-signed acts will today (19 February 2014) receive financial support to help market themselves around the world, Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced today.

The successful applicants from the first round of the Music Export Growth Scheme were revealed after last night’s BRIT Awards celebrated some of the world-beating UK artists who have helped accelerate British music exports to over 13% of the global market.

The Music Export Growth Scheme has been established by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to help small and mid-sized independent music companies promote their artists overseas as part of wider government efforts to get another 100,000 businesses exporting.

The music companies and acts receiving the grants span the genres of rock/alternative, pop, dance/electronic, urban, classical, jazz and world music and are from London, Glasgow, Sheffield, Wiltshire, Leeds, Nottingham and Monmouth (Wales).

Trade Minister 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 and Investment helps music businesses to get into the rhythm of exporting.

The artists are:

  • 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
  • Zara McFarlane

The successful signed acts and music companies were selected from a pool of 118 applications received in the first round of the programme. The decision to allocate funding to a specific campaign was taken by a panel of music industry experts, independently chaired by John Kennedy OBE, with advice and guidance provided by 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.

John Kennedy, Music Export Growth Scheme Board Chairman said:

This is a wonderful opportunity for emerging artists and growing independently-owned music businesses.

The number and variety of the applications for the first round of funding was very impressive and it is now important that the successful applicants maximise the return from the funding they receive in order to justify the belief shown in their project and the commitment made.

BPI Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor said:

The very strong response we’ve had to the Music Export Growth Scheme clearly demonstrates the demand from independent labels for support in boosting their exports.

The quality of the applications was encouraging and I’m delighted that BPI can play a role in helping UK indie labels to grow their businesses overseas.

Phil Patterson, Music Sector Specialist for UK Trade and Investment said:

The Music Export Growth Scheme is a great addition to the support that UKTI gives the music sector and we’re delighted to be in a position to do that.

We are very keen that this scheme is successful and UKTI will work closely with the BPI and music industry generally to ensure that it is and that many companies benefit from it, giving them the opportunity to support campaigns that will increase the UK’s share of the international music market in all areas.

The scheme, funded by UKTI, will make up to £2.5 million of grants available over a 2 and a half year period. It was announced in October 2013 at a Number 10 meeting with music executives chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Further application rounds will take place periodically over the next 2 and a half years, with the next round now open for submissions until 17 March 2014. Applications are open to all UK music companies meeting the application criteria. Full details can be found at

Notes to editors

  1. Enquiries about the Music Export Growth Scheme: BPI: Debi Blackgrove, International and Independent Member Services Executive,

  2. Media enquiries: BPI: Lynne McDowell, Senior Communications Manager, / 07763 619709 UKTI: Ashley Rogers, / 020 7215 5971 and 020 7215 3505 (out of office hours)

  3. On 5 February 2014 the Intellectual Property Office launched a brand new, free app which allows gamers to take on the role of managing an aspiring musician. The App, Music Inc, is the result of a collaborative effort between UK Music, the Intellectual Property Office and Aardman Animations, and is designed to give young music fans an insight into the modern music industry and to educate them on specific challenges encountered by artists in the digital age.

  4. The government wants to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. In autumn 2013 it launched a public campaign to celebrate GREAT British business success stories. The government wants to inspire other small businesses and point them towards the support that can help them grow. It will also launch a new strategy for how the whole of government will help them. This will set out a range of measures to continue helping build budding entrepreneurs and existing business succeed.

  5. In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

  6. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:
    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.
  7. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at

  8. About BPI: BPI represents the UK’s recorded music industry, which is one of the most exciting and thriving music sectors in the world. British artists account for one in eight albums purchased by fans around the globe. As a trade body, we champion the interests of our membership which includes more than 300 independent music companies and the UK’s major record companies. Together, BPI’s members account for 85% of all music sold in the UK. BPI organises the BRIT Awards show and the Classic BRIT Awards show from which substantial proceeds go to the BRIT Trust – the BPI’s charitable arm – which has donated almost £20 million to charitable causes nationwide since its foundation in 1989.