Press release

Music exports hit a note with UK government as more labels and songwriters receive funding boost

Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) has granted a further £200,000 to UK-based independent music companies.

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Thirteen UK music companies together with 3 songwriters are to receive significant funding to boost their overseas touring and song-writing collaborations. Among those selected are the management company behind Catfish and the Bottlemen, winner of the BBC Introducing Award.

The Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) – delivered by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the music industry trade body, BPI – has granted a further £200,000 to UK-based independent music companies. The funding will provide support to develop their businesses, artists and projects in international markets such as the USA, Asia and Europe.

Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Maude said:

The UK has a vibrant creative sector that generated over £17 billion in exports during 2013.

The Music Export Growth Scheme has helped a new generation of British musical talent gain international recognition and boost the sales of UK music abroad; creating jobs and growth for the UK economy. I wish the latest recipients well as they grow their fan base abroad.

This seventh round of funding brings the total amount distributed by the scheme to £1.6 million, helping more than 100 companies, and bringing an estimated £8.50 return on every £1 invested so far.

Music is a vital component of the UK’s thriving creative sector – the fastest-growing sector in the UK. According to latest available figures, the music industry contributed £3.8 billion to the UK economy in 2013 with record companies accounting for more than one-sixth of this.

The successful recipients of funding will use the money to support the careers of the following music acts and writers:

  • Catfish and the Bottlemen (British band originally from North Wales)
  • Crystal Fighters (formed in London)
  • Denai Moore (originally from Spanish Town, Jamaica, based in London)
  • Ephemerals (from London)
  • Songwriters Greig Watts (Elstead, Sussex), Georgie Dennis (Norwich) and Christopher Wortley (Southampton)
  • Kero Kero Bonito (from London)
  • Lower Than Atlantis (from Watford)
  • Martin Harley (from Hertfordshire)
  • Max McElligot (from London)
  • Moulettes (originally from Glastonbury, relocated to Brighton)
  • Petite Noir from (London and Cape Town)
  • The Bohicas (Essex)
  • The Twilight Sad (Glasgow)
  • Turbowolf (from Bristol)

The Music Export Growth Scheme is designed to support independent music companies in the industry, who accounted for almost a quarter (23.4%) of sales in the UK record industry last year.

BPI and BRIT Awards Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor, who was instrumental in negotiating the scheme, said:

The scheme has gained real traction with the independent music community, supporting award-winning acts and launching artists in new markets overseas. It has been a success story for the British government, British music companies and British artists.

The awards will be matched by the music companies to pay for items such as overseas marketing and promotion, session musicians, tour support and booking agents in territories the artists hope to tour. The songwriters will travel overseas to collaborate with international writers, delivering great revenue back to the UK through publishing and sync deals.

Commenting on the Music Export Growth Scheme, funding recipient, Martin Harley, added:

As an independent and emerging artist it can be daunting to work on your development in a new region. The BPI and UKTI’s support to promote the new album through marketing and touring is massive.

Keep in touch with further news about MEGS by visiting BPI’s website.

Notes to editors:

  1. Approved Artist Images
  2. Media enquiries:
  3. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed globally and assists overseas companies to bring investment to the UK. We lead the whole of government effort to help UK firms win business overseas and rebalance the economy towards export-led sustainable economic growth.
  4. 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 1 in 8 albums purchased by fans around the globe. As a trade body, BPI champions the interests of their 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.
Published 17 October 2015