The next generation of British talent is getting a helping hand from the U.K. Government in a bid to boost overseas sales.
Introduced last year, the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) provides financial support to a number of small and medium-sized music independent companies looking to ramp up their international operations.
Grants range from £5,000 ($7,800) to £50,000 ($78,000) and can be used to contribute towards marketing costs, fund tour support or the recruitment of session musicians, as well as enable songwriters to attend overseas writing camps.
The scheme is run by U.K. Government department UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in conjunction with British labels trade body BPI and has so far awarded grants to 89 independent music companies across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
According to the BPI estimates, for every £1.00 ($1.50) invested, MEGS has generated an approximate return of £8.50 ($13.00).
Previous recipients have included 2014 Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers and fast-rising indie quartet Catfish & the Bottlemen, while Sheffield instrumental band 65daysofstatic, Manchester post-punk artist Lonelady, hotly-tipped Northern Ireland singer-songwriter SOAK and Scottish rockers The Temperance Movement, who have previously supported The Rolling Stones, are among the 19 acts who successfully applied for the latest funding round.
"Through the Music Export Growth Scheme, the Government is banging the drum for the U.K.’s fledgling music stars and promoting the U.K.’s world-class sound in overseas markets," said Business Secretary Sajid Javid in a statement. "The scheme highlights the strength of the U.K.’s creative industries and the benefits they deliver to the U.K. economy," added Javid.
His words were echoed by BPI and BRIT Awards chief executive, Geoff Taylor, who said the scheme has "played a pivotal role in launching the music careers of artists overseas."
"With one in seven artist albums around the world now accounted for by British acts, we know the U.K's independent and major labels are at the top of their game in finding the most promising acts to develop," Taylor went on to say, calling 2015 an "exciting time for British music."
Applications for the next round of MEGS funding open today (6 July 2015) and is eligible for all U.K. independent record labels and music management companies that have an annual turnover of less than €50 million ($55 million) or less and no more than 249 employees.