Media release: BRIT Awards charity announces that it has now given over £20m to worthy causes


Money has gone to organisations that promote education and wellbeing through music

The BRIT School in Croydon and Nordoff Robbins music therapy have been major beneficiaries, but many other charities have also benefitted

THE BRIT Trust – the BRIT Awards’ charity set up by UK labels association the BPI with the aim of providing young people with opportunities in the music and creative industries – is proud to announce that it has now given out £20 million to many worthy causes since it was set up in 1989.

The biggest beneficiaries are The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon and Nordoff Robbins, the leading independent music therapy charity in the UK, although many other charities have also benefitted.

The BRIT School was set up in 1991 as an unique joint venture between the music industry and government.

Since opening 25 years ago over 7,000 students have passed through its doors, including many artists who have gone on to achieve outstanding success in their chosen fields, such as performers Adele, Katie Melua and Leona Lewis, and – most recently – Mercury Prize shortlisted acts, Loyle Carner and Kate Tempest.

It has also helped to train a number of highly-successful actors, notably Tom Holland (Spiderman), Cush Jumbo and Blake Harrison as well as fuelling the creative sector with dancers, designers, producers and other talent.

The school was only made possible by proceeds from the Knebworth concert in 1990 which featured a host of iconic acts, including Eric Clapton, Genesis, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard and many more, and by continuing donations from the annual BRIT Awards ceremony.

The BRIT Trust has also made donations to a range of other good causes including War Child, Save The Children, Chicken Shed, The Prince’s Trust, addictions and mental health charity, Music Support (of which Robbie Williams is the patron), Key4Life, Drugscope and many more.

It has also helped support other educational establishments including Birmingham Ormiston Academy and the recently launched East London Arts and Music (ELAM) academy in Bromley-by-Bow.

Just last month the BPI launched its new BRITs Apprentice Scheme, offering the opportunity for young people of all backgrounds to get a foot on the ladder of the music industry, with ten places funded in large part through The BRIT Trust.

Chair of The BRIT Trust, John Craig OBE, said: “At the Trust we recognise how important it is to provide opportunities for young people to express their creativity, often through music. More than ever, in today’s society, it is critical to give students life skills that convert into jobs. Over the last four years, 99 per cent of students leaving the BRIT School have either gone into higher education or jobs within the creative economy.

“£20 million is an extraordinary figure and my thanks go to all the artists who have appeared at the BRIT Awards over the years, as well those acts who performed at Knebworth 27 years ago.

“This sum has only been made possible through their generosity of spirit.”

Chief executive of the BRIT Awards and BPI, Geoff Taylor, said: “The BRITs isn’t just about amazing performances and celebrating the best artists in the world. It’s also about raising money for people who deserve support.

“The music industry believes passionately in the power of music to improve people’s lives, and the whole business, from artists to labels, publishers and managers, will celebrate this important milestone. As The BRIT Awards approaches in February, we are looking forward to continuing to support the great work of the Trust.”



Jonathan Morrish 07802 239 416

Gennaro Castaldo 0207 803 1326 / 07801 194 139

Notes for editors:

Quotes from artists who appeared at Knebworth, 1990

Nick Mason, Pink Floyd, said: “Knebworth was actually a great event. A lot of terrific bands, a lot of bands that I would have paid to go and see, and there we were for free! The most significant thing really was for us that this was the sort of kick off for The BRIT Trust and funding for The BRIT School which I think now in 2017 is even more relevant than it was 25 years ago – particularly for new young musicians. If I was honest, when we were asked to do the show – we jumped at it and it was a really nice idea to be able to do a concert that was geared to actually doing something for someone else.”

Sir Cliff Richard OBE said: “I was there with The Shadows and it was a fantastic event and who would have thought that from there would come The BRIT School. Of course, The BRITs have supported Nordoff Robbins too, and so £20 million that we’ve raised over the years, that is no mean feat. The education for children and their better understanding of music is a necessity.”

About The BRIT Trust |

Established in 1989, and entirely funded by the recorded music industry – principally through The BRIT Awards- the trust’s mission is to give young people of all backgrounds a chance to express their musical creativity regardless of race, class, gender or ability.

The trust exists to promote education and wellbeing through music and to date has donated millions to a range of progressive causes and charities, including The BRIT School, East London Arts and Music (ELAM) and Nordoff Robbins music therapy.  It also supports the work of addictions and mental health charity Music Support and Key4Life, which seeks to direct young men who are in prison or at risk of going there away from a life of crime by drawing on their passion for music.

About The BRIT School |

The BRIT School is a one of a kind FREE Performing Arts and Technology School. It is an independent state funded City College for the Technology of the Arts, dedicated to education and vocational training for the performing arts, media, art and design and the technologies that make performance possible.

As a school for 14 to 19 year-olds, it is unique and pioneering in its approach to education. It recognises that most students intend to make a career in the arts, entertainment and communications industries, but the school expects all to follow full time courses to completion. It is a vocational school for students set on a life devoted to art, dance, music, musical theatre, radio, television/film or theatre.

The BRIT School also prides itself on providing an excellent general education that helps prepare young people for the future. It encourages students to go on to specialist colleges and universities or into employment in the creative industries.

As the school is devoted to the arts, then it also recognises that the technology of its name and title is essential for a complete education. It has formidable resources to allow students to study in sophisticated environments equivalent to a modern workplace. BRIT stands for the British Record Industry Trust. Without the generosity of the record industry and funding from the BRIT Awards, the school would never have been built and its superb facilities would never have been installed.

About Nordoff Robbins |

Nordoff Robbins is acknowledged to be the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable and isolated people.

It supports thousands of people through its centres and by working in partnership with a wide range of organisations including care homes, schools and hospitals.

Music therapy is a specialist use of music that aims to facilitate physical and emotional wellbeing, and to promote the development and retention of key communication skills. A wide range of instruments can be used in music therapy, including the voice, and the music created is often improvised. Music therapists support people to develop their own ways of being musical in order to explore their potential and connect with the world around them.

In the hands of a trained practitioner, music therapy can be used to support people living with a wide range of needs. It can help a child with autism to communicate, unlock forgotten memories for those living with dementia or provide comfort and celebrate the life of someone facing a terminal illness.

About The BRIT Awards |

The BRIT Awards with Mastercard is the biggest and most prestigious night in the UK music calendar. Next year’s awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 21st February 2018.

The 38th BRIT Awards will be broadcast live on ITV and take place for the eighth time at The O2, London. The 2017 event, which featured performances from artists including Little Mix, Katy Perry and Robbie Williams as well as a surprise appearance of Stormzy with Ed Sheeran, reached a wider audience than ever before by expanding its digital partnerships to make the biggest night in music even more interactive.

With its longest standing UK broadcaster, ITV’s audience across the main show and its launch programme achieved 8.5million in total. There were over 27 million views of BRITs performances on VEVO and YouTube within just one week alone.

The 2017 BRITs raised £567k for the War Child charity from all of the activity around the Awards, including BRITs Week which hosted a series of incredible live shows in the week leading up to the main event through a partnership between the BPI and AEG Presents. Craig David, The 1975, Lianne La Havas and Basement Jaxx played across London helping to raise money for the cause.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) |

The BPI is a record labels’ association that promotes British music and champions the UK’s recorded music industry – the world’s third largest and the biggest exporter of recorded music after the US. The BPI helps safeguard the rights of its members and of all the artists, performers and record label members of collecting body PPL – who collectively create around 99 per cent of all legitimate sales and streams of music in the UK.

The BPI’s membership consists of over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘major’ companies, which together account for up to 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption.

In 2016, UK artists were responsible for one in eight artist albums sold worldwide, helping British music exports to grow by 11 per cent to £365 million – their highest levels this century. The BPI helps to promote British music overseas through numerous trade missions as well as through theMusic Exports Growth Scheme, which has awarded over £2 million in government funding to more than 150 mainly independently-signed artists since its launch in January 2014. The BPI provides valuable insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses and presentations and through its Innovation Hub, Insight Sessions and authoritative yearbook and reports.

The BPI certifies the iconic Platinum, Gold and Silver Awards Programme, co-owns the Official Charts, owns and organises The BRIT Awards with Mastercard – which, through the BPI’s charitable arm, The BRIT Trust, has raised £20m for music education and wellbeing charities, including The BRIT School and Nordoff-Robbins music therapy. The BPI is also home to the Hyundai Mercury Prize.

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