Media release: DIT awards a further £220,000 to UK acts through BPI-administered Music Export Growth Scheme


Latest round of Music Export Growth Scheme funding sees the Department for International Trade (DIT) commit a further £220,000 to 12 UK artists to achieve success in overseas markets.

MEGS has awarded over £3 million to over 200 British music projects since its launch in 2014

TALENTED artists from the British music scene are benefiting from long-term Government investment through the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign designed to help build their international fanbases and to boost sales of their music outside of the UK thanks to the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS).

The scheme, now coming up to its fifth year and managed by UK record label association the BPI, supports small to medium sized music companies by contributing to their artist marketing campaigns and touring overseas.

In this latest (14th) round of funding, 12 British acts have received grants totalling £220,052 to help fund their projects across Europe, North America, Australia and Jamaica. Artists to benefit include Scottish pop artist Nina Nesbitt, saxophonist and composer YolanDa Brown, singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry, indie quintent Ten Fé and Kilsyth’s post-punk outfit The Twilight Sad. See Notes to editors for full list.

Since its launch in January 2014 the Music Export Growth Scheme has distributed over £3 million to support a diverse range of artists drawn mainly from the indie community. The scheme has seen a return of over £11 to the UK economy for every £1 invested. One of this round’s recipients, Nina Nesbitt, is promoting her latest single in America with MEGS support and said:

“I’m currently in the US thanks to this funding and just found out my single Loyal To Me was in the top five most added songs at Top 40 US radio. Huge thank you once again!”

Chris Tams, BPI director of International, overseeing the MEGS programme, said: “The Music Export Growth Scheme gives a diverse range of talented British artists the opportunity to grow their fanbase in key international markets through touring and marketing support. In the process, it helps to promote the profile of British music overseas and, crucially, helps to boost our exports with a return on investment to date of over £11 for each £1 put in by the UK Government.”

MEGs recipient and jazz musician, YolanDa Brown, said: “I am celebrating ten years in music this year and absolutely thrilled to be awarded a MEGS grant.

“The opportunity to take my music around the world, engage with new audiences in different territories is the most amazing feeling for an independent artist and I am pleased that with this award I can do just that”

Speaking on behalf of Django Django and Wots that Smell, Peter McGaughrin, said: “I’ve found that MEGS funding is a truly career changing opportunity for my artists – being able to afford to take their music to the world is incredibly empowering and means that great music from the UK can keep on finding appreciative audience on a global stage”.

Soul singer and MEGS recipient, Samuel Jack, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and whole heartedly grateful for the support from the BPI. Being a musician on the road can be costly and as offers increase so too does the cost of being able to accept them! Now, with the BPI’s help I have a real opportunity to not only grow as an artist, but to maintain and continue that growth, it’s an absolute game changer for me.”

Wiltshire-born singer-songwriter, Gabrielle Aplin, said: “I am so grateful to have been chosen to have my application accepted by the BPI for the MEGs award! This funding will help me get to Australia, a country that I love to visit that has always been so supportive and receptive of my music! The trip will coincide with my new music so the timing is perfect and I can’t wait to get going!”

Applications for the next round (15th) of MEGS funding will open in 2019.

For more details on the Music Export Growth Scheme, please visit the BPI website here:



* Contact the BPI at / 020 7803 1326 / 07801 194 139
* Contact the DIT Media & Digital Team on 020 7008 3333

Follow: @tradegovuk

Notes to editors:

Full list of MEGS recipients in the 14th round of funding:

·         Bear’s Den

·         Bloxx

·         Django Django

·         Ezra Collective

·         Gabrielle Aplin

·         HMLTD

·         Neneh Cherry

·         Nina Nesbitt

·         Samuel Jack

·         Ten Fé

·         The Twilight Sad

·         YolanDa Brown

Click here for access to artist assets:

About the MEGS

Many smaller to medium-sized music labels, distributors and management companies, which are often independently-owned, achieve remarkable success when launching their artists in the UK.

However, their limited resources and the sheer cost of marketing overseas means it can be a real challenge for them to replicate this success internationally.

This, in turn, creates the risk that significant commercial opportunities may be missed, not just for these companies and their artists, but ultimately for the wider UK economy through lost exports.

The Music Export Growth Scheme has been created to help address this issue, offering small and medium-sized music companies with the potential to achieve increased international success the opportunity to apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 that will support their marketing overseas and the promotion of specific artist releases.

*   Companies will be eligible to apply for the scheme if they meet the Government’s criteria on small and medium enterprises (SMEs): Annual turnover of €50m or less and no more than 249 employees.
*   Eligible companies can apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 by presenting detailed campaign proposals to a specially-appointed selection board. The presentations would need to detail how any grant would be invested in effective marketing and other promotional activity oversees, such as through artist showcases, tour support, social media and publicity. Before agreeing to a grant, the board members would need to feel persuaded that the plans have a strong chance of succeeding in meeting their objectives.
*   Companies must part-fund from their own resources, demonstrating their own commitment to the proposed activity. A company will not be able to receive more than two grants per year, while the total sum that it receives over the duration of the scheme may not exceed the state aid limits that apply at the time.
*   The selection board, which is independently-chaired, meets three times a year to consider applications. It is made up of a diverse range of over 20 industry experts and representatives drawn from a number of music organisations as well as from the BPI and DIT and includes a professional/business advisor.
*   The scheme is managed by BPI as the accredited trade organisation. This includes marketing the fund and its benefits to the music sector; advising on applications before they are submitted; administering the award of grants; and monitoring the impact of approved campaigns against agreed performance criteria.
*   The scheme supports Government’s promotion of exports including under the GREAT campaign.

About the Department for International Trade (DIT)

The Department for International Trade is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us. It is tasked with developing, coordinating and delivering a new trade and investment policy to promote UK business across the globe; developing and negotiating free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries; negotiating plurilateral trade deals (focused on specific sectors or products) and providing operational support for exports and facilitating inward and outward investment.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry)

BPI champions the UK’s recorded music industry, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL.  BPI’s membership consists of over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’, which account for 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption.  BPI promotes British music overseas through its trade missions and the Music Exports Growth Scheme. It provides insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses, Innovation Hub, Insight Sessions, and reports. The BPI administers the Certified Awards, co-owns the Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards and is also home to the Mercury Prize.

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