Media release: Music Export Growth Scheme celebrates five years and awards a further £257,000 to support 19 British music acts


To date, MEGS has distributed almost £3.5 million to 227 mainly indie-based music projects

Secretary of State, Liam Fox, hails British music acts as the “unsung heroes of the economy”

THE Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) has awarded £257,000 to 19 acts from the British music scene in its latest (15th) round of funding.

The BPI-managed scheme is administered through the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign and is designed to support small-to-medium-sized music companies by contributing to their artist marketing campaigns and touring overseas.

Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Music Export Growth Scheme has distributed almost £3.5 million to a diverse pool of artists drawn mainly from the indie music community. The scheme has seen a return of over £11 for every £1 invested, generating some £35 million for the UK music economy.

Liam Fox, Secretary of State, said: “Successful British music acts are the unsung heroes of our economy. The UK is a world leader in music exports, which soared by seven per cent to £2.6 billion in 2017. As part of our exports strategy, we are proud to help UK artists to break into new global markets and thanks to the Music Export Growth Scheme, hundreds of British acts have received funding that will help this growth to continue.”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: “Britain has a proud record of global success as a music nation, but in the intensely competitive era of global digital platforms, we need to invest more than ever to break UK artists overseas.

“A relatively small contribution from the Music Export Growth Scheme to an act’s tour or digital marketing can make all the difference in supporting its international success. In the process, we all stand to gain – an enlightened approach that is all the more necessary as the UK looks to develop its international trade strategy.”

During its five years, MEGS has supported a broad range of projects ranging from pop and rock to hip hop and jazz. This latest round is the first time that a classical music act has been funded through the scheme – something the BPI has been seeking to encourage – with the London Symphony Orchestra receiving backing to take their tour to South America.

Other artists benefitting from the latest round include Northern Ireland’s SOAK, folk performer Luke Sital-Singh, Bristol-based trio Elder Island, R&B singer-songwriterRosie Lowe and electronic music duo Honne.  See Notes to Editors for full list.

MEGS recipient and electropop artist, Shura, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be a recipient of a MEGS grant. Touring is such an important part of growing as an artist but sadly it isn’t always affordable! To have this kind of support as an independent artist is not only incredible, it’s essential.”

Bath-based recipients, Bad Sounds, said: “We can’t thank the BPI and DIT enough for this funding. It is not only relieving the financial pressure but allowing us to pursue opportunities we couldn’t have without it.”

Speaking on behalf of Elder Island and Whole Entertainment, Ross Patel said: “Funds such as this are in many cases the very fuel needed to keep that fire burning. The band are incredibly hard-working and dedicated to making music their full-time careers. With the costs of touring and having chosen to take the independent route, they would not be in a position to tour as extensively as they are without additional funding. I know I speak for all the members of the band when I say, thank you.”

Josie Faulkner, of Big Scary Monster, said: “We are immensely proud of Delta Sleep and how far they have come over the past few years. The MEGS grant they have received will allow the band to take the most important next steps in their career, especially in the US and elsewhere internationally. They are about to head out on their biggest US tour to date, in some of the largest venues they’ve ever played, and are so grateful to MEGS for making this project a reality.”

Chris Tams, BPI director of International overseeing the MEGS programme, said: “We are delighted to have entered the fifth year of The Music Export Growth Scheme and to continue working with the Department for International Trade to give a diverse range of British talent the opportunity to grow their fanbase in key international markets. In the process, it promotes the profile of British music overseas and, crucially, helps to boost our exports. To date, the scheme has seen a return of £11 for every £1 awarded and £35 million generated for the UK music economy.”

Applications for the next round (16th) of MEGS funding are now open and closing the 27th of May. For more details on the Music Export Growth Scheme please visit the BPI website, here.



BPI at or on 020 7803 1300/07801 194 139

DIT Media & Digital Team on 020 7008 3333 / Follow: @tradegovuk |

Notes for editors:

Full list of MEGS recipients in the 15th round of funding:

Bad Sounds
Bang Bang Romeo
Boston Manor
Delta Sleep
Demob Happy
Elder Island
Jordan Rakei
London Symphony Orchestra
Lucy Rose
Luke Sital-Singh
Nilüfer Yanya
Rosie Lowe
Stealing Sheep

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.

Now in its fifth year since its launch in January 2014, MEGS has awarded around £350,000 to well over 200 diverse British music projects across a variety of genres including pop, rock, grime, jazz, folk, electronic, and classical.

Some of the acts who have received MEGS funding include Mercury Prize winners, Wolf Alice, and Young Fathers, BRITs Critics’ Choice recipient Sam Fender, BRIT Award winners and Welsh indie rock band, Catfish and the Bottlemen, jazz saxophonist YolanDa Brown, grime artist Ghetts, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Forty per cent of the funding awarded by MEGS has gone to female music acts or acts featuring female artists in their line-up, while nearly a quarter (24 per cent) went to artists with a BAME background. This funding has helped artists from across the UK to travel to countries in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. To date there has been a return of £11 for every £1 invested through the Music Export Growth Scheme, generating an estimated £35 million for the UK music economy.

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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