The BPI, the representative voice for the recorded music sector, has welcomed the decision to expand Government funding for the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) by a further £3.2 million over the next two years.
The innovative initiative, which is joint-funded by industry and Government, is managed by the BPI and aims to boost UK music exports by making grants available to small-and medium-sized independent music companies to support artists’ careers in overseas markets. Since its launch in 2014, MEGS has helped more than 300 UK artists, including beabadoobee, Bicep, Dave, Rina Sawayama, Wolf Alice, Young Fathers, and many more across a broad range of backgrounds and genres. It has generated a return on investment of more than £13 for every £1 invested.
The UK is the second biggest exporter of recorded music in the world, but it is facing increasing global competition from new and developing markets. The need for MEGS is stronger than ever before and the BPI has been calling for an expansion of the scheme for a number of years to help independent artists and companies to compete in our now global recorded music market. Further resourcing of the scheme will mean it can provide higher grants to a greater number of artists, generating more revenue from music exports back to the UK economy.
The additional government funding is jointly provided by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and was announced as part of the publication of the Creative Industries Sector Vision. Alongside the new funding for MEGS, the vision also sets out support for around 400 grassroots music venues through an expansion of Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Music Venues Fund.
Sophie Jones, BPI Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Executive, said:
“At a time when UK artists face greater competition than ever before in a now truly global music market, the Music Export Growth Scheme is an invaluable resource for those independent artists and music companies looking to export their music around the world. The scheme is already well over-subscribed, and with this additional investment, the scheme will be able to help even more deserving artists achieve global success. We are delighted that the Government has recognised the excellent return on investment that MEGS presents and has moved to support independent artists and music in this way.”
Unveiling the plans to maximise the potential of the creative industries and grow the UK economy, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said, when launching the Creative Industries Sector Vision:
“The creative industries are a true British success story, from global music stars like Adele and Ed Sheeran to world-class cultural institutions like the BBC. These industries have a special place in our national life and make a unique contribution to how we feel about ourselves as a country. We want to build on this incredible success to drive growth in our economy - one of my key priorities – and to ensure that UK creative industries continue to lead the world long into the future.”