Liam Fox hails musicians as ‘unsung heroes’ of the UK economy
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has called musicians the “unsung heroes” of the UK economy as further funding is announced for British acts.
New financial backing will allow a raft of acts to perform and promote their music outside the UK and build a profitable global fan base.
Dr Fox has welcomed the economic growth fuelled by British musical talent, as £257,000 is granted to support 19 acts.
Cash will come through the Music Export Growth Scheme (Megs), which was given around £3.5 million overall to companies and artists including Wolf Alice, Young Fathers, Sam Fender and Ghetts in the five years since it was launched.
It is estimated the scheme generates an 11-1 return from its investment in talent, and has ultimately given a £35 million boost to the UK economy through what has been termed an “enlightened approach” by Brit Awards boss Geoff Taylor.
Dr Fox said: “Successful British music acts are the unsung heroes of our economy. The UK is a world leader in music exports, which soared by 7% 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.”
Now in its fifth year, Megs has announced 19 UK acts from a range of genres to receive funding to help with marketing campaigns and the cost of touring overseas.
One of the grants announced in the latest round of funding will allow the London Symphony Orchestra to tour South America.
The scheme is managed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), with the backing of the Department for International Trade.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI and the 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.”
The acts set to receive funding are:
Bang Bang Romeo
London Symphony Orchestra