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Liverpool singer wins government funding to break overseas markets.

Singer and songwriter Charli Taft is one of fourteen talented UK-signed acts receiving financial help to support international touring and promotion, announced the government’s Trade Minister, Lord Livingston, today.

Charli is one of a group of musicians hoping to build on the high-charting achievements of British artists such as Bastille, Passenger, London Grammar and Alt-J who all enjoyed breakthrough success overseas in 2013.

She is a graduate of the Paul McCartney Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in her home town of Liverpool, and is now one of the successful applicants from the second round of the Music Export Growth Scheme.  The announcement was revealed as many of the acts prepare to set off on the festival circuit. Almost £250,000 will be awarded to support artists spanning the worlds of alt-rock, indie, soul, electronic, folk, heavy metal, jazz and hip hop music.

Charli said; “I am delighted to have been chosen as a BPI funding recipient. This opportunity will be very important in helping me take the next step in my career, facilitating my various upcoming writing trips to Seoul, Copenhagen, L.A. and New York. I’m very grateful and excited to have the support of the BPI in my endeavours to help create and promote the best of new British music overseas.”

Also benefitting from BPI funding is Liverpool based Alastair Goldsmith, manager of artist Lulu James.  He says, “The BPI funding for Lulu James represents a significant opportunity for us to capitalise on an existing demand for Lulu’s music on the Continent. It will facilitate the promotion of new music to new audiences, which otherwise, would not be possible. As a result of this funding, we expect Lulu James to grow her European fan-base, and are grateful to the BPI for affording us the opportunity to promote some great new music in a Territory outside of the UK.”

The Music Export Growth Scheme has been established by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) to help small and medium-sized independent music companies promote their artists overseas as part of wider government efforts to get another 100,000 businesses exporting. The first round of funding was distributed to successful applicants across the UK in February 2014 to support activities in North America and Europe.

Trade & Investment Minister Lord Livingston said:

“The British music industry is a global success story. From The Beatles to Adele to Mumford & Sons, Britannia rules the airwaves and sells more records around the world than almost any other country. This exporting strength brings jobs and economic growth to the UK and the Music Export Growth Scheme lets up-and-coming British artists up the tempo on the international stage.

The decision to allocate funding to a specific campaign was taken by a panel of music industry experts, independently chaired by John Kennedy OBE, with advice and guidance from BPI, UKTI, the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the Music Managers Forum (MMF), and representatives from some of the UK’s leading independent record labels.

John Kennedy, Chair of the Board for the Music Export Growth Scheme, said,

“As we go through these applications it is refreshing and invigorating to see the breadth of talent enthusiasm passion and determination. Yet again demand for funds far exceeded our ability to fund which shows how important the monies are but also means that the chosen projects have a responsibility to deliver on their promise as that will help the industry as a whole.”

In 2013 the wave of British acts riding high in the charts continued around the world.  UK acts accounted for one in ten of all artist albums sold in the US and a quarter (24%) of all European album sales. New artists making an impression overseas in 2013 included London Grammar and Alex Hepburn in Europe whilst Bastille, Alt-J, Passenger and Ellie Goulding charted amongst the Top 30 UK acts proving popular in North America.

Commenting on the potential of the Scheme to support UK talent, BPI and BRIT Awards Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said,

“Very few countries can boast the same levels of musical excellence as the UK – in six of the last seven years we have produced the world’s best-selling album, made chart history in overseas markets and have been responsible for developing the careers of some of the biggest names in music.  We break bands who go on to break records.

“BPI is at the centre of initiatives to support British artists and music companies and we hope that the Music Export Growth Scheme will help a new wave of British artists to define the sound of success in 2014 and beyond.”

The Scheme, funded by UKTI, will make up to £2.5 million of grants available over a two and a half year period.  It was announced in October 2013 at a Number 10 meeting with music executives chaired by David Cameron.

Further application rounds will take place periodically over the next two and a half years, with the next round opening for submissions on Monday 12th May 2014.  Applications are open to all UK music companies meeting the application criteria.

Full details can be found at
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