Latest round of Music Export Growth Scheme funding opens 24th August

Over £4 million awarded in support of up to 300 applications for indie artists since the scheme’s launch in 2014; generating £51 million in UK music exports and a return of £12 for every £1 invested

London, 20th August 2021 Applications for the next round (20) of Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding will open at 10.00am on 24th August and close at midnight on 27th September 2021.

The Music Export Growth Scheme exists to boost British music exports by supporting small to medium sized music companies as they build on the commercial potential and profile of their artists in overseas markets.  This latest round of the Scheme run by the record labels’ association, the BPI, is funded through the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Since its launch in 2014, around £4 million has been awarded by the Scheme in response to up to 300 applications that have successfully supported largely independently-signed artists in generating £51 million in UK music exports – a return of £12 for every £1 invested.

Eligible music companies and self-releasing artists1 can submit their application here.  Successful applicants will be notified at the end of October and announced in November. Applications that promote artists and genres of all backgrounds are encouraged and can be made by any UK SME company in support of overseas touring or promotional activity.  Funding for up to 60% of planned total budgets will be considered2.

British artists and their UK labels currently account for around 1 in every 10 global streams.  Earlier this year the BPI published its report All Around The World, setting out how, with Government support and record label investment in artists and new music, annual British music exports could double to £1 billion by the end of the decade. The Music Export Growth Scheme has an important role to play in this global strategy, particularly in promoting independent artists and their music to new international audiences.

A diverse range of artists and genres have been supported over the past six years, including BRITs with Mastercard and Hyundai Mercury Prize winner Dave and Hyundai Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice and Young Fathers. Others successfully backed range from Welsh rockers Catfish & The Bottlemen, new wave jazz group Ezra Collective, Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt, and BRIT School rock outfit Black Midi, to saxophonist YolanDa Brown, grime performer Ghetts, singer-songwriter Tom Speight, Anglo-Indian-American percussionist Sarathy Korwar, and the London Symphony Orchestra3.


Chris Tams, BPI Director of International overseeing the MEGS programme, said: “The Music Export Growth Scheme is playing its full part in boosting British music exports, but, in an increasingly competitive global music market, the vital role it plays is needed now more than ever.  We want to build on its success and on the diversity of indie artists and music genres that the Scheme has supported to date by encouraging eligible companies representing artists of all backgrounds and styles to apply.”


Notes to Editors

1 Music Export Growth Scheme details and eligibility:

  • 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 overseas, 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.
  • Applications can be made by any UK SME company for an artist’s overseas touring or promotional activity.
  • Anyone with questions should email musicexportscheme@bpi.co.uk or look at the BPI website here.


2 In previous rounds of MEGS funding the figure was 70% of total budget.

3 Music Export Growth Scheme Impact Report here.


About the Music Export Growth Scheme (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 seventh year since its launch in January 2014, MEGS has awarded over £4 million in support of some 300 diverse British-based music projects across a variety of genres including pop, rock, grime, jazz, folk, electronic, and classical. 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%) went to artists who are Black or Minority Ethnic. This funding has helped artists from across the UK to travel to countries in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

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 Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success.


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 500 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’, which in total 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, Equality Training Programme, Insight Sessions, and reports. The BPI administers The BRIT Certified Awards, co-owns the Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards with Mastercard and is also home to the Hyundai Mercury Prize.


BPI represents the UK’s recorded music industry. We champion the interests of our membership which includes more than 400 independent music companies. Together, BPI’s members account for 85% of all music sold in the United Kingdom.