Arts Council England Launches £500,000 Grant For Musicians

English musicians have the chance to get £5,000-£15,000 to fund a debut album or tour from a new government fund. Does the US offer an equivalent?

Ultimate Guitar

Musicians in England could hit a jackpot if they apply to a new fund which offers thousands of pounds to develop the careers of new artists.

The Momentum Music Fund will award grants of £5,000-£15,000 ($7600-22,800) to up to 75 new artists over the next two years to help them record a debut album, buy new instruments or fund a large tour, according to NME.

Money will only be awarded to artists who are established in their local music scene and provide a clear business plan which proves they will benefit from the investment. Bands don't have to be the one to apply to the fund - their label, manager or any other music industry professional can make the application on their behalf. Which is probably for the best, since musicians are usually better at focusing on music rather than boring old paperwork.

Speaking at the Great Escape festival and conference at the weekend, Vanessa Reed who is Executive Director of the PRS for Music Foundation who announced the award said: "Momentum is a breakthrough moment for music in England, where it's now harder than in many other parts of the world for talented artists to access finance."

She continued: "It's entirely fitting that today's announcement is being made at The Great Escape where we're surrounded by exactly the kind of artists and bands that this fund is designed for. I hope that many of them will enter the application process and use this opportunity to drive their career to the next level."

Have you heard of a similar music fund in the US to support musicians? Will any of our English readers apply for the new fund? Let us know in the comments.

36 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Awesome! I will now start my one man band. No one gets to say shit about what I want to play.
    This will end up being corrupted, I can just see it now: "Momentum Music Fund grants One Direction 15,000"
    "musicians are usually better at focusing on music rather than boring old paperwork." That's very hurtful.
    This isn't really news, Arts Council do this all the time, funded by national lottery, but it really is a great thing.
    This isn't news but the WQ is? Not saying I don't love the WQ, but come on.
    how is this not news? artfunds, sure... thats a thing since god knows when. For the music business though, its something NEW! New -> News, see the similiarities?
    Insanity ninja
    On the news tonight I heard about a chicken laying a 6 ounce egg, but not this? What the hell?
    im glad the arts council are coughing up some cash, a few years ago they were in the shit because of government cuts. tories dont wanna see the working man succeed. i wish whoever gets a slice of this the very best of luck
    England or UK? I know everyone tends to use 'England' to describe us all, but I'd like to think UG wouldn't do so in an article. This would be great if it's UK-wide; if it's England only, still a great thing to hear
    I was wondering the same thing. They do the same with British, except it's the other way around. British could describe all, but they use it to describe the english.
    Haha I know. People ask me to do a 'British accent.' and get a bit disappointed when I say that mine (Scottish) is a British accent. I'm never that annoyed by the whole British/English thing really - but as I said, it would be good to know that they'd get it right in an article.
    This won't work because it's subject to taste. "Oh, this band is a genre we don't like, PASS". So it'll be nothing but wanna-be hard rock bands and crap like that. And I don't think people should be granted a career. I think they should work for one. This does nothing to slow the sense of entitlement that people have. It's like "here, have a ton of money because we happen to like your music" - great, now where's the guy who's going to do this with the bands that have little chance of succeeding otherwise? You know, bands with no mainstream appeal.
    "Money will only be awarded to artists who are established in their local music scene and provide a clear business plan which proves they will benefit from the investment." They've had these grants in Australia for years now, and it's not about genre-of-the-month bands at all. It usually comes down to how established the band are, and whether the grant for their next tour/recording/festival/etc. will benefit them the most. Over here, particularly with funding a tour or recording, the grants can only make up 50% of the total cost (part of the paperwork is to create a budget), so it's a helping hand to allow something that couldn't be funded by the band itself, not simply a pile of money for drugs and booze. Check out a sample grant from the Australia council: Under Eligibility and Selection: "Applications will be selected that best demonstrate: 1. Artistic merit of the project In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider: - the strength of the artistic support material provided - the strength of the creative idea - the extent to which the project demonstrates high quality music making - the extent to which the project is innovative . 2. The quality of the artists involved In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider: - the track record of the key artists involved , including their achievements, as evidenced by the biographical and audio/audiovisual support material supplied. 3. Strength of planning In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider: - evidence that the project has a strong public outcome the strength of the people, presenters and partners involved (including confirmations) - the resources supporting the project (including financial and/or in-kind) - how viable and achievable the project is." For these kinds of things, you're probably less likely to succeed if you're a rock band, since it's all about innovation and creation.
    Von II
    Awesome! Send some money to Bludvera, those Liverpool Thrashers need to do a European tour!
    Speaking of Liverpool, someone should give Lee Mavers some money as well, I miss The La's. But it's unlikely to happen, all he cares about nowadays is going to Goodison Park on weekends...
    Why exactly is my comment being shot to shit? Dammit, you downvote fetishists.
    Insanity ninja
    Because Liverpool.
    @Insanity ninja - not all people from Liverpool are murdering, thieving chavs. The same goes for pretty much every place in North West/North East England. @N7Crazy - I will find you... and I will kill you.
    Insanity ninja
    I know, I'm from Manchester, it's just the old rivalry bubbling up
    Sound then. On a side note, UG apparently removed N7Crazy's comment and now I just look schizophrenic.
    Wow... My comment was so retarded that UG actually removed it...? Well... Achivement unlocked?
    Canada also has many grants available to bands. You can apply for funding to record, music videos, tour, marketing / promotion, festival showcases. My band has received funding for tours, recording an album and a festival showcase. You do have to front the money and then it's returned to you. There's a list of requirements and can be a bit tricky but all in all it's a great opportunity. Its not genre based, mostly about how much your band is doing and how active you are, but the bands are small and established. However I have seen cases where they give money to Canadian bands like Metric, tegan and sara or Broken Social Scene and I definitely think they should be helping out the little guys instead of helping bands that are already quite big. check out
    Wonder if I can just send in the new QOTSA album and make them think I wrote it...if there are gonna be a million UG articles about it one of them might as well get me loaded.
    The problem with this is I doubt PRS have any idea on what a GOOD plan of action really is. I can see this money going to waste on a lot of bands that think they're great but actually stand no chance. The advantage of money being a barrier is to filter out the ones that work hard and the ones who just rely on handouts.
    Recording an album, buying equipment for a full band and funding a large tour with 15000? Good luck with that.