Momentum Music Fund generates £13 million for the UK music industry

PRS Foundation revealed its five-year independent evaluation of the Momentum Music Fund at the Brighton Great Escape Festival in May 2018, including that it has supported 273 artists and has generated over £13 million for the British music industry.

Momentum provides career-boosting grants of £5,000–£15,000 to acts at a pivotal time in their creative and business development. Artists based anywhere in the whole of the UK, working in any style of contemporary popular music can apply for Momentum funding to support activities such as recording, touring and marketing.

Key findings or results of the fund include:

  • The fund has supported 273 artists and bands
  • the creation of over 160 albums (including Mercury-nominated recordis and dozens of top 20 chart placements)
  • support for over 180 UK tours and over 1,000 live dates
  • £13 million generated for the British music industry
  • 3,896 applications received with a 7% success rate of funds being granted and over £2.5 million awarded
  • Of the 52 artists funded that were working part time in music before receiving funding nearly half of these moved to full time employment following support from Momentum
  • 75% of musicians say they are now playing to bigger audiences
  • 91% of artists say their streaming stats have improved

The fund has among its beneficiaries Years & Years, Little Simz, Public Service Broadcasting, Floating Points, Bugzy Malone and Anna Meredith. A large number of supported artists were already signed to independent labels like Bella Union, Moshi Moshi, Holy Roar, Rough Trade and 4AD, supporting artists, team members and the independent sector. Years & Years, Oh Wonder, Yungen and Spring King and more went on to sign to major labels as an outcome of successfully funded projects.

The fund has been successful in supporting diverse talent across the UK with black British music genres (e.g. Hip Hop, Rap, Grime and R&B) overtaking alternative/indie when it comes to the number of successful applications. 43% of grants have gone to either female or mixed gender groups and since monitoring ethnicity in 2014 the consistently high number of supported BAME artists (49%), demonstrates Momentum’s relevance and reach across England’s very diverse independent artists.

Most recently, partnerships have been announced with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government, so that more musicians across the UK have access to this instrumental career-changing fund. Spotify has also renewed support to the fund until 2020. 

The report also details how popular the fund has been since 2013. Demand has outstripped its resources, with a total of £45 million being requested and over £2.5 million awarded.

Vanessa Reed, CEO at PRS Foundation said, “This 5 year partnership with Arts Council England has resulted in one of the most successful programmes PRS Foundation has ever delivered. Combining public funds with industry backing and expertise, it presents a unique investment model for emerging artists as part of an evolving ecosystem for music. I look forward to growing this fund over the next 5 years with new and existing partners who share our passion for supporting diverse talent and sustainable careers.”

Image: John Cale live at Sound City courtesy of Liverpool Sound City


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