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Home > New Year Message from PRS Foundation CEO, Joe Frankland

New Year Message from PRS Foundation CEO, Joe Frankland

As we begin 2024 proper, I reflect proudly on the achievements of the music creators and organisations we support while thinking about things I would like to see change this year to further break down barriers to progression and forge a more sustainable, fairer music sector for all.

PRS Foundation supports and empowers songwriters and composers from all backgrounds through timely direct grants, bespoke development programmes, and funding for non-profit organisations. Our long-term, collaborative approach helps music creators to fulfil their creative and career potential. And as you’ll see below that approach is really working.

In 2023, we received almost 3,600 applications to various funding and talent development initiatives. With huge thanks to our dedicated team members, trustees, partners and hundreds of expert external advisors, by the end of the year, we pledged over £3.1m of grant support to 435 new music projects. And I have every confidence that this will be a great year for those we are funding, with many inspiring performances and hundreds of new songs and releases to look forward to!

 

Now’s the time for the industry to truly come together to better provide for the music creator community

 

But despite there being many reasons to be optimistic, creators of new music are struggling to build and sustain careers and I feel that PRS Foundation’s support is needed now more than ever.

Where parts of the live, recording and publishing sectors are celebrating huge growth and record revenues, too many creators, venues, managers, promoters and others in our ecosystem are frustrated and struggling. Music Venue Trust recently revealed that 125 grassroots venues closed in the last year. 30% of creators surveyed by UK Music last year said their earnings had been impacted by Brexit, with 43% of those saying touring in the EU is no longer viable. And new music artists and creators are struggling to stand out within the context of 120,000 tracks being released through streaming services every day, the dominance of catalogue music, and financial uncertainty around the impact of proposed streaming thresholds and other reforms being put forward by major labels and DSPs.

That’s not to forget the many inequities in music which  a number of our targeted action programmes – including Women Make Music, Keychange and POWER UP – are set up to address.

Now’s the time for the industry to truly come together to better provide for the music creator community, and I am excited about the role our charity will play in shaping the new music landscape for the benefit of all. Please get in touch if you want to play your part, and read on for details of available support, key deadlines, and exciting changes afoot.

With best wishes for the year,

Joe Frankland, CEO, PRS Foundation

2023 Wins

It was an impressive year in terms of celebrating grantee successes and industry recognition – proving once again that our approach to supporting music creators at various critical career levels is working:

  • 5 out of the last 6 Mercury Prize winners have been creators who have received support through PRS Foundation programmes, including this year’s winners Ezra Collective
  • 12 of the longlisted SAY Award artists have received our funding, including Young Fathers who won Scottish Album of the Year for the third time
  • Arborist took home the NI Music Prize Album of the Year accolade for his PPL Momentum Funded sophomore album
  • This year’s Ivor’s Composer Awards saw 22 nominations for PRS Foundation supported composers, with over half of awards going to grantees
  • Several grantees experienced commercial success, including Lostboy who was funded to attend a SXSW songwriting camp a few years ago and co-wrote Kylie’s ‘Padam Padam’
  • And 7 funded composers had pieces performed during the King’s Coronation Ceremony

 

Our POWER UP programme was awarded DE&I Initiative of the Year at the Music Week Women in Music Awards, and Keychange received the Workforce Award at the LIVE Awards in December.

For me, Ezra Collective’s Mercury recognition was a real highlight. Creator and band leader, Femi Koleoso first accessed direct support in 2016 through our partnership with the Steve Reid Foundation, and the band went on to receive support through the PPL Momentum Music Fund, our International Showcase Fund and BBC Music Introducing showcase partnership. Koleoso used the platform to advocate for supporting young musicians, and gave thanks to several organisations including PRS Foundation talent development partner grantees Tomorrow’s Warriors (where the band met aged 14) and Audio Active in Brighton.

Talent Development Network: A Major Change in the Way We Fund Organisations

Just before the Christmas break, we announced details of the changes we’ve been making behind the scenes to the way in which we will fund Organisations working across the UK to support talented music creators.

Funding organisations helps us to unearth and reach talented songwriters, composers, artists and other creators. We want to support sector leaders working on the frontline of talent development in their specialist areas, and whose work has a tangible impact no matter how big or small the organisation is.

Over the last few years, we have seen an increased impact from fostering collaboration between organisations whose missions and values align to address the barriers to progression music creators face today. As a forward-thinking funder, we’ve been listening to the needs of organisations and creators, and we feel that now is the right time to adapt and provide more distinct support and financial stability.

The Talent Development Network consolidates PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Organisations and Talent Development Partner funding initiatives into one holistic, multi-year funding scheme, offering grants of up to £25,000 per year for up to 3 years. Funding will support music creator development programmes, and grantees will be part of a UK-wide network enabling them to share knowledge and make connections.

Our new approach combines the benefits of being in a network of specialist organisations supporting talent development, with an accessible, open call. We will be running a series of workshops for prospective applicants (register here) and applications can be submitted from 22nd January until the deadline of 26th February.

 

Key 2024 Deadlines for Music Creators and Organisations

 We recently announced key application deadlines for 2024.

For music creators working at all career levels, direct grant support of up to £5,000 is available through The Open Fund for Music Creators and Women Make Music.

And for those who have reached crucial career tipping points and require higher levels of support for more significant impact, we have announced this year’s deadlines for the PPL Momentum Music Fund, The Composers’ Fund and Hitmaker.

Our annual POWER UP deadline for Black music creators and industry professionals has also been announced. And other targeted support to address various barriers will be available through The Oram Awards, PPL Momentum Accelerator, PPL Momentum Sbardun and other partnership programmes.

For organisations, alongside the Talent Development Network initiative mentioned above, we will be holding annual deadlines for our Resonate and Beyond Borders partnerships.

Head to our 2024 deadlines page for more information.

 

Nitin Sawhney appointed PRS Foundation’s first Patron

We just announced that our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Nitin Sawhney CBE will be moving into a new role as the organisation’s first ever Patron.

Having served as PRS Foundation Chair for four years, The Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award-winning Sawhney will take up this new outward-facing position in order to champion the charity’s work supporting talent development across the UK. On behalf of the team and the Board we thank Nitin for all he has done as Chair and looking forward to working with him in his new capacity.