New cash for pop hopefuls

CULTURE SECRETARY Chris Smith is to launch an annual fast-track scholarship for 10 talented musicians in an effort to build on the worldwide success of the British pop industry - now estimated to be worth more than pounds 2bn a year.

Known as Young Producers and sponsored by Alan McGee, the Labour-leaning managing director of Creation Records, the year-long bursary programme has already won a lottery grant of pounds 1.5m and will be announced on 12 October.

The London-based scheme will also receive backing from the Arts Council of England and the London Arts Board. Despite its title, the aim of the scheme is to fund musicians - the people who produce the actual music, rather than the records. The bursaries are aimed at replicating the success of award-winning new British artists, such as Roni Size and Asian Dub Foundation.

Worth pounds 5,000 each, they are designed to break down some of the record industry's fabled incestuousness. Along with the cash grant, the musicians will get technical, legal and accounting support. They will also work with a mentor from the industry.

"The beauty of Young Producers is that it is at last a way of getting what historically have been completely different animals to work together," said Alison Tickell, the project manager for the scheme.

"In the past, educators, musicians and the industry have all been pulling in different directions. By staying close to the community this time we can avoid the pitfalls of becoming another unfashionable government scheme," she said.

The project will be administered by South London-based Community Music Ltd, the grass-roots organisation that has already boosted the careers of both Asian Dub Foundation and Roni Size.

The chairman of the International Managers Forum, John Glover, says the scheme could be a more elite and clearly focused version of the government's New Deal provisions for unemployed musicians.

"The success of the scheme will depend on how it is handled," said Mr Glover, who manages artists such as Tony Hadley and Beverly Craven.

"There is a huge problem getting started in this industry, but some would argue that the most talented people do break through in the end. If this project can help to bring raw talent on more quickly, that would be great."

A central part of Young Producers is a series of music industry seminars between February and July each year which all bursary recipients will be expected to attend. The seminars have been set up by the University of Westminster's Commercial Music Department.

Nine high-tech studios have also been co-opted into the scheme, and Adrian Sherwood of On U Sound, Steve Walters of MCA records and Dr Das, of Asian Dub Foundation, have all agreed to become mentors.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)