UK Music has uncovered what it describes as a “goldmine” of Government-backed finance schemes, which could potentially unlock millions of pounds to help fund a range of music companies from indie labels to recording studios.
After pressure from the music business and other industry sectors, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has released a document that points labels, management companies, publishers and other small and medium-sized outfits towards a number of lending and investment schemes tailored for small, creative companies.
The SME Access To Finance Schemes report includes the already popular Enterprise Finance Guarentee scheme, but also details less well known finance options for music companies such as start-up loans available for young entrepreneurs.
Six investment schemes – some of which cater to the small, high risk companies found in the music sector – are also listed alongside other financial support and information about the new Business Bank, which was launched last year and will make £300m available to businesses over the next two years.
The document also outlines a range of funds and pointers on which Government bodies can offer advice and support to music companies.
“One of the reasons there has been no economic recovery is that SMEs, like many of our music companies, cannot get hold of finance,” said UK Music CEO Jo Dipple. “Very often, they don’t know what is available and they don’t know where to go for it. This is the Government’s attempt to make things a lot easier and put all the available funding opportunities into one comprehensive document.”
UK Music and its member organisations will now trawl through the document and evaluate exactly which loan and funding schemes are relevant to the music industry and which schemes could be useful to the sector if their terms were slightly altered. That information will then be shared with industry and Government.
“BIS ministers need to be advised by our sector, which current financial instruments can be used by music companies and also if some can be tweaked to make them work better for our sector,” Dipple added. “But, make no mistake there is potentially tens of millions of pounds available. It is up to us to access it.”