Urban Development has announced today (March 27) that it has secured nearly £600,000 in funding for 2017/18. The youth music organisation, talent incubator, educator and charity receieved the funding from the Esmee Farbairn Foundation (£80k) and key music industry partners BRIT Trust (£25k to support young people in music and education), Vivendi Create Joy/Universal (£15k as key supporter) and PRS Foundation (£23.5k as Talent Development Partner). This amount is in addition to previously secured funding in 2016 from the National Lottery through Arts Council England (£350k) and national charity Youth Music (£97k).
Speaking about the funding, Pamela McCormick, founder and director of Urban Development, said: “I’m proud to announce this new round of funding with thanks to all our funding partners. It will bolster Urban Development’s continuing commitment to build a centre of excellence for UK urban music, while playing an integral role within the music industry as a whole. With the various satellite projects Urban Development leads across the UK, whether it be the Industry Takeover All-Dayer, showcasing some of our incredible stable of artists at The Great Escape, or this summer’s Urban Artist School - Urban Development’s purpose is to develop, champion and educate this country’s diverse, young musical talent and contribute to lasting change that will benefit the social mobility of underprivileged youth.”
Founded 16 years ago, Urban Development is unique amongst youth music charities through its pivotal role within British urban music, as well as the wider UK music industry. The organisation will use its funding in 2017/2018 to consolidate its commitment to growing British urban music, with a focus on diverse talent from disadvantaged backgrounds. Previously headquartered in Stratford, the company is now based at the Tileyard in London’s Kings Cross and has recently had other reasons to celebrate, with their artist Devlin achieving Top 20 album success with his The Devil In release.
Also commenting on the funding, Devlin added: “Urban Development have provided me not only with the powerful support team and expertise a label and publisher would give, but also genuine care and consideration that only an organisation with social conscience and authentic passion and affinity with youth culture would have. Urban Development is important and gives young talent the opportunities to fulfil their potential, this benefits not just communities, but our music industry hugely.”