Entertainment & Arts

Drenge win UK music export grant

Drenge, aka Eoin and Rory Loveless
Image caption Drenge - aka Eoin and Rory Loveless - hail from Castleton in the Peak District

Rock band Drenge are among 14 acts to receive a government grant to help promote British music abroad.

The Derbyshire brothers hit the headlines when they were endorsed by MP Tom Watson in a resignation letter to Labour leader Ed Miliband last year.

Other acts chosen include London grime MC Afrikan Boy, Scottish band Holy Mountain and composer George Benjamin.

The grants will be given to the acts' independent record labels to help market themselves overseas.

The successful acts span the genres of rock/alternative, pop, dance/electronic, urban, classical, jazz and world music.

Singer-songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton, jazz/funk band Melt Yourself Down and jazz singer Zara McFarlane will also benefit from the funding.

Catfish and the Bottlemen, Filthy Boy, Fred V & Grafix, Public Service Broadcasting, The Crookes, The Temperance Movement and Throwing Snow complete the list.

'Encouraging' quality

Some 118 acts applied for the first round of the Music Export Growth Scheme, set up by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and UK Trade and Investment - the government organisation that supports UK business overseas.

Aimed mainly at artists who have had some success in the UK, but are looking to break through on an international level, the grants range from £5,000 to £50,000.

"The very strong response we've had... clearly demonstrates the demand from independent labels for support in boosting their exports," said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.

"The quality of the applications was encouraging and I'm delighted that BPI can play a role in helping UK indie labels to grow their businesses overseas."

"Last night's Brit Awards showed the depth of music talent in the UK and why we sell more records around the world than almost any other country," added trade minister Lord Livingston.

"Fifty years on from the Beatles arriving in America, the Music Export Growth Scheme will give more talented young British artists the chance to be successful on the international stage."

Up to £2.5 million in grants will be made available over a two-and-a-half year period. More successful applicants will be announced later this year.

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