How Would You Invest 500k In The Scottish Music Industry?
28th March 2007
The country's enterprise agencies are inviting anyone involved in the Scottish music community to submit ideas about how they think the new Scottish Music Futures Fund should be invested.
Last month, the Scottish Executive allocated �500,000 to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to set up a business development fund to help cultivate the music industry in Scotland - supporting the 'music stars of tomorrow'.
The Scottish Music Futures Fund is being administered by HIE for the whole of Scotland, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Arts Council.
Head of creative industries for HIE, Iain Hamilton, will act as fund manager. Iain says: "One of the challenges we face at the moment is that home-grown musical talent too often has to move away from Scotland to get a career started and make it big. If we're going to help more young musicians and others with technical skills to realise their full potential without leaving the country, we need to target the business infrastructure
and help it grow."
George Falconer, the Scottish Enterprise key contact for music business development, adds: "HIE has a strong track record of supporting the music industry in the Highlands and Islands and this new funding will enable Scottish Enterprise to work in close partnership to deliver a national service."
In the UK, the music industry is already the country's third largest export. Meanwhile, Scotland boasts recent success stories such as Franz Ferdinand and KT Tunstall, testament to an extremely vibrant and robust industry with considerable emerging talent. It is this talent that the Scottish Music Futures Fund seeks to nurture and develop.
Even in the last few weeks, talent from the Highlands and Islands area has emerged in the shape of Inverness band Jyrojets - one of 18 Scottish acts to perform at SXSW (South by South West) in Austin, Texas. Jyrojets has secured a three-month US tour as a result of this global showcase of bands to the international music industry.
A priority for Iain Hamilton will be to ensure that the Scottish industry can maximise the benefits of opportunities that arise from events like SXSW.
"This is an exciting time for the Scottish music industry and with funding in place, we now have the financial means to develop and grow the scene here," Hamilton says. "I'm keen to hear from anyone involved in the music business and listen to how they think the money should be invested - it's effectively an opportunity for the music community to have a say in the shape and evolution of the Scottish music industry."
The fund will consider a range of industry issues to determine how it can support and grow the businesses that will help drive the music industry in Scotland forward.
To help shape the future of the Scottish music industry, email your ideas to musicfutures[AT]hient.co.uk
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