Leeds School of Arts

Leeds announce partnership with PRS Foundation and expand existing Launchpad offer

Music:Leeds, the organisation set-up and led by Leeds Beckett music academic Sam Nicholls, have announced the expansion of their Launchpad program to support emerging artists and music industry professionals, as well as new funds in partnership with PRS Foundation
Dead Naked Hippies at Live In The Square, Millennium Square, 2019

Music: Leeds, an organisation established to support the local music sector by Leeds Beckett music academic Sam Nicholls, have received new funding from National Lottery via Arts Council England that is enabling the expansion of their Launchpad program, well as create new funding for artist sin Yorkshire in partnership with PRS Foundation.

Launchpad supports emerging artists and emerging industry professionals / new music enterprises through a combination of funded project and recording support, live opportunities and one to one mentoring and industry guidance. Up until now, the project has only benefit artists from West Yorkshire, but thanks to new partnerships and increased funding, the project will now be accessible to artists throughout Yorkshire. Established in 2019, the project has supported over 60 artists so far, including a number of Leeds Beckett students and alumni including Eskimoh, Blackson, Thomas Leech, Uncle Buzzard, Will Killen, James Orvis and moi_6. 

The ground-breaking partnership with PRS Foundation will introduce the new PPL Momentum Accelerator Fund for artists in Yorkshire, offering support of up to £5,000 to four artists as well as ringfencing at least two full PPL Momentum Music Fund grants of up to £15,000 to artists based in Yorkshire.  From April 2013-March 2020 (Years 1-7), the Momentum fund has supported 390 artists and invested over £3.74m into new music

Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Music:Leeds and again with Arts Council of England to offer this targeted support through our PPL Momentum Music Fund to the talented music creators in Yorkshire. Having piloted the Accelerator model successfully in Liverpool last year, we’re excited to be building on the programme and our relationship with PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Partner organisations to continue to invest in talented music creators outside of London with varied and targeted support.”

Samuel (Whiskas) Nicholls, Founder & Director of Music:Leeds said, “It’s amazing to be able to bring the support we have established through the Launchpad program to artists and emerging professionals throughout Yorkshire. Through our well established partnership with PRS Foundation, we are excited to bring the opportunity for artists in the region to apply for PPL Momentum Accelerator, filling an essential gap in the talent development pipeline for artists on the verge of breaking through to national profile, and continue to base themselves in the region.”

Sarah Mitchell, Director of Membership and Communications at PPL, said, “We are excited to support the launch of the PPL Momentum Accelerator for Yorkshire. The region is home to some of the UK’s most well-known artists, and its towns and cities continue to produce great music. This accelerator will, in addition to the existing grants available through the PPL Momentum Fund, provide extra support to the creators of this music, helping them capitalise on their success and continue to develop their careers.”

Pete Massey, Director North, Arts Council England says: ‘It’s fantastic to see Music:Leeds reintroducing the Launchpad for artists based in Yorkshire. This programme, along with the Momentum Accelerator fund, will help to break down barriers for regional emerging musicians wishing to break into the industry, and help to develop their talent. These initiatives arrive at a challenging time for venues, producers, musicians and their livelihoods, so it’s especially great to see Music: Leeds and partners continuing to provide these opportunities for musicians and industry professionals.’
This new partnership with Music:Leeds ensures that grant support will be offered to talented Yorkshire based artists. Launchpad and PRS Foundation’s targeted PPL Momentum Music funds for Yorkshire have been made possible thanks to support from Youth Music and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Leeds 2023, arts@leeds, and PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Partner network. You can find out more about Launchpad here.

Managed by PRS Foundation, the PPL Momentum Music fund awards grants of £5,000-£15,000 using funds from PRS Foundation, PPL, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland. Spotify, the official digital partner on the fund, contributes additional funding and a reward package containing exciting promotional opportunities and a close working relationship between Momentum artists and the Spotify team. Event partner Ben Sherman offers live opportunities, additional marketing, promotional and bespoke branding support.

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