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PRS for Music and PRS Foundation Announce New Multi-year Funding Agreement

With £2.5m in funding already committed for this year, the new agreement will see an increase in year-on-year funding allocated to PRS Foundations work to support new music and talent development.

Published: 18 January 2023 | 6:45 PM Updated: 19 January 2023 | 10:50 AM
Band playing in shadow
The work done by the International Showcase Fund, of which the MU are partners, is vital for the development of new UK artists on a global stage. Photo credit: Shutterstock

PRS for Music and PRS Foundation have announced a new multi-year funding agreement. With £2.5m already committed for this year, the new agreement will increase year-on-year funding which can be allocated to PRS Foundation from 2024, while also putting in place new measures to ensure its future financial security.

Launched by PRS in 2000, PRS Foundation was established to support new music and talent development, enabling music creators of all backgrounds to realise their potential. Since its creation PRS for Music has provided funding in excess of £42 million to PRS Foundation. In 2022 alone, PRS Foundation supported 440 new music projects.

The success of the Foundation has been best demonstrated through the hundreds of nominations received by grantees each year for major industry awards.

Dave Webster MU Head of International responded to the news, “‘This is very good news for the PRS Foundation. The work done by the International Showcase Fund, of which the MU are partners, is vital for the development of new UK artists on a global stage through the international Showcase circuit.”

An opportunity for the foundation to grow

PRS for Music CEO, Andrea Czapary Martin says,

“PRS Foundation makes an invaluable contribution to the global success of the UK’s music industry, working with PRS for Music to nurture and support emerging talent in the songwriter and composer community. Over the last year we have worked very closely with them and representatives from across the industry to identify future funding models which provide both sustainability and growth, whilst maintaining the core principle of not arbitrarily deducting any such funding from royalties otherwise payable to writers or publishers.

“The changes in interest rates over the last year have undoubtedly aided these considerations, but the objective was always to secure a solution which protects the Foundation in the long term. The new funding agreement not only achieves these, giving them the better financial resilience in the future, but provides the opportunity for the Foundation to grow in the coming years.”

A long-term commitment to talent development

PRS Foundation CEO, Joe Frankland says,

“We are delighted with the new multi-year funding agreement which allows the Foundation to sustain the level of grant support available to help thousands of music creators each year. The significant impact of our proactive and inclusive approach has been clearly demonstrated, and we thank PRS for Music for engaging with the sector to find suitable solutions. At a time where music creators face complex barriers to progression, PRS for Music’s long-term commitment to talent development allows us to respond effectively and build upon years of success together.”

The grants from PRS for Music to PRS Foundation have been funded through income generated separately from royalties paid out to our members, most notably from interest earned on royalties awaiting distribution. As interest rates have been below 1% for more than a decade and PRS for Music are paying out royalties more quickly, the available funds have decreased. It was in this context that the PRS Members’ Council has been reviewing the future funding of the Foundation and options to secure its ongoing activities.

This review, alongside the increase in interest rates during 2022, has allowed for a new funding model to be agreed upon, which will see funding determined annually, with the maximum funding which can made available growing year-on-year. Another key component of the new deal is that 10% of the funding provided by PRS for Music will be used to strengthen the Foundation’s reserves.

The core donation from PRS for Music enables PRS Foundation to raise between £1.5m-£2m each year from other sources in order to reach more music creators and to support more grantees.

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