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FUND IS MUSIC TO BUSINESS EARS

8th June 2007

HALF a million pounds is to be spent on creating business paths for Scotland's up and coming bands, enabling emerging talent to tell the same tale of success as artists such as KT Tunstall, Runrig and Franz Ferdinand.

The new Scottish Music Futures Fund was launched in Inverness on 8th June 2007 during the HIE-backed goNORTH festival. The fund will cover all kinds of music and is designed to consolidate a structured plan to ensure the overall development of a business.

The Scottish Executive announced in February this year that 500,000 would be allocated as a business development fund to help cultivate the music industry in Scotland.

The fund is being administered by HIE for the whole of Scotland, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Arts Council. The partners are now seeking to appoint representatives from the industry to sit on the grant-awarding panel.

Iain Hamilton, HIE's head of creative industries said: "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."

At the launch of the Scottish Music Futures Fund in the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, HIE's director of business growth Jackie Wright reminded those present that the music industry represented the UK's third largest export.

She said: "You have only to look at the interest GoNorth has generated this week and the 30,000 people currently heading for the Rockness festival to understand the importance of music to the Highlands. This is amplified right across Scotland and it should be promoted and developed as a significant contributor to our economy.

"Scotland provides a unique culture dish in which musical talent, conceptual thinking and individualism flourish and have the potential to command world stages. I am delighted that through this fund, we have the opportunity to assist this potential to find the reward and recognition it deserves.

George Falconer, key contact for music business development at Scottish Enterprise said: "We are looking forward to being joined by people already involved in the industry to form a selection panel and get this great initiative underway. It will help those with creative flair to benefit from assistance and simultaneously learn more about how to support their activities with commercial expertise."

Those interested in applying to sit on the evaluation panel should email musicfutures[AT]hient.co.uk

For more information visit www.hient.co.uk/scottish-music-futures-fund.html

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