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Business News (more headlines) 04-01-2017

Urban Development Announces £600K Funding Boost For 2017/18

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Youth music organisation, talent incubator, educator and charity Urban Development announced today that it has secured nearly £600,000 in funding for 2017/18 from the Esmee Farbairn Foundation (£80k) and key music industry partners BRIT Trust (£25k to support young people in music and education), Vivendi Create Joy/Universal (£15k as key supporter) and PRS Foundation (£23.5k as Talent Development Partner). This new round of funding complements funding already secured in 2016 from the National Lottery through Arts Council England (£350k) and national charity Youth Music (£97k).

The organisation, previously headquartered in Stratford, newly has its base at music industry hub Tileyard in London's Kings Cross. It also celebrates a successful start to the year with UK Grime artist Devlin, who achieved Top 20 album success with 'The Devil In'.

Urban Development, founded 16 years ago, is unique amongst youth music charities through its pivotal role within British urban music, as well as the wider UK music industry. The organisation, with its core audience demographic of 14-25 year old BAME, will use its funding in three important ways in 2017/2018, to consolidate its commitment to growing British urban music, with a focus on diverse talent from disadvantaged backgrounds:

For artists:
With the vision of being the premier agency for scouting, supporting and championing new music talent. Urban Development Music operates like a record label, talent incubator, production house, recording studio and publisher, with a growing roster of artists, such as Devlin and rising stars such as Paigey Cakey, who Urban Development also co-manages. The core purpose is to add commercial value to the British music industry, via partnerships and joint ventures, including a recent deal with Believe and publishing company Bucks Music Group - who partnered respectively for the release and publishing of Devlin.

The plan for 2017 is to grow the roster with new signings and more artists in development such as Mista Silva, Tizzy & Brandz, The Masks and SNE. Urban Development will also host a showcase at The Great Escape, in Brighton on 18th-20th May, featuring performances from Tizzy and Brandz, The Masks featuring Folly Rae and Courtney Bennett, Paigey Cakey, Kojey Radical and more.

For music industry hopefuls and fans:
Urban Development hosts successful music Industry events that encourage young people to become consumers of live music, as well as enabling grassroots talent to hone their craft and derive inspiration from established artists.

The events include the monthly Industry Takeover Seminars at Red Bull Studios and the annual flagship Industry Takeover All-Dayer, which this year takes place in October 2017 with more details to be announced. By bringing in artists, high profile music industry partners, speakers and media, the events are designed to help the next generation of music industry professionals develop their business and creative knowledge, skills and connections.

2017 will see a series of Industry Takeover regional showcases and seminars as well as a talent search competition with regional heats and a national final, in collaboration with major music industry partners to be announced soon.

For future music talent:
With a whole host of past alumni such as Labrinth, Raphael Blake, Shemzy, Mikill Pane, Roses Gabor, CDR, Mpho Skeef, as well as music industry professionals Alex Boateng aka Twin B (Island), Noah Ball (Outlook Festival) and Becca Wren (Beats By Dre) and others who have progressed to employment at Nike, Rinse FM, RWD, GRM Daily and SB.TV.

The charitable, education and outreach arm Urban Development Music Foundation (UDMF) operates in the country's poorest and most diverse boroughs and is aimed at high potential young musicians across the UK, with music education hub partners in Manchester/North West, Derby/East Midlands and Bristol/South West. The talent development programme has a hugely successful track record, with a remit to serve new and emerging talent that will be 75% BAME and at least 25% female. UDMF aims for the underserved and underprivileged pools of music talent in the UK to come away with recognised qualifications to progress to careers as artists, higher education and music industry employment. It is comprised of two parts:

Pamela McCormick, Founder and Director of Urban Development said "I'm proud to announce this new round of funding with thanks to all our funding partners. It will bolster Urban Development's continuing commitment to build a centre of excellence for UK urban music, while playing an integral role within the music industry as a whole. With the various satellite projects Urban Development leads across the UK, whether it be the Industry Takeover All-Dayer, showcasing some of our incredible stable of artists at The Great Escape, or this summer's Urban Artist School - Urban Development's purpose is to develop, champion and educate this country's diverse, young musical talent and contribute to lasting change that will benefit the social mobility of underprivileged youth."

Devlin added "Urban Development have provided me not only with the powerful support team and expertise a label and publisher would give, but also genuine care and consideration that only an organisation with social conscience and authentic passion and affinity with youth culture would have. Urban Development is important and gives young talent the opportunities to fulfil their potential, this benefits not just communities, but our music industry hugely."

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