PPL's Peter Leathem on how the MMF ReBuild Fund can help develop the next generation of talent

PPL's Peter Leathem on how the MMF ReBuild Fund can help develop the next generation of talent

With the deadline approaching for the next round of the Music Managers Forum ReBuild Fund, here PPL chief executive Peter Leathem explains why he’s proud to back it and how the support programme can benefit the entire music industry…

On Thursday, April 1, 2021 the Music Managers Forum opened Round 4 of its ReBuild Fund. ReBuild offers emergency support to music managers that have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic but have fallen through the gaps in government assistance packages. Round 4 is open for applications until midday Friday, April 16 – you can find more details and apply at themmf.net/rebuild. 

Managers are a crucial part of the music industry’s infrastructure. Many are entrepreneurial, not just managing day-to-day artist business but also acting as early-stage investors and talent developers, for both their artists and the musicians and others involved in their work. Indeed, the music industry could not function without managers. This is why the MMF set up ReBuild and why PPL is proud to support it. By helping managers get through the adversity caused by Covid-19, we are helping them to continue developing the talent they represent, for the benefit of the entire industry.

The financial impact of Covid-19 on management businesses was highlighted in May 2020 when the MMF reported cancellation-driven cash losses of £5.6 million amongst their members. It was also clear that some managers were unable to access government support, so swift financial aid was needed. Thanks to the efforts of the MMF, alongside Help Musicians, which administered ReBuild, this was delivered via donations from numerous companies, including PPL. Since the scheme opened 77 managers have been supported with one-off grants of £3,000, alongside the delivery of resilience and finance sessions. 

The music we produce is central to the UK’s reputation as a global leader in culture and creativity

Peter Leathem

The positive outcomes that ReBuild has had are clear in the feedback from the management community. Recipients report how the grants have allowed them to keep up with monthly costs and maintain stable businesses, allowing them to focus on developing their artists’ careers. The benefits can also be seen in artist output. The Snuts, whose managers Adam Harris and Callum Read of Touchdown Management were supported, achieved a No.1 with their debut album last week. Shabaka Hutchings, managed by grant recipient Rachel Millar, has just announced a new album with Sons Of Kemet (who I really enjoyed watching two years ago at SXSW on one of the BBC Music, PPL and PRS for Music showcase evenings).

The pandemic has been an extremely tough time for many, but it has shown our industry at its best. Programmes like MMF’s Rebuild have been created, helping to funnel support to those that have needed it most. The BPI coordinated a £1.5 million contribution to Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and other initiatives. AIM established its Crisis Fund for the independent music community. The Musicians’ Union set up its Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, which has paid out more than £1.3 million. Stagehand has done the same, raising more than £1 million for its Crew Relief Fund. Finally, charities like PRS Foundation have adapted their funding schemes so that they can continue to support artists as they develop their careers; the PPL Momentum Music Fund, run by PRS Foundation, supported 55 acts in 2020 with an average grant of nearly £10,000. 

PPL, as well as many other generous organisations, supported each of these schemes. We also worked to maximise the royalties we collect and distribute to performers and recording rightsholders – since the pandemic began we have paid out £308.8 million in royalties.

Our industry generates billions of pounds in revenue each year and the music we produce is central to the UK’s reputation as a global leader in culture and creativity. PPL is proud to support vital funds and programmes like ReBuild, which help us to maintain this position by empowering artist managers to develop the next generation of stars.

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