Generator builds platforms for music business to grow in the regions

News: 2nd December 2010 by Louise Dodgson under Finance, Law & Music Business, Music Training & Careers

Generator, the UK’s leading music development agency, joins the drive for economic recovery by reporting  a year of unprecedented growth and establishing a platform of support to ensure the development of music businesses and musicians throughout the British Isles.

The Newcastle-based organisation has released its annual report, revealing that having secured close to £850,000 in funding from the European Regional Development Fund they have invested heavily in resources putting in place staffing and structures to support expansion in other regions.

Over the past year, Generator has worked with NCFE to create a bespoke introductory qualification for the music industry, ‘Managing a Music Business Enterprise’ is now ready for delivery throughout the UK.

Generator CEO Jim Mawdsley places this alongside other developments as a milestone in the organisations history: “In Generator we have created an organisation capable of delivering support to music businesses and musicians at a time when it is sorely needed,” he said.

“In recent years the music industry has gone through huge changes caused by technology and wider economic factors, but it remains a fact that music is a huge contributor to the UK economy creating almost £5bn each year.

“It is vitally important that businesses and artists in this sector have equal access to the knowledge, experience and skills to ensure that they can create successful, sustainable enterprises that can take the industry forwards.

“We’ve taken a conscious decision to expand at this time and to develop new packages of support as this industry is key to economic growth in the UK. Britain has a great tradition of creating new and exciting music and exporting it around the globe, the value this generates goes far beyond pounds and pence, but this still needs to be supported if it is to continue and to grow.”

Generator has recently undertaken the development of a network for music businesses in Yorkshire based on its successful North East ‘Plugged In’ network, by hosting seminars and networking sessions Plugged In Yorkshire and its successor encourage collaboration between businesses and share examples of innovation and best practice.

This has been underpinned by development of an online management system that enables administrators to run Generator’s range of programmes for musicians and businesses anywhere in the UK with access for partners and funding organisations.
Jim Mawdsley said: “We’ve developed systems for ourselves, so that we can measure and evaluate our achievements and the positive impacts we are having, but we had in mind that this resource can be valuable to our partners throughout the industry.

“Unfortunately in the UK we don’t have a level playing field for people involved in the business of music, we’d like to see even provision of support whether you’re in Manchester or Maidenhead, this is just a step towards that.”

Formed in 1991, the Newcastle-based agency has helped businesses and musicians at crucial stages in their careers, with their recent ‘Building the Business of Music’ programme targeting the creation of 100 new jobs in the North East, assisting 240 small to medium-sized enterprises in the process.

Previous recipients of support from Generator include critically acclaimed alternative rock band Maxïmo Park, who appeared at a showcase gig hosted by Generator at Manchester’s In The City conference, shortly before being signed.

The promoters of Cumbria’s Kendal Calling festival attended seminars and had mentoring from Generator, the annual event won the award for Best Small Festival at the 2010 UK Festival Awards.

Mawdsley, as chair of the Music Development Association, has recently published two campaign papers, the first calling for a level playing field for musicians and music businesses and the second raising questions about the future of artist development and who will take on this role.

Whilst with other regions there is a requirement for support for the film and television industry there is no such requirement for music, and Generator and the Music Development Association continue to campaign for standard delivery.

Generator’s ‘Building the Business of Music’ programme, is a £1.64m business support initiative for the music industry, part-financed by £822,347 from the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13, secured through regional development agency One North East. This has been matched by a range of funders including Arts Council England, Big Lottery, the Working Neighbourhood Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Northern Rock Foundation and NE Generation.

To download a copy of the annual report visit

ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13
•    The ERDF Competitiveness programme 2007-13 for North East England is managed by One NorthEast on behalf of the European Commission, national government and regional partners.

•    The ERDF Competitiveness programme 2007-13 is focusing on:
Innovation – promoting science technology and innovation in businesses and institutions across the region.
Enterprise and business support – encouraging more people to start up in business, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, and helping established businesses develop, grow and innovate.

•    Over £250m ERDF is available for the region from 2007-13.  ERDF investment is limited to 50% of total eligible cost and must be matched by other public and private sources.  For every pound of ERDF investment, we lever another pound for the key priorities of innovation, enterprise and business support.

•    The programme is underpinned by the three important cross cutting themes of environmental sustainability, equality of opportunity and sustainable communities.

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generator, music development agency, music business, music industry, music development association


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