Spotlight - Youth Music

Every month, we shine a light on an organisation or project that the Youth Music Initiative (YMI) supports, and that works with one of their priority groups of young people.

These features give a space for organisation staff and participants to tell us their stories, and we are really looking forward to sharing these with you.

This month, we hear from Youth Music.

Youth Music NextGen Fund - Youth Music Nextgen fund round 1 recipients - announcing the recipients of the first round of the youth music nextgen fund: 37 young creatives making their ideas happen with a grant of up to £2,500. Youth Music

For over 20 years, UK Charity Youth Music has been funding music making projects for young people across England, supporting 0–25-year-olds to make, learn and earn through music.

More recently though, thanks to investment from People’s Postcode LotteryYouTube and TikTok, we’ve been able to cast our net a little wider, through our Incubator Fund, and more recently, NextGen Fund too, supporting young emerging artists and music industry businesses across Scotland.

We know though our work, and consultation with young people that the music industry is an often unequal, inequitable, and inaccessible place to make a living. Back in 2020 we published our Blueprint for the Future report, featuring the voices of 1,300 young people between 18-25, and unsurprisingly found that those from lower income backgrounds were significantly less likely to be earning money through music than those from higher income backgrounds, regardless of their level of education. Alongside socioeconomic background, location played an inevitable role in young people’s success; on average, those in England were more likely to be earning from music than their Welsh or Scottish counterparts.

Fuelled by the findings of the report, Youth Music launched a new £2 million Incubator Fund, designed to help music industry organisations - particularly micro-businesses and SMEs - to harness the skills and creativity of diverse young talent. Since 2020, we’ve funded over 60 organisations – 10% of which are in Scotland – to create new paid opportunities for young people.

Just over a year since the fund was launched, 36 new music industry roles have been funded from Glasgow to Kinross, supporting artists, event managers, radio presenters and everything in between.

The first of our Scottish grant holders, Creative Crieff have used funds to launch Radio Earn, a new community radio station led by 18-25 year olds in Strathearn and Strathallen, whilst in Edinburgh, EHFM are supporting three emerging presenters to curate an 8 part show capturing Scotland’s music scene. A little further west, Dumfries Music Conference are working with five emerging professionals to deliver a series of live events, while Numbers will be supporting two young, BAME artists to release new music.

Following on from the success of The Incubator Fund, Youth Music launched The NextGen Fund earlier in 2021, offering young creatives grants of up to £2,500 to make their ideas happen. While the Incubator Fund creates space for organisations to nurture emerging talent, The Next Gen Fund takes away the middleman, allowing young people with creative ideas the means to launch a creative project or business.

Earlier this month, we announced the first round of 37 awardees, including four incredible Scottish artists. Multidisciplinary, experimental Hip-Hop artist Ben Deans, producer and DJ Binboss and cinematic singer songwriter Brodie Barclay will all be releasing their debut EPs respectively, whilst composer and producer Danny Cliff will release his debut album. The next round of NextGen funding will open in early 2022, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the Sound of Young Scotland Award, to further support Scotland’s young talent.

For more information about Youth Music’s funding opportunities, contact Louise Henry at

This article was published on 06 Oct 2021