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Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Government pledge for indie music
Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand are signed to independent label Domino
New and independent music talent could get a boost after the government has pledged to help small companies make it big in the music industry.

Small music firms are "vital" for the economy and for nurturing bands like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, music minister James Purnell said.

He has launched a study into the support independent companies need.

The study will shape government policy and help "break down the financial barriers" to growth, he added.

The music industry generates 5bn a year for the economy and employs 130,000 people.


But many small and medium companies, employing fewer than 250 people, find it difficult to get off the ground or grow, Mr Purnell said.

"We know the symptoms, now we must find the cause," he said.

"This study will, for the first time, give us real, robust data which will help inform our future policies.

"It goes without saying - the small music businesses are vital, not only to the industry itself, but also to our culture and economy.


"Without the independent record labels and publishers - who discover much of our new and successful talent - we would be starved of great British acts such as Franz Ferdinand or Bloc Party."

The study will also canvas opinion from other small firms such as PR companies and concert promoters.

Alison Wenham, chairman of the Association of Independent Music (Aim), welcomed the move.

The survey would provide invaluable knowledge about how the government and industry could support a "vibrant but fragile sector of the music industry", she said.

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