Emerging folk musicians, dancers and singers are being invited to apply for grants of up to £1,000 to help develop their careers.

Up to three awards will be made by the Alan Surtees Trust, which was established in memory of the co-founder and director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival who died in 2017.

The grants can be used to fund items such as new instruments and equipment, recording costs, mentoring or support for personal musical development. They will be made to artists aged 16 to 30 who show exceptional skill, talent and promise in their field and whose work is rooted in, or influenced by, folk and traditional music and arts.

Previous recipients include 2019 BBC Young Folk Award winner Maddie Morris who was given funding to buy equipment to record and produce her own music.

Trust chair Dave Cowing, said: “The last 12 months have been an incredibly hard for all performers as the global coronavirus pandemic decimated the live music industry. This has had a real impact on many emerging musicians, singers and dancers and their chance to progress with their musical development and projects so we hope that our grants will make a difference.

“Alan was hugely passionate about giving performers a helping hand at the start of their career in folk and would have been delighted with the emerging talent we’ve been able to support since the inception of the trust. Every year the standard of the applications we receive is truly outstanding and it’s very hard to choose. But the grants we’ve given so far have been a wonderful legacy for Alan and we look forward to supporting more future folk stars this year.”

The trust has also announced the appointment of a new trustee. Award winning singer songwriter Greg Russell (pictured) has taken over from Grace Petrie, who has stepped down after four years in the role. As well as his musical career, Greg works in community arts projects and education with young people and adults. 

He said: “I was so honoured to be asked to work with the trust. Alan was a huge supporter of young musicians and backed up that verbal support with real, fantastic opportunities. Some of my fondest musical memories came as a direct consequence of Alan’s enthusiasm and encouragement. To be part of something which continues his love for fresh, new, eclectic music is a real joy.”  

Grants are invited from musicians, singers, dancers and other performers in the folk arts. Applicants can be solo artists, bands or groups. 

Applicants should be aged between 16 and 30 at the time of application. They must live in the UK and not already have significant financial backing.

Three awards of up to £1,000 per person will be given for mentoring and tuition from experts in the genre, hiring of rehearsal and creative space, costs towards new instruments and equipment, recording and production of a debut album, production of promotional materials and marketing support or project research and development expenses such as artist fees or travel expenses.

The closing date for applications is Friday 30 April. For more information and to apply, go to: alansurteestrust.org.uk. The application form includes the option to submit a personal video from applicants and this is encouraged by trustees.

Only successful candidates will be contacted and the successful recipients will be announced in June. Follow the trust on Twitter or Facebook  

Main image, Greg Russell; Second image, Alan Surtees.