In 1989 when the Trust was formed the British music business was enjoying a good relationship with the Government; 1988 had seen the new Copyright Act in which we had a great deal of influence. The BRIT Trust was formed as the charitable arm of the Record Business (through the BPI) with a view to working with the Government for the creation of a CTC School (City Technology College).
The BRIT School was opened in September 1991 and of course 2016 sees its 25th Anniversary. In the last three years the Government funding for the School has been reduced by more than 20% which has meant that the School has been forced to reduce their staff levels and increased classroom sizes. The Trust is the sponsor of the school and since its inception has donated £9.5m to date and continues to do so at about £500,000 per year. Unfortunately, in the current climate, the School needs to raise even more money to continue to fund the 400 public performances it gives each year plus a number of other activities that would relate specifically to a performing arts School. The School has started an initiative called “BRIT Silver” to raise £3 million over the next three years. The BRIT Silver donation document is available to download from here:
John Craig OBE
BRIT Trust Chairman
The second principal beneficiary of the Trust is Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. Thanks to a fundraising rock concert at Knebworth in 1990 with performances from Paul McCartney, Genesis, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Elton John and Robert Plant and Jimmy Page; a new Nordoff Robbins music therapy centre opened in Kentish Town, North London. To this day the centre is the hub of Nordoff Robbins’ activity and their national headquarters. Additionally there is an NR Outreach Centre within the grounds of the BRIT School.
The Trust’s main source of funding is from the BRIT Awards, Classic BRIT Awards and The Music Industry Trusts Dinner. In addition to our main beneficiaries the Trust has continued to make small donations to other music and educational related charitable causes. Included in these are War Child, Chicken Shed, Drugscope, Save the Children Tsunami Appeal, East London Academy of Music, Key4Life, Attitude is Everything, Urban Development and Midi Music Company.
Recently the Trust has increased it’s board to include people from the wider music industry and now has trustees from the three Major Record Companies; several independent record companies; music publishing; and intrinsic music industry partners such as Spotify and Eventim, The fund of money held by the Trust is carefully invested by a hard working Investment Committee alongside our investment managers, Investec. All our investment in UK Equities are chosen from the FTSE4Good ethical investment index.
I was one of the founders of the School and I am proud to be Chairman of it’s sponsor after 25 years.
John Craig OBE
Chairman, BRIT Trust