NORTH-EAST soul singer Lulu James is among the artists receiving government funding to break into overseas markets.
The 21-year-old, from South Shields, is one of 14 UK-signed acts who will receive support for international touring and promotion, announced today (THURSDAY).
They will be hoping to build on the achievements of British artists such as Bastille, London Grammar and Alt-J who all enjoyed breakthrough success overseas in 2013.
Almost 250,000 will be awarded to artists spanning the worlds of alt-rock, indie, soul, electronic, folk, heavy metal, jazz and hip hop.
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The Music Export Growth Scheme has been established by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) to help small and medium-sized independent music companies promote their artists overseas as part of wider government efforts to get another 100,000 businesses exporting.
In February, Newcastle songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton was named in the first round of funding.
Trade Minister Lord Livingston, said: "The British music industry is a global success story. From The Beatles to Adele to Mumford & Sons, Britannia rules the airwaves and sells more records around the world than almost any other country."
Ms James, who was born in Tanzania, and moved to the UK when she was six-years-old, said: "Massive thanks to team BPI for getting behind me and I can't wait to get out there this summer."
David Coppock, UKTI's regional director for the North-East, said: "The North-East has long been a hot bed of musical talent from the likes of Sting, Lindisfarne, Chris Rea, Bryan Ferry and The Futureheads and more recently three X-Factor winners - James Arthur, Jo McElderry and Little Mix.
"UKTI is delighted to be able to support the industry in continuing this success and exporting its music around the world."