Emergency Relief Fund

We want to help our members in these extraordinary times.  We’ve come together with our partners at the PRS Members’ Fund and the PRS Foundation to launch the PRS Emergency Relief Fund.   

This money is available to PRS members globally and will be offered in grants of up to £1000 each, depending on need.  

We realise many of you are struggling financially and we want to help. We are also working with our partners in the UK and around the world to do whatever we can to support creators and the music industry. 

If we don’t act now, the future of our industry and those who work in it, is in doubt. 

The PRS Emergency Relief Fund is open to those who: 

  • have been a PRS writer member for at least two years  
  • have earned at least £500 of PRS royalties within the last two years 
  • are suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to the Coronavirus pandemic 

Please ensure you have the following before you apply: 

  • A figure of your current monthly income (after tax and excluding PRS royalties) 
  • The amount of savings you currently have (Bank, Building Societies, Post Office or other accessible funds) 
  • Details of any other funding from charities you’ve received in the past six months (amount and date) 

Royalty payments to members will be unaffected by the establishment of the Emergency Relief Fund. The entire PRS team is focussed on processing and paying royalties to members as normal.  To date, no distributions have been affected and April’s payment will proceed as usual.

Your questions answered

The Emergency Relief Fund is a new initiative bringing together PRS and PRS Members Fund, with support from the PRS Foundation, to provide financial support to PRS songwriter and composer members experiencing extreme hardship as a result of the measures to tackle COVID-19.  Depending upon individual circumstances the PRS Emergency Relief Fund will provide grants of up to £1,000 for members to provide quick relief until they are able to find longer term solutions, including any assistance the Government might provide to the freelance sector and businesses.  

The PRS Emergency Relief Fund is for emergencies, it cannot provide grants for long term debt issues.  The ERF will work alongside the existing PRS Members’ Fund grants, it will compliment not replace their existing work.   It also does not replace our existing PRS advance schemes which, at the moment, we will try to run as normal. 

The scheme will open at 10am on the 26 March and run until 17 April or until we do not have funds left to allocate, whichever is sooner. 

The ERF is available to PRS songwriter and composer members who meet the following criteria: 

  • Have been a PRS writer member for at least 2 years, and 
  • In the last 2 years have earnt at least £500 in PRS royalties (accumulative). 

These criteria have amended the threshold that the PRS Members’ Fund currently operates, this is intended to ensure that grants are directed to those professionals who would earn much of their income from the areas which are immediately and directly impacted by COVID 19 for example, the events and teaching sectors.  The PRS Members’ Fund will continue to assess non-ERF applications against its usual criteria: 7 years membership or having earnt £500 during membership.      

Successors may not apply to the Emergency Relief Fund, as they are unlikely, being  only a successor and not themselves members, to earn most of their income from creating and/or performing music.  Successor members can of course continue to apply to the PRS Members’ Fund as usual.  

Yes, as long as you fulfil the criteria listed in the previous question you will be eligible.

The PRS Emergency Relief Fund is being administered by the PRS Members’ Fund, which only provides grants to songwriter and composer members.  Publishers who are experiencing significant hardship could consider the PRS advances policy and what measures the Government has announced to support businesses. 

The maximum grant award is £1,000, but this will only be awarded in the most extreme cases.  Otherwise a determination of need, based upon the information submitted in the application, will determine the amount awarded. 

Therefore, we strongly encourage applicants to ask only for what they really need.  This will ensure applications can be processed more quickly but also that the available funds can help as many of the composing and song writing community as possible.  

The scheme will initially accept applications until 17 April. 

There will be no fixed criteria but rather an assessment of the information the applicant has provided in the application form.  In some instances, the applicant might be requested to submit additional supporting evidence, in which case a representative from the Emergency Relief Fund will be in touch.

Additional factors to be considered when assessing the amount of grant to be awarded will include:

  • the amount, if any, which the applicant is expecting to receive in the April distribution.
  • any grants the applicant has received from other hardship funds in the last six months; and
  • any advances they may have received from PRS in the last three months.  

We assure any member that their application will be treated in strictest confidence.

It is our intention to notify applicants of the decision within 2-5 days.  However, we are expecting to receive a considerable amount of applications in the first few days, so we will have to have to keep the response time under review. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible.  Once you’ve made your application, you’ll be sent an automatic acknowledgement with a copy of your application and application reference number.

Please don’t contact us to find out the status of your application until the 5 days has elapsed and please do not re-apply if you have not heard back from us.

Yes, although in determining the amount of grant awarded, if any, we may take into account grants awarded by other such funds.

Therefore, we will be co-ordinating with the Musicians Union and Help Musicians UK to share information about applications and grant awards.     

We’re sorry if you’re not eligible or have been unsuccessful in your application. We’ve put as much money as we can into the fund, but it is limited so we’ve had to be specific about who we’re able to help. We understand how difficult it is for people at the moment and we’d help all our members in need if we could.

There are a number of bodies which are offering hardship grants which members may be eligible to apply for funding.  These include the Musician Union and Help Musicians UK

We’ve compiled a list of bodies which are offering hardship relief, both in the long and short term on our website. 

The Emergency Relief Fund has a dedicated email address through which you can check on the status of your application. The email address is emergency.relief@prsformusic.com. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

The PRS membership team cannot check an applications status.

No, you won’t have to pay it back. This is financial support and not a loan.

You’ll be paid by the PRS Members’ Fund as a Bacs payment.  VAT will not be added as this is a charitable grant.

While we can’t give a time right now, we are working as quickly as possible to process applications and pay out funding.

Yes, at the moment, PRS will continue to operate its advances policy.

PRS for Music has identified savings from planned expenditure this year, such as events which have now been cancelled, which we have reallocated to Emergency Relief Fund.  Therefore, this funding is within our existing agreed budget.  Additional funding has been provided by the PRS Foundation, who themselves have had planned events cancelled, and specific money ring-fenced in the PRS Members’ Fund.  

You can donate to the PRS Emergency Relief Fund via the PRS Members’ Fund website, there is a donations button on the top of the page, which will re-direct you to their Just Giving page. 

Please state in the comments section your donation is for the Emergency Relief Fund. 

Any unused donations will be used by the Fund in their general support for songwriters and composers. 

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