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Tragic Liam’s music fund gets backing from the BRITs

Singer David Bromham on the Liam Colgan Music Fund stage at Woodzstock. Picture Al Donnelly
Singer David Bromham on the Liam Colgan Music Fund stage at Woodzstock. Picture Al Donnelly

A Highland-based fund helping young musicians has struck a chord with a leading industry charity.

The Liam Colgan Music Fund (LCMF) is the first Highlands and Islands charity to be given a grant by the BRIT Trust.

The £5,000 award is part of a total of £25,000 support being shared among six charities. The BRIT Trust is largely funded by the BRIT Awards.

The award will also help raise the profile of LCMF, set up in memory of musician Liam who died in 2018.

Liam Colgan was a musician.

Liam, 29, went missing during his brother Eamonn’s stag party in Hamburg in 2018. The Inverness man’s body was found almost three months later.

Fund helps young musicians

The fund supports young musicians and others aged 16-30 wishing to pursue opportunities in the music industry.

It also manages the John Preston Memorial Fund, launched in memory of the former chairman of BMG Entertainment and the British Phonographic Industry.

Iain Clark, chairman of LCMF, said: “It’s a real honour to receive this donation from such a prestigious body as the BRIT Trust.

“We understand this is the first time the BRIT Trust has donated to an organisation in the Highlands and Islands. We’re absolutely delighted.

“It’s perhaps an acknowledgement of the work being done in rural areas like the Highlands to support young musicians and others.”

Rhoehaisse Clark won the John Preston Young Songwriter Award 2021. Photo by Al Donnelly

He said the grant will help towards a number of projects. These include a survey of music industry businesses in the north of Scotland.

“This should provide us with a better understanding of what employers are looking for.”

Since LCMF started in October 2020, it has launched a charity CD. It has also provided work experience placements for former music students at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). In addition, it has organised a series of songwriting workshops led by Yvonne Lyon.

It has also carried out an online survey of young Highlands and Islands musicians, established two annual music graduate awards at UHI, and two awards for musicians and songwriters on behalf of the John Preston Memorial Fund.

Sponsorship of music festival stage

In addition, it sponsors the Haybarn Stage at the Woodzstock Festival in the Black Isle.

Last month, Invergordon Academy’s Rhoehaisse Clark, 16, performed there. She won the inaugural John Preston Young Songwriter Award.

In December, a number of musicians played for passengers at Inverness Airport on a pop-up piano installed by the fund.

BRIT Trust chairman Tony Wadsworth said while the trust supports major charities, it takes pride in also helping a wide range of smaller charities who contribute to communities.

Singer songwriter Lauren Macdonald on Liam Colgan Music Trust stage at Woodzstock. Photo by Al Donnelly

“The LCMF is a prime example of this. The trustees are delighted to support the LCMF work in remembering John Preston. We wish them well in their diverse endeavours and the wonderful work they do.”

Maggie Crowe, director of charities and events for the BPI, said: “We are delighted to support the LCMF in their work with young musicians and others in the Highlands and Islands. We feel it is important to recognise and support work being done in rural areas to help build bridges for young people into our industry.”

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