Music Grants UK

Are you looking for music grants in the UK? If so, then this article should be of interest. Recently, we've been scouring the web for funding opportunities for music.

All of the endowments that we've found are listed below. In total, we've listed 28 grants for you to investigate.

Performing Arts Grants: £50k to £200k

These are some of the largest grants that we’ve seen. They are available for organisations rather than individuals.

  1. Youth Music Network (£2k up to £200k): Grant programme for non-profits and schools for developmental music-making projects. Focus must be on disadvantaged youths. Also for projects that support the development of the workforce, organisations or the wider music making sector.
  2. Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust (£100k): The Trust funds cultural projects in the UK (especially East Anglia). Areas financed include: schemes or bursaries for classical music education to enable young career musicians.
  3. Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust (£100 to £100k): Fund to support arts and culture projects, particularly those that support young or disadvantaged people.
  4. Arts & Health SouthWest's Backstage Trust (£50k average): Grants for registered charities for projects involving live performing arts. In specific, they focus is on theatre and music projects.
  5. Foyle Foundation Main Grants Scheme (Mostly £10k to £50k): Scheme will fund performing arts projects that foster knowledge acquisition and learning. Will consider financing the core activities of smaller organisations or organisations that aren't currently receiving recurring funding from an arts council.
  6. BPI’s Music Export Growth Scheme (£5k to £50k): Available for independent UK music companies. Specific purpose must be to assist with overseas marketing campaigns.

Performing Arts Grants: £5k to £50k

These are the small and medium sized grants we’ve seen. Who these funders will support varies. Some are available for organisations, some for individuals, and some will fund both.

  1. Ragdoll Foundation (Up to £20k): For UK not-for-profit organisations. Focus on projects involving children and young people using the arts and creative media. Will consider multi-year financing.
  2. PRS’s Momentum Music Fund (£5k to £15k): For UK based artists/bands to reach the next level of their careers. Activities eligible for support include recording, touring and marketing.
  3. Foyle Foundation Main Grants Scheme (£1k to £10k): For charities working at grassroots and local community levels. Will fund a wide range of activities. Unlikely to support newly set up charities without a track record. Charities must have a turnover below £150,000.
  4. Boost Drinks Challenge (£1k to £10k): Grants will support a range of community groups, including CICs and music groups.
  5. Help Musicians Fusion Fund (£5k): For projects that feature collaborations between musicians and other creatives. This includes lighting designers, visual artists, and others.
  6. Belgae Trust (Up to £5k): Grant funding for smaller charities and projects with a value of less than £100,000.
  7. Leche Trust Grant (Up to £5k): Funds music, theatre and dance projects evenly.
  8. Theatres Trust Small Grants Scheme (Up to £5k): For charities and not-for-profit groups. Applicants must demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their local communities.
  9. Elephant Trust (Up to £5k): Priority financing available for artists in the fine arts and small organisations. Aims to help artists to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by a lack of funds.
  10. Didymus (Up to £5k): Will funds projects that help promote the arts, for organisations with an income under £2m.
  11. MOBO Help Musicians Fund (£2k to £5k): Funding for supporting the career ambitions of highly talented artists and groups. Will sponsor recording, visuals, production, PR, promotion, touring and more.

Performing Arts Grants: Less than £5k

These are some of the smaller grants we’ve seen. They are mostly geared towards individuals, although some do fund small businesses too.

  1. Michael Tippett Musical Foundation (£500 to £4K): Will finance music-making activities in the UK, especially involving young people.
  2. Help Musicians Do it Differently Fund (£3k): Fund for music creators for recording and releasing music.
  3. Chapman Charitable Trust (£1k or £2k): Supports projects that promote physical and mental wellbeing. Aim must be on increasing access to the arts and culture.
  4. Music For All Community Project Funding (Up to £2k): For projects that bring music to their communities. Focus on helping projects become more financially sustainable.
  5. Help Musicians Transmission Fund (£1.5k): A fund for helping musicians finance their personal development. This can include attending virtual conferences, online courses, coaching sessions, masterclasses, or more.
  6. Social History Society (Up to £1k): Small grants for joint black, minority and ethnic (BME) events.
  7. Philip Bates Trust (Up to £500): Gives priority to organisations that have charitable status or which are not-for-profit bodies. Backs individuals, voluntary and community organisations that develop artistic interests in young people, particularly the West Midlands.
  8. Making Music Livestreaming Subsidy (£150): Available to anyone commissioning an artist to perform a live-streamed event.

Performing Arts Grants: Unknown Value

These are grants we found which we weren’t able to determine a funding amount. We’d recommend reaching out to these organisations to find out more.

  1. Casey Trust: Endowment funds available for UK registered charities, with a focus exclusively on working with children. Priority is given to start-up projects or identifiable new initiatives, rather than continuing programmes. Applications can only be submitted by post.
  2. Black Artists Grant: Support to help black artists in however they need. This could be equipment or materials purchases, travel or research costs, or even just living expenses.
  3. Said Foundation – Amal Grants Programme: Sponsors a wide variety of art projects. Projects should help increase the public's understanding of Britain’s Muslim communities. Or, projects should help bring the UK's Muslim communities together.
  4. Making Music Counsellors Funds: Many local councils have funding available for individual counsellors to allocate to projects and community organisations. Making Music has curated information on some of the local authorities that offer this type of backing.

Round Up

These grants are helping to support new music projects. At StageUp, we help arts organisations distribute their content to arts audiences across the world. If you’re an arts organisation, and you’re interested in working with us, send us an email at hello@stageup.uk.

Government Grants for Performing Arts

If you're looking for funding for performing arts, there are many different methods that you may have considered or used to raise funding. These include taking donations, holding fundraising events, applying for grants, and more.

Below, we've curated a list of where to find government grants and some non-government grants that are currently available to UK arts organisations.

1. The Arts Councils

Naturally, we have to first mention the arts councils. Which arts council you should approach depends on which country you're located in. Within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the arts councils work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, and public policy to enable arts to better enable arts and culture. For each arts council, you can find out more about the grants they offer at the following addresses:

  1. Arts Council of England: They offer different grants available to individual artists and practitioners, cultural organisations, and other groups. So whether you're producing dance, music, theatre, or something else, it's worth reviewing what the Arts Council of England is currently offering. A list of some of the grants they currently offer can be found on their website.
  2. Arts Council of Wales: If your work is based in Wales, there are likely grants from the Welsh arts council that you should consider. Currently, they're offering several different funding opportunities for smaller proposals, larger ones, international work, and other types of work too.
  3. Arts Council of Northern Ireland: The arts council in Northern Ireland do routinely open new grants, so if your work is based there, it's always worth reviewing what grants they are currently offering.
  4. Creative Scotland: There's a multitude of grants available on the Creative Scotland website, many of which are offered on an ongoing basis.
  5. Arts Council of Ireland: Outside of the UK, if your work is based in Ireland, you may want to consider looking at the Irish arts council's website for a multitude of grants.

2. The National Lottery

The National Lottery funds work across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and the UK as a whole. They work with people to develop ideas and create opportunities. They have teams all over the UK, within each country.

They fund charities, voluntary organisations, and projects that improve the health, education and environment of communities. Their website includes a full regularly updated list of all the grants that they offer.

3. Nesta's Arts & Culture Finance Fund

Nesta is an independent charity that was previously a government department called the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. They offer blended loan/grant funding for cultural projects. This is worth considering if the contribution margin that your project will be generating can cover the loan portion of the funding.

4. Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the UK's largest independent funders. They were founded in 1961, and their active portfolio contains over 900 grants. They are highly transparent about the grants that they give. Details of many of the projects they've funded can be found within the annual reports they release.

Approximately 75% of the grants that they fund go towards arts projects. You can find out about how to apply for their grants on their website.

5. Youth Music

Youth Music is a UK-wide charity funded predominantly by the National Lottery via Arts Council England. They mainly fund young people living in areas of social and economic need.

However, they don't typically fund dance and drama. Instead, the charity funds music activities run by not-for-profit organisations for people aged up to 18. That doesn't mean the music has to be performed in front of a young audience, but it does mean your project should be supporting young people. They fund projects of hugely different sizes, from as small as £2,000, to upwards of £200,000.

6. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation are one of the UK's largest independent funders. Its mission is to use its resources to create opportunities and support social change. To do this, they partner with inspiring organisations and individuals.

The projects they fund revolve around creating social change and overcoming inequality. Their grants are organised around a set of key strategic priorities. Each priority has a grant available for it, so it's worth reviewing these priorities and identifying which one your project best fits under.

7. The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is a grant-making trust which distributes grants to other UK charities. They do not offer grants to individuals. For arts organisations, they run both larger grant schemes and smaller grant schemes which they detail on the main page of their website.

8. The Belgae Trust

The Belgae Trust is a family-run charity that collectively manages the trust. They support a range of different causes relating to the personal interest of their board members. This includes education, IT, health, the environment, and of course, the arts. To apply for one of their grants, you need to download an interest form from their website and email them directly.

Where can I find even more grants?

This shortlist is only the tip of the grant-iceberg. Across the internet, there are some really great resources available online that are continually updated with new funding opportunities. We would highly recommend that you give these resources a look too:

Daniel Hallissey's Funding List

Daniel Hallissey is a freelance writer & creative who writes material for fringe, small, and medium-scale productions. On his website, he also maintains a comprehensive list of funding options for the arts. This listing is both thorough and up-to-date, so it's definitely worth checking out.

My Funding Central

My Funding Central is a search engine for funding opportunities. On their website, you can find funds for charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, and social enterprises. There is a subscription fee to this service, although the service can be free for smaller organisations.

Good Luck!

We're planning on writing more blogs on contributed income sources in the future, so stay tuned for more information to come. If there are any topics you want us to cover in more detail, you can reach us at hello@stageup.uk.