Updated: Oct 6, 2019
To attain funding for training, projects, professional development and career transitions. It is about fitting in a category, ticking a specific box that fills the gap for that organization. It’s a relationship of trust and commitment.
It's about you being creative on forms to work around the language they have created to suit their organization. I know it takes time but this method may get you closer to making your ambition a reality.
That could be an investment in yourself, an investment in your business or project. Funding is a short-term boost so please view this as a boost to help you get started with your project or training. Eventually it's best to be financially independent. Funding is not the way forward for longevity in your career.
Saying that, there is financial opportunity to help you, regardless if you are set up in business as a not–for-profit, a sole trader, a limited company, a charity, large organisation or self employed. This is by no means an extensive list. I am sure you will find the time to delve deeper from what I am able to provide here.
I have 3 sections. This information can also be heard on my podcast Dance Inspire (Ep 19: Funding - available on iTunes and Spreaker.com)
Section 1 – Funding for training within the performing arts sector, regardless of age or financial circumstances.
Section 2 – Funding for projects, ideas and inventions.
Section 3 – Mixed media funding & other organisations that can help
Section 1 - Funding for Training
… Lets start with the basics…
If you are applying for a full-time degree course and you have not applied for educational funds before, you can get your tuition paid for via your accepted university. This is a government loan but a fab opportunity... let me explain. Most fees are approximately £9000 a year and over the 3 or 4 years the bill adds up, however once graduated you pay £0.00 if you earn below £25,000pa and approximately £33 per month if you reach this threshold (This is better than any loan, mortgage rate & even better than paying it in full). Fee’s are scaled in small monthly payments to suit your annual income – This is a great deal which won’t be available for much longer so if you want that degree, use this loan to your advantage.
The government will be reviewing their ‘vocational’ study funding soon as they have realised this project has been a huge loss to them. They aim to have this loan available for KEY SUBJECTS ONLY; Not vocational. It has been proven that in most cases students never earn enough to pay back their loans. So get your grant / loan for your course before these changes are acted upon. Don’t forget about your maintenance loan you may be entitled to. (You can apply for this to cover costs for your accommodation and food etc). Remember Full funding information is available from your chosen university.
Dance and Drama Awards– also known as DADA's. The government will be dropping these awards soon but they are open to applications until 2020 with a review after that. It’s a government scheme that offers promising 16 to 23-year-olds help with fees and living costs at one of 17 private dance and drama schools listed below.
ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts)
Bird College - Dance and Drama Theatre Performance
Elmhurst Ballet School
English National Ballet School
The Hammond School
Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
Laine Theatre Arts
Liverpool Theatre School
Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts
Northern Ballet School
The Oxford School of Drama
SLP College Leeds
Stella Mann College
The amount you get depends on your household income or where you live and study. More details from their website https://www.gov.uk/dance-drama-awards
Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation
Here you have scholarships, grants and project applications.
If you are wanting to train in performing arts, theatre arts, stage management or production you can apply for a scholarship. There are only 30 students per year that are accepted and you need to ask your training provider to put you forward as they apply on your behalf. This scholarship appears to be more for drama and musical theatre courses than dance.
Go do the website to find out more on scholarships, grants and projects at Andrew Lloyd webber foundation.com
Most training providers have their own scholarship programmes so please ask when you enquire.
The Stage scholarships
This is the industry newspapers flagship programme that has been going for 30 years!... You probably already knew that… but I didn’t. They have partnered up with lots of schools and companies so please check their website out at thestage.co.uk/advice/scholarships
Some schools that are involved are:
Razzamataz theatre schools
Spirit Young Performers Company
Liverpool Theatre School (Acting diploma)
Mountview Scenic Art and prop making foundation degree
If you are a training provider full and part time, why not connect with The Stage and partner your studios up so you can become a scholarship provider advertised by the biggest entertainment media there is today… just a thought.
Our UK government grants and bursaries helps pay for courses and training. Best part is you do not usually have to pay this money back. If you’re a parent you might also be able to get help with childcare costs while you study.
On this site you also have financial information in you are interested in:
Professional and Career Development Loans
Residential training for disabled adults
So definitely check their website at
Grants For Individuals
This is a searchable website of all UK charities which provide financial relief to individuals in need or for educational purposes. www.grantsforindividuals.org.uk
ONE DANCE UK
This is a great dance industry service provider and under its brand there are a funds, grants, help, advice and networking. If you wish to discuss your career, project or training give them a call and they can advice you further. They are a friendly bunch, very approachable with your interest and advocating dance in all its forms at its heart, so please connect.
The Brenda Naylor Bursary comes under their retraining grants and are offered for professional dancers wanting a career transition.
The Phyllis Bedells Bursary - This is for dancers under 17yrs who have passed RAD Intermediate or Advanced 1. You enter a dance competition to win £1000 towards your training, gaining the acolade and there is an opportunity for a £250 choreographic award. For more details visit https://www.onedanceuk.org/phyllis-bedells-bursary-awarded/
The Dance Professionals Fund. This supports both performing dancers and dance teachers so please check out the website and see if what you are doing can tap into this fund. www.dancefund.org.uk.
Life Coaching Programme. If you want to develop your career, enhance your self development or find out what is the best route for you to travel. the DCD have options that may suit. www.thedcd.org.uk/coaching
I am sure there are many more funding, grant and sponsorship opportunities out there so please keep exploring as if you need the financial help in your training you will find it :)
Section 2 – Funding for projects
One Dance UK
Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) I found this on One Dance UK website. The NSCD has been awarded Arts Council England funding for the second year running to deliver Connections, a year-long scheme of professional artistic development and performance. The programme includes Northern Connections, specifically designed for emerging dance artists based in the North. Visit https://www.onedanceuk.org/northern-school-contemporary-grants-arts-funding/
The Royal Philharmonic Society - As long as there has been music, there has been dance. The Royal Philharmonic Society is inviting artists and practitioners in dance and music to join forces and think big, as we present substantial new funds to help fuel bright ideas. visit https://www.onedanceuk.org/new-funding-for-music-and-dance/
Arts Council England – This is the main one for individuals, research & development or projects. You register and use their porthole to apply. There is a lot of help to assist and staff are very helpful so please call for advice. There is so much information and exploration on this site its best to start here or discuss with their team if any of their projects would suit then move on to other sources of funding. Timescales are approx. 12 week for a reply on if you are successful or not. visit https://www.artscouncil.org.uk
EU funding. With Brexit around the corner… or maybe… EU funding is questionable however it is still there for the taking… so please apply if you seek advice, training, international projects, international networking, dance experiences or other opportunities …check out the information website I’ve found
Funding Central – This is a subscription website for funding, grants, training and advice www.fundingcentral.org.uk
Sport England - Small Grants from the National Lottery
They use National Lottery funding to make awards from £300 to £10,000 for not-for-profit organisations to help more people get active. Perfect for those registered not-for-profit organisations or projects for dancers, training academies, community projects etc Visit https://www.sportengland.org/funding/small-grants/
National Lottery Good Causes This site is a gateway to information on how to apply for a national lottery grant in the UK. They currently have their nominations open for their awards too. So if you know of a lottery funded project that you want to nominate or want to know if you can apply to be a lottery funded project visit the website https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding
Big Lottery Fund This is where you can seek the large organisations that distribute funding to good causes on behalf of the National Lottery www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
This is open to founders from Wales who can commit to an intensive eight weeks of working with mentors and proving that their idea can become a global reality.
To qualify founders must prove Welsh residency for more than 12 months. Ideas fund will invest £10,000 to help people prove their idea or product is viable. Investment and longer term support is also given to projects that show potential. The program ends with 'Pitch Day', where the cohort is presented to a select audience of potential investors. A great whole package fund here and well worth your attention. Visit http://ideas.fund
BRIGHT IDEAS FUND – WILL BE OPENING AUGUST 2019
The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000.
This site provides information about education grants but also has information on anything if you find yourself at any age or situation short of money this site can help with solutions.
Section 3 – General funding – Creative arts / mixed media
The fund can be used for: seed funding, set up costs, hiring office space (e.g. for a group of producers to work together), conducting market research, diversifying your current business into the screen based industries, R&D, testing out new and exciting elements of immersive media to help your business, employing someone new into your team, building IP, equipment etc.
The fund can’t be used for: just creating content, e.g. short films, feature films, slate funding, talent development, production costs. They need proposals to focus on developing a sustainable business rather than a specific project.
Ideas and Pioneers Fund
This is for those that are creative in art… or can create their business or impact merged with art. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation The Ideas and Pioneers Fund supports people with unusual or radical ideas to improve the life chances and opportunities of people in the UK. Grants of up to £10,000 (and up to £15,000 in exceptional circumstances) are available to individuals, partnerships or small organisations. Visit https://www.phf.org.uk/funds/ideaspioneers/
Innovate UK funding
You can apply for Innovate UK funding if you are a UK based business. All kinds of businesses can apply - from pre-startup and new companies to large multi-nationals.
You can apply for funding if you want to do one or more of the following:
to test the feasibility of your idea and make sure it will work
create a new product, process or service, or improve an existing one, through research and development.
Also if you wan to work with other businesses or research organisations on collaborative projects
There are two websites available for this
You can approach institutions yourself to discuss collaborations for research - Find out what they are doing and tap into them… or discuss creating new research to suit your skill development
These are the main types of Council that have research grants awarded to them.
UK Higher Education - All UK Higher Education Institutions that receive grant funding from the UK higher education funding bodies are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities. It's the 'associated activities' that most dance collaborations tap into
Research Institutes - The Research Councils have established a long-term investment as major funder to a number of research Institutes, all of which are eligible for grant funding from all Research Councils.
NHS Bodies - with research capacity (the Board, NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Special Authority, NHS Trust, NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Local Health Board) are eligible to apply as lead applicants for all RC’s. - mental health and physical projects have been proven successful, maybe collaborations in this field will benefit both parties.
For all of the above visit https://www.ukri.org
Comic Relief A well known charity that offers grants for work focused on young people located in disadvantaged areas of the UK. This is ideal for community projects, dance school projects etc www.comicrelief.com
Give a child a chance
This is a fund that you can apply for if you are helping in your local community. Dancers, dance teachers and companies know the benefits dance have to offer so why not reach out and connect with this fabulous charity, your pupils may be able to assist in their fundraising too (which get broadcast on radio and write about in the papers - all good publicity. Just a thought lol)
Aiva community fund
This is an awarded fund where you win on votes (it gets Aiva services advertised in the process) A project application can win upto £1000.
This is a great pocket of funds to go for. I know a Liverpool dance school was successful in winning this a few years back (Mary Halfords dance school). They won with 2,500 votes which I think they used towards costumes or travel for their pupils to perform in Disney. A great fund (especially if you have the pupils, parent, community support to help with the votes)
A private sponsor
There is an easy way to get support for your projects and that is by connecting and reaching gout to your local businesses. There is no harm in asking it also gets your services known to them.
Local community funds
There are hundreds of local community funds and small pockets of money that businesses have available as part of their policies to support community work / projects / events.
I work with small businesses (under 50 employees) and for the larger ones it is in their policy that it is compulsory to give something back to the community. (They either get their staff involved in something in the community, sponsor or support their staff with something they are doing in the community e.g running a marathon, or support a community group or project that is within their community.
It is worth reaching out and asking if the business would like to support your work.
or they will breach their contract with their local council.Supermarkets, businesses
Using Lottery funded premises
Remember you can usually use any lottery funded facilities for free so check out who has funding and see if you can use or tap into what they offer e.g. photocopying, rooms for meetings or activities, wifi etc.
I used a room in Southport called Life Rooms, It is a fantastic new build for mental and physical health services. I found them because I was asked to visit with a view to introduce myself and help with forming creative workshops. From seeing their facilities and meeting the team it gave me a great opportunity to call upon them when another project I was involved with needed a conference room for presentations. I ran my meetings professionally with their digital projector and screen, there were refreshments, toilet facilities on hand and a receptionist who directed my guests to the meeting room. A perfect solution and free! It is always worth asking.
Funds online – A subscription website Searchable website of companies and businesses providing support to voluntary organisations in the UK www.fundsonline.org.uk
Directory of Social Change
A registered online database mainly for charities https://www.dsc.org.uk/about-us/
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (navca) Offers advice and guidance on funding and setting up organisational structure www.navca.org.uk
Voluntary Arts Useful website offering advice and guidance on funding, training and resource development www.voluntaryarts.org
UK sponsorship.com Online database of UK sponsorship opportunities www.uksponsorship.com
UK Fundraising Fundraising information for charity and non-profit fundraisers www.fundraising.co.uk
fundinginformation .org detailed and up-to-date news and information about new sources of funding for all those involved in raising money for not for profit organisations throughout the UK. www.fundinginformation.org
Clore Duffield Foundation The foundation is a grant-making charity which supports cultural learning and cultural spaces www.cloreduffield.org.uk
Jerwood Foundation Philanthropic organisation dedicated to arts and education in the UK www.jerwood.org
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation International charitable foundation with an interest in culture and education www.gulbenkian.org.uk
Rayne Foundation Charitable foundation interested in supporting arts, health & well being, education - in its widest sense, and social issues www.raynefoundation.org.uk
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Leading independent grant making organisation in the UK www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk Garfield Weston Foundation Grant making trust which supports charities across the UK www.garfieldweston.org
Lloyds Bank Foundation Offers funding to projects focused on disadvantaged or disabled people in England and Wales www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk
NESTA National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Invests funding in innovation in science, technology and arts programmes www.nesta.org.uk
Tudor Trust Grant making trust offering support to projects that address social, emotional and financial needs of people on the margins of society www.tudortrust.org.uk
Wellcome A global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate. www.wellcome.ac.uk
The Wingate Foundation Grant making trust awarding financial support to not-for-profit organisations with a record of artistic excellence www.wingate.org.uk
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Grants for UK nationals who would benefit from a period of travel and learning to support their practice www.wcmt.org.uk
www.danceinspireuk.com Visit my podcast DANCE INSPIRE which is available on iTunes or via my website. Comment, message me and connect - It is worth it :)#lovedance #danceinspireuk #makeithappen