Arts and heritage funding

Arts Council England, South East
The National Lottery
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)  
The Heritage Lottery Fund
The Film Council
The British Council
BBC New Film Makers Fund
Commedia - The Community Media Association
Hi8us First Light Ltd
National Disability Arts Forum
National Youth Agency
Foundations and Trusts
Private Companies

Arts Council England, South East

Arts Council England, South East manages the following funds:

  • Grants for the Arts, Individuals, Organisations and National Touring - Grants for the arts are for individuals, arts organisations, national touring and other people who use the arts in their work. They are for activities that benefit people in England or that help artists and arts organisations from England to carry out their work
  • Grants for the Arts, Stabilisation and Recovery - Grants for the arts for stabilisation and recovery are aimed at larger-scale organisations which are central to arts provision in England and have a financial turnover of £250,000 or more with audiences in excess of 25,000 per year.
  • Grants for the Arts, Capital - Grants for the arts - capital is funded by the National Lottery. The application round for the last capital funding programme closed in October 2003 and the new portfolio was announced in February 2004
  • Other Funding - Managed funds are not normally open to application. These funds allow us to identify new opportunities for the arts, take new initiatives, establish new partnerships and address particular ambitions for growth, such as in cultural diversity or support for the European Capital of Culture
  • Own Art - Own Art is Arts Council England's new interest free loan scheme. It is designed to make it easy and affordable for people to buy contemporary works of art including paintings, photography, sculpture, glassware and furniture. Around 250 galleries across the country are participating in our scheme. You can buy art, interest free, from any of these
  • Regular Funding for Organisations - These are grants for organisations who receive funding from us on an ongoing basis. We have a funding agreement with these organisations and we review them regularly to ensure the funds we invest in them are meeting the terms of their funding agreement. Regular funding to arts organisations is paid out of grant-in-aid

For more information visit the Arts Council website, email or telephone 0845 300 6200.

The National Lottery

Lottery Funds are distributed by different bodies: the four national Arts Councils, the four national Sports Councils, UK Sport, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Community Fund, the Millennium Commission, the New Opportunities Fund, the Film Council and Scottish Screen. Each distributor is committed to focusing funding into areas around Britain that haven't previously benefited from the Lottery. See the separate sections for each distributor.

In April 1999 the distributors joined together to give small grants of between £500 and £5,000 to community groups in England and Scotland. This scheme called Awards for All is helping to take the benefits of the Lottery to many more local communities. See General Leisure Funding for information on Awards for All.

Visit the National Lottery Commission website.

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts - NESTA

NESTA's funding concentrates on people, groups and projects rather than revenue or capital funding. There are three main funding programmes:

  • "Invention and Innovation - designed to help some 50-100 imaginative ideas and projects each year to access practical help and professional input. Awards are up to £50k (with up to £100,000 for exceptional projects)"
  • "Fellowships - aimed at providing exceptional individuals across science, technology and the arts the time and space to pursue their creative goals and develop their talent through tailored support worth up to £75k over 3-5 years"
  • "Education - aimed at supporting projects which help foster creativity in people of all ages and which pioneer new approaches in education"

More information can be found on the NESTA website.

Heritage Lottery Fund

"The mission of the Heritage Lottery Fund is to improve the quality of life by safeguarding and enhancing the heritage of buildings, objects and the environment of the United Kingdom."

"HLF special programmes include the Joint Places of Worship Scheme (operated with English Heritage), the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and the Urban Parks Programme. For the term of the Strategic Plan, these schemes focus on areas of economic and social deprivation, in line with the Department's policy directions. The THI enables partnerships of local, regional and national interests to preserve and enhance the distinctive character of historic areas. The Urban Parks Programme provides funding for improved facilities, including playgrounds, and park officers for historic parks and designed landscapes."

"Other schemes operated are: the Local Heritage Initiative (managed by the Countryside Agency on behalf of HLF) to encourage local communities in villages and small towns to carry out small projects to help care for and maintain their own local heritage; revenue grants such as Awards for All and Museums and Galleries Access Fund; small grants scheme for capital projects up to £50,000."

For further information, contact the Heritage Lottery Fund, 7 Holbein Place, London SW1W 8NR, telephone: 020 7591 6042/43/44 or Textphone 020 7591 6255 (for Minicom users only) or visit the .

The Film Council

The Film Council has three main funding schemes: the Film Development Fund, the New Cinema Fund and the Premiere Production Fund. "The £5 million Film Development Fund supports the development of a stream of high quality innovative and commercially attractive screenplays. The New Cinema Fund with a budget of £5 million a year backs radical and experimental film-makers, most especially new talent, and explores new electronic production technologies. Lastly, The Premiere Production Fund, launched with a budget of £10 million a year, encourages the production of popular mainstream British films."

The Film Training Fund with resources of £1 million a year will support a massive expansion in training for scriptwriters and development executives, and a tightly targeted programme to train business executives, producers and distributors operating in the international markets.

The British Council

Visiting Arts Project Development Awards -

"Visiting Arts Project Development Awards are open to all UK-based promoters and venues promoting quality foreign work which has a clear country specific dimension, which can demonstrate its contribution to the development of cultural awareness and cultural relations and which will produce some kind of continuing impact, influence or follow-up."

Visual Arts - Camilla Canellas , Assistant Director (Visual, Media and Applied Arts):

Performing Arts - Nelson Fernandez, Assistant Director (Performing Arts):

"Please note that funds available for Project Development Awards are primarily reserved for the support of professional activity. There are a limited number of other public funding agencies that can sometimes support international work, residencies and exchanges. We will provide advice to those unfamiliar with these other sources."

Visit the British Council website.

BBC New Film Makers Fund

Funding is available for Screen Firsts.

BBC New Film Makers Fund
Room D333
BBC Centre House
56 Wood Lane
W12 7SB
Telephone: 020 8743 8000

Commedia - The Community Media Association

The Commedia Millennium Awards - "grants for individuals and small groups of individuals who want to make a media production that will be of benefit to the community." For further information and general enquires contact: Susan Kirk, Commedia Millennium Awards Administrator, Community Media Association, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX Telephone +44 (0)114 279 5219

Hi8us First Light Ltd

The First Light scheme is run by Hi8us and funded by the Film Council. It aims to support young people's film making. There are two funding strands. Established organisations that can cover 10 productions can apply for up to £50,000. Single production projects can apply for up to £5000.

Charlotte Jones
Hi8us First Light Ltd
Unit 419 The Custard Factory
Gibb Street
B9 4AA
Telephone: 0121 693 2091
Visit the Hi8us website to apply online.

National Disability Arts Forum

Funding is available for artistic and creative activities by and with disabled people is available - contact the organisation for further details

National Disability Arts Forum
All Saints Church
Akenside Hill
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Telephone 0191 261 1628
Fax: 0191 222 0573

National Youth Agency

Partners-In-Innovation: youth work development programme

NYA is committed to securing more, significant innovations in design and delivery of local services for young people. Within its strategic approach to developing and supporting innovation, NYA pursues a range of activities, including externally initiated programmes supporting local projects and NYA commissioned work to investigate gaps in practice.

For further information please contact Alison McKay on 0116 285 3737 or email

Foundations and Trusts

The Adapt Trust - Increasing access for visually impaired and disabled people The Adapt Trust, 8 Hampton Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5JD. Telephone: 0131 346 1999. Fax: 0131 346 1991

The Baring Foundation - Funds high quality work by artists and arts organisations in educational and community settings

The Baring Foundation
60 London Wall

Telephone: 020 7769 1348

Barclays Stage Partners - "To support projects involving consortia groups of producing and presenting theatres, tour companies and independent producers to collaborate to stage and tour quality productions on the mid- and large-scale." For more information contact the Touring Department of The Arts Council of England. Telephone: 020 7973 6500. email:

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation - arts based projects for adults and young people out of formal education settings.

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
98 Portland Place
Telephone: 020 7636 5313
Fax: 020 7908 7580.

The Clore Foundation - funds education work at museums and galleries throughout the UK.

The Clore Foundation
Studio 3 Chelsea
Manor Studies
Flood Street
Telephone: 020 7351 6061

Edward Hordley Trust - Support for organisations working with children and young people facing special challenges.

The Edward Hordley Trust
43 Copse Road
DN16 3JA

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation - Charitable Trust support is available in the following four sectors: social development, environment, education and arts and heritage.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
11 Park Place
Telephone: 020 7297 4700
Fax: 020 7297 4701

The Foundation for Sport and the Arts - Awards for studies in dance or drama and sports and arts that aim to enhance the quality of life for communities.

Foundation for Sports and the Arts
PO Box 20
L13 1HB
Telephone: 015 1259 5505

Sir George Martin Trust - educational and social welfare arts projects.

Sir George Martin Trust
Netherwood House
LS29 9RP
Telephone: 01943 831019
Contact: Peter Marshall, Secretary

The MacKintosh Foundation - a range of projects including theatre and the performing arts, children and education, community projects and the homeless.

The Appeals Secretary
The MacKintosh Foundation,
1 Bedford Square
Telephone: 020 7637 8866
Fax: 020 7437 2683

The Mercers' Charitable Foundation - Main areas of the organisation's support include; education, welfare, relief in need, arts, heritage and religion.

The Mercers' Charitable Foundation
Mercers' Hall
Ironmonger Lane
Telephone: 020 7726 4991
Correspondent: The Educational and Charities Administrator

The Music Sound Foundation - Funding for music education projects (schools and colleges).

The Music Sound Foundation
c/o 4 Tenderden Street
Telephone: 020 7355 4848
Fax: 020 7355 4494

The National Heritage Memorial Fund - Preserving goods at risk. Last resort funding only!

The National Heritage Memorial Fund
10 St James's Street
Telephone: 020 7930 0963
Fax: 020 7930 0968

National Foundation for Youth Music - Funds music projects for children and young people including the use of technology, instrument exchanges, singing and regional or national development of music making technology.

National Foundation for Youth Music
PO Box 214
35 Winckley Square
Telephone: 0845 056 0560
Fax: 01722 836199

Paul Hamlyn Foundation - supports audience development initiatives, book publishing and individual artists.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation
18 Queen Anne's Gate
Telephone: 020 7227 3500
Fax: 020 7222 0601

The Performing Right Society Foundation - supports the promotion and sustaining of music creation and performance at all levels.

The Foundation Administrator
The Performing Right Society Foundation
29/33 Berners Street
Telephone: 020 7580 5544
Fax: 020 7306 4350

Shell London Symphony Orchestra Music Scholarship - Scholarships for ages 15-22 for woodwind, strings, brass and timpani and percussion.

For further information contact:

Lesley Duncan
Arts and Environment Manager
Community Investment Department
Shell UK Limited
Shell-Mex House
Telephone: 020 7257 1803/3682

The Society of Authors - Grants for British writers 35 years old or over in temporary financial difficulty.

The Francis Head Awards
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
SW10 9SB

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation - Will consider applications for charitable purposes.

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation
41 Lower Hill
Telephone: 020 7480 5000
Contact: Mr D Harris, Consultant

Private companies offering support

These are national sponsorship programmes. It may also be worth approaching local branches of larger shops or local companies to see if they will sponsor or fund activities in their area or donate products. When contacting companies for sponsorship, always find out the name of the person you need to address your enquiry to. Most companies have a policy on how they would like a request submitted to them. Do find out what it is and follow it, as this will increase your chances of a positive response.

The following companies offer support for the arts:

Associated British Ports Holdings plc
150 Holborn
Telephone: 020 7430 1177
Contact: Mrs M Collins, Press and Publicity Manager

British Gas plc
Rivermill House
152 Grosvenor Road
Telephone: 020 7821 1444
Contact: Kate Wilkins, Head of Community Relations

British Land Company
10 Cornwall Terrace
Regent's Park
Telephone: 020 7486 4466
Contact: John Ritblat

BT plc,
BT Community Affairs
81 Newgate Street
Telephone: 020 7356 500
Contact: Roger Broad, Head of Sponsorship and Publicity

Glaxo Wellcome plc
Lansdowne House
Berkeley Square
Telephone: 020 7493 4060

Marks and Spencer plc
Michael House
Baker Street
Telephone: 020 7935 4422
Contact: Jane Leyland, Assistant Manager

National Power plc
Windmill Hill Business Park
Whitehill Way
Contact: Nichola Sackery
Telephone: 01793 892785

NatWest Group
41 Lothbury
Telephone: 020 7726 1000
Contact: Amanda Jordon, Head of Community Relations

PowerGen plc
Westwood Way
Westwood Business Park
Telephone: 01203 - 424000
Contact: Dianne Long

J Sainsbury plc
Stamford House
Stamford Street
Telephone: 020 7921 6000
Contact: Miss Marah WinnMoon, Sponsorship

Tesco plc,
Tesco House
Delamare Road
Telephone: 01992 632222
Contact: Bridgett Burnham, Corporate Affairs

W H Smith Group plc
Strand House
7 Holbein Place
Telephone: 020 7730 1200
Contact: Lois Beeson, Sponsorship Manager

Whitbread plc.
The Whitbread Community Investment Programme
Telephone: 020 7606 4455 x2214


See also South West Arts Fundraising Information pages. They have a very extensive list of funding sources for the arts, some of which I haven't included above.  Remember that we come under South East Arts, so the funding that South West Arts offer does not cover this area. However, some of the national organisations they mention will cover this area.

Further Fundraising Information

UK Fundraising Bookshop

The UK Fundraising Bookshop is an online bookshop aimed at UK fundraisers and charities.

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is a central register of charities. Advice on how to register as a charity.

South West Arts - Fundraising Information

This website gives good advice on fundraising principles and practices, offering useful pointers for less experienced fundraisers.