Posted 04 February 2021

10 funding opportunities and schemes that you should have on your radar

As the third lockdown rolls on, it’s important to remember that there is help out there – you just need to know where to look. Which is why we’re back to showcase a non-exhaustive list of creative funds and government-backed schemes available to emerging creatives at this time. We’ve laid everything out all the essential information below, and if you have any additional suggestions, please don't hesitate to get in contact!

Grants and Opportunities

Black Artists Grant, Creative Debuts
Creative Debuts is a platform celebrating emerging artists and designers. In response to this particularly difficult period, they’ve created The Black Artists Grant. Each month, £1,500 will be distributed amongst several Black artists in the UK. Each successful applicant will receive £500.

This is a grant specifically for Black artists and creators, and the money is intended to be used for new equipment, materials, travel, research, and living expenses. If you feel you’d benefit from the money, then apply!

Put yourself forward for the grant by emailing [email protected]. The email must contain: your name, contact information, and some images of what you make or do (a link to your portfolio is fine.)

There is no age limit or deadline, as this is a monthly rolling grant.

Learn more here.

Developing Your Creative Practice, Arts Council England
Round nine of DYCP is now open. The fund supports creative practitioners who are looking to take their practice to the next stage. The money you’ll receive will give you time to research and come up with ideas, as well as cover any travel costs. You could be given anything between £2,000 to £10,000.

You need to be based in England, apply as an individual, be at least 18 years old, have a UK bank account, and have at least a year’s experience of being a creative practitioner outside of formal education.

If you’re unsuccessful, you don’t have to wait to apply again. There’s no limit to how many times you can put yourself forward.

Applications close on 18th February 2021 at 12pm.

Learn more and apply here, where you can also read their guidance for applicants and find out if you're ready to apply with a short quiz.

National Lottery Project Grants, Arts Council England
This grant is aimed at both individuals and organisations – however, this new round has a particular focus on individuals. There is £77.9 million available until April 2021.

If you have a time-sensitive project that’s been halted, and you need help getting it back off the ground, then this grant may be for you.

Please note, this is a popular and competitive grant, so get your applications in sooner rather than later!

Learn more and apply here.

Chang/ce, Bagri Foundation
The Bagri Foundation supports new and emerging talent from the Asia diaspora. The foundation has issued a call out for illustrators and animators from Asia (Centra Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia) to create work in response to the theme of ‘Change’.

If you’ve been thinking about change and the many ways it has revealed itself during the pandemic, then you should apply. Ultimately, they’re looking for an animation that can be showcased digitally. It can be narrated, filmed, collaged, hand-drawn, stop motion, and so on.

Selected applicants will receive £3,000 each for the preparation and delivery of the digital contribution.

The deadline for proposals is 15th February 2021 at 10 am (UK).

Read the full brief and apply here.

Documentary Funding, Whickers
The deadline for the 2021 Whickers’ Documentary Funding scheme has been extended until midnight on 7th February. If you’re a director (can be a junior) looking to fund your first full-length documentary, then keep reading.

There’s £80,000 up for grabs for the winner and £15,000 for the runner-up. It’s free to apply and it’s open globally. We know the large sum of money may feel scary and out of reach for many emerging creatives, but we encourage you all to apply. A fantastic idea will take you far!

Apply here, or if you have a question, direct them here.

Authors’ Contingency Fund
This is a hardship fund available to authors in financial difficulties. You can be an illustrator, translator, scriptwriter, poet, journalist, or anything related to the written word.

Grants range from £500 to £2,000 and are intended to cover unexpected expenses, for example, a broken boiler, laptop, or washing machine. The grant will also ensure you make up any lost income and that you are able to cover the shortfall if a project falls through.

The grant does not cover specific writing projects, publication costs, or authors who are not yet working professionally.

To learn more and get your application in click here.

AiR Drop Residency, Satellite Films
Satellite Films understands the difficulties that come with working on projects whilst confined to your home, so it has launched a scheme to help.

The scheme is looking to provide underrepresented groups within the moving image industry with the facilities they need to make a project come to life. This includes a camera, tripod, software, lights and so on.

You need to be aged over 18, not in full-time education, and based in England to apply. Please note that this is aimed at those unable to make work because of lack of access to facilities.

All applications are free and easy! Satellite Films have said: “Residencies are a time to develop your practice, not a source of stress. We’ll expect you to undertake the project you described in your proposal, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s fine.”

Learn more and apply here.

Grey Moth Originals
Committed to building a fairer, kinder, and better creative industry, Grey Moth want to actively springboard emerging filmmakers into the industry. They donate funding, facilities, equipment, mentoring, and training workshops to promising grassroots talent – from camera operators and editors to producers and directors.

£5,000 funding is available, and the team will consider any type of film. Selections will be made based on originality and creative flair, and applications will be assessed based on how the funding will contribute to the realistic completion of your project.

Applications are open to those over 16 years old, living in the UK with the right to work, and with any level of filmmaking experience.

Applications close at 12:00pm 15th March 2021. Learn more and apply here.

Government Schemes

Universal Credit
We’ve spoken about Universal Credit before, but we felt it was important to get it back on to your radars. You can apply if you’re still working, or completely out of a job. If you’re a frequent freelancer but things on the job front have gone a little quiet recently – then this is for you. Whenever you do work, 63p of your universal credit will be deducted for every £1 you earn on the job.

There’s been recent talk about the government ending the £20-uplift that it introduced back in March. However, this has yet to be confirmed, so from now until April, you can still receive universal credit with the extra £20.

Ultimately, universal credit is there for you if your circumstances are constantly changing. Please note, if you have savings of £16,000 you will not be considered.

Learn more and apply here.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has received numerous tweaks since it was first unveiled in Spring. More recently, it was announced that there will be a third and fourth grant available until March 2021.

If you’re self-employed and were trading in the 2018–2019 and 2019-2020 tax years, then you could be eligible to receive 80% of your average monthly trading profits.

If you feel that your profits will be massively impacted for the next year, then you are eligible to apply for this scheme. You can receive a maximum of £7,500 for three months.

The third grant window has now closed, but the fourth will be announced on 3 March 2021.

Check if you’re elligible and apply here.



If you have any other funds or opportunities that you think should be added, feel free to get in touch and let us know at [email protected]ress.com!

Written by Creative Lives in Progress
Mention Art Council England