Funding Opportunities

Disrupt 2021: DISRUPT is a brand new digital arts festival taking place 8th to 9th July 2021. The event will explore how the performing arts has supported communities during the pandemic and how a year of uncertainty and change has encouraged new and radical ways of working. It’s time to unlearn, rethink and restructure.

Projects that will premiere or showcase work at DISRUPT 2021 are eligible to apply, in particular:

  • New and experimental performance-based projects created with, by and for communities during the pandemic
  • Tools and tactics to build skills on new or  different ways of working in the performing arts, including practical steps on how communities, artists and organisations can collaborate
  • Projects that explore alternative and more democratic futures for the performing arts


DISRUPT is open to communities, community organisations, researchers, creatives, artists, charities and arts organisations that work meaningfully together. Applications must be co-written by a community partner and a creative partner. The call has three programme strands, and you can apply for between £1,000 and £5,000, for up to 100% of your project.   You must be able to premiere an aspect of your work digitally for DISRUPT 2021. The deadline for applications is noon, 30th January 2021.  Email:


Fleabag Support Fund:  The Fleabag Support Fund partners with charities in responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The fund provides support to freelancers working in theatre, comedy and cabaret who are unable to work as a direct result of the pandemic. It is a small crisis grant that will reflect and recognise that people have an immediate need.

The Fund aims to be a complimentary alternative support grant to the already existing charitable funds available to people working in theatre at this time.

The Fund will provide grants of £2,500 to freelancers working in the theatre industry who are in urgent financial need.

Who Can Apply?

Those who have worked professionally in the UK’s theatre industry may be eligible. This includes on stage, front of house, backstage workers, comedians, cabaret performers, commercial dancers, producers, writers, stage managers, actors, technicians and production staff.

Applicants must be based in the UK and must have a UK bank account.

Applicants must have been in active work within the last year in the UK theatre industry.

Applicants will need to supply proof of their current benefit award, for example a screen shot of their Universal Credit award showing how it has been calculated or their tax credits or housing benefit award.

Applicants who have received Self Employment Income Support will need to supply proof of payment or refusal.


Altpitch deadline extended: We understand that the new lockdown and other COVID restrictions slow every process down and make it more difficult to complete any task. In response to a few emails we have received from the artists who would like to submit their work or proposal but need a little more time, we are extending the submission deadline for both the main programme and the Platform until the 15 February.  This change leaves us a very tight window to ensure that all the works are presented on the website and are accessible to the audience by the 01 March, so, sadly, we won’t be able to offer any further extension.  With any questions or for further support, please email


Cultural Recovery Fund – Arts Council England second round: This new programme aims to support culturally significant organisations from April – June 2021 as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model. It’s open to for-profit and non-profit arts and cultural organisations.

Key information

  • The fund is open to Local Authorities who run or maintain cultural services.
  • The minimum grant amount you can apply for is £25,000.
  • You can’t apply for more than £1 million in grants if you are a for-profit organisation or more than £3 million in grants if you are a non-profit organisation, local authority or university.
  • These limits include any money that has been received in the previous round of CRF, including grants delivered by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and the British Film Institute.

There are a series of webinars in January for organisations who want more information before applying and you can read the guidance and apply here by 26 January 2021.


Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England. The Fund is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19 (the rescue package also includes grants and repayable finance for arts and culture which is being distributed separately by Arts Council England and grants for film and cinema distributed by the British Film Institute).  Round two of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage will award £36 million in grants to heritage organisations to help them make the transition to full reopening in 2021.  The second round of funding looks forward to spring and early summer 2021 when it is expected that heritage organisations will be able to operate with fewer restrictions. It will support organisations to transition from the challenging months of lockdowns and social distancing to resume business activity and welcome visitors back to the country’s diverse heritage sites.


Grants of between £10,000 and £3 million are available.


Applications will be accepted from properly constituted heritage organisations in England that are at risk of no longer trading viably this financial year.  The funding is to be used to cover the period from 1st April to 31st June 2021 only and can cover any costs associated with shortfalls in income during the April to June period whilst working towards restarting normal operations or business. This includes hiring staff and freelancers as normal, therefore supporting the wider ecosystem of the heritage sector.  This shortfall may be costs incurred as part of operations and business, including:

  • Staffing
  • Overheads
  • Marketing
  • Heritage activities
  • Maintenance of buildings and land, equipment and services


In addition to ongoing costs, there may be additional “one-off” costs associated with restarting and these costs can include:

  • Rehiring or recruiting staff
  • Contracting freelancers
  • Purchasing or installing essential COVID-19 related equipment, and stabilising heritage that is at immediate risk, for example, scaffolding or urgent minor conservation work (up to a maximum of 20% of the amount applied for)
  • Repaying or clearing COVID-19 related debt incurred since 1st October 2020


Round Two applications will be accepted until 21st January 2021.


Tel: 020 8132 7290                                                    Email:


Weston-Jerwood Creative Bursaries:

Now open for Fellowship applications.  Over 2020-2022, the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme will support 50 salaried jobs in arts and cultural organisations across the UK, for individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds. The programme is dedicated to supporting outstanding early-career artists, curators, producers and creatives to thrive, and working in partnership with leading arts and cultural organisations to take an inclusive, intersectional approach to recruitment, artist development and organisational change.


Local Connections Fund: The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities. Book clubs, walking groups and other community projects can now apply for a small grant worth between £300 and £2,500. These investments are designed to help local organisations bring people and communities together as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. There will be 2 funding rounds, the first is open for applications now and will close on 26 January 2021.  Please share amongst your networks.


Covid-19 Archives Fund: The Covid-19 Archives Fund provides support for short-notice work to secure vulnerable analogue and born-digital records across the United Kingdom. The fund is open to the benefit of archives at risk that might otherwise be dispersed or lost without intervention. It particularly focuses on records not protected by legislation acknowledging that archive services may struggle to respond to collections at immediate risk due to limited resources. The deadline for applications to the Covid-19 Archives Fund is 15 January 2021.


Archives Testbed Fund – Addressing representation in archives: The Archives Testbed funding scheme provides grants of up to £10,000 for archives who would like to test, explore, or evolve a new idea.  For round 6 of the fund, The National Archives would especially like to support archive services who want to explore and test approaches to addressing issues of representation in archives. This includes but is not limited to:

  • diversification of collections and developing more ethnically diverse audiences and workforce
  • creative re-imagining of human-centred and equitable archive services
  • ethical collaborations and democratised decision making

Applications close on 25 January 2021. Find out more here.


Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants: The Archives Revealed cataloguing grants programme has now re-opened for round 4, following a comprehensive review in 2020. The grants of up to £45,000 from this partnership programme allow archives to catalogue their collections and make them accessible to the public for research and enjoyment. The deadline for expression of interest is 11 March 2021. Full details about eligibility and how to apply here.