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Monday 30th March 2020 at 11am 0 Comments

Useful Funding Sources Image: Useful Funding Sources

Updated: 26 May 2020



Department for Economy Micro-business Hardship Fund

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced a new £40m NI Micro-business Hardship Fund (open from 6pm 20 May). The grant scheme is targeted at micro-businesses and social enterprises with up to nine employees facing immediate cash flow difficulties and unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures.

In order to ensure that the £40m budget is not exceeded, the final amounts awarded will depend on the number of successful applications. The level of Hardship Fund grant will be up to £10,000 for businesses which pay business rates on premises and up to £5,000 for those that do not pay business rates.  For more information go to:


Freelands Foundation  hardship fund for visual artists, totalling £500,000 for NI

The Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund will open on Thursday May 7th 2020, offering support grants of £1,500 - £2,500 per applicant.

Further information and application guidance can be found here
Individuals apply to The Freelands Trust Emergency Fund through Foundation’s delivery partner,  a-n, The Artists Information Company.
The Freelands Foundation has now committed a total of £3m in emergency funds to support artists and freelance creative practitioners in urgent need of financial support as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic across the four nations of the UK. The new £500,000 fund for Northern Ireland follows a £1m contribution to the Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary and £500,000 to the Arts Council of Wales Urgent Relief Fund for Individuals.




Coronavirus and Claiming Benefits

Department for Communities - claiming benefits:

Department for Economy Small Business Rate Relief Scheme

UK Government Self-employment Income Support Scheme

UK Government Business Support Scheme

NI Executive Small Business Support Grant Scheme

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
NICVA is curating information of use to charities and freelancers and includes some new funds set up specifically to help in this time.


Creative Europe Desk UK
Remains open (remotely) to advise UK applicants

Trusts and Foundations:

Charities Aid Foundation
CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund
Grants of up-to £10,000 to help smaller UK charitable organisations

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Closing to new applications on 3rd April, reopening new funding strategy in May.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Arts Access and Participation Fund - applications on a rolling basis

Clore Duffield Foundation
Main Grants Programme - applications on an ongoing basis, although grants can only be awarded at meetings of the Trustees in June and December.

Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland
Small to large community grants

Other funding sources:

PRS Foundation in partnership with Jerwood Arts - Composers' Fund

Up-to £10,000 available to composers who are already making a significant cultural contribution in the UK.
Next deadlines for applications will be 28 May and 2 November 2020.

Heritage Fund
£50 million Heritage Emergency Fund

Community Foundation NI
Coronavirus Community Fund
Grants of £1,000 - £10,000 for constituted organisations

Help Musicians hardship fund

PRS Emergency Relief Fund

Bread and Butter Emergency Fund for NI Artists, set up by Abbie Spallen and Finn Kennedy - CLOSED

Tinderbox Solo Art - a solo art fund to help freelancers by Tinderbox Theatre Company

Actors' Children's Trust Fund

Equity Children's Fund

Evelyn Norris Trust

Safety Curtain

The Ralph & Meriel Richardson Foundation

The Royal Theatrical Fund

The Theatrical Fund

Women's Resilience Fund

The Ralph & Meriel Richardson Foundation

The Royal Theatrical Fund

The Theatrical Fund

Women's Resilience Fund

Disability Arts Online
Special £8k commissions pot for disabled artists in UK
Application deadline: Monday 6th April

British Council
Funding and other resources for the music industry


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