Funds for Artists and Makers

An Introduction

This ArtMakers introduction to Funding for Artists and Makers in the UK provides an overview of the current funding available via the various sources ranging from public funds to charities and art prizes and bank loans.

For an introduction to major Art competitions please see ArtMakers Funding for Artists and Makers – Competitions(ADDLINK)

There are four types of funding available to Artist and Makers in the UK

1. Public Funds

2. Private Funds

3. Competitions

4. Finances e.g. loans

Public Money

Public money i.e. money raised through largely taxation, has been spent by successive government on various aspects of the arts in the UK. During 2020, as a response to the Covid crisis £1.57b was given as a support package to arts organisations.

However, the key word in this last statement is ‘organisations’ from museums and libraries to the National Galleries and Universities these major arts bodies received most of the monies from the various Covid funds, as they had prior to the crisis. In addition, nearly half of the visual arts organisations supported in England are based in London, though some obviously have a national reach.

The main organisations involved in the allocation of government arts funding are the Department for Culture Media and Science (DCMS), the government department responsible for the arts, and various Arts Councils, the government supported funding bodies across the UK.

Here are the websites for the various UK Arts Councils

England: Arts Council England(ACE) –

Scotland: Creative Scotland –

Wales: The Arts Council of Wales –

Northern Ireland:

Beyond the Arts Councils funding is available from local government sources e.g. Metropolitan Authorities, County, District and City Councils and is as varied as the areas they represent.

Here are a couple of examples:-

In Aberdeen there are Visual Artists and Craft Maker Bursaries of £500 and £750 available –

Newcastle City Council has set up a Cultural Investment Fund managed by the Community Foundation.  It awards £600,000 a year with project grants up to £10,000. Details are available at

Private Funds

There are a limited number of charities in the UK which support individual artists and makers to support their work, some of which are not UK-based. The scale of support ranges from £150 – £15,000. In addition, there are some privately fudded awards which seek to support new talent starting out as artists or makers.

Examples include :-

Mark Tanner Sculpture Award – an annual award supported by the Standpoint Gallery. £8,000. Details at

The Elmgrant Trust – a charity providing awards for South West England based artists and makers three times a year. £150-£450. Details at


Competitions range from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which has a number of awards linked to it to the Loewe Foundation Craft award.  See Artmakers information sheet ‘Artists and Makers Funds – Competitions’. ADD LINK

The Future

In some areas reviews of cultural strategy are under way following the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic e.g. Derry City and Strabane’s District Arts & Cultural Strategy 2019-2024 –

It s worth looking at your local authorities website or contacting their economic development officer to see what plans they have for future support for artists and makers in your area.

I hope you have found this useful.

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