Women in Music Northern Ireland Fund

Applications for this fund have now closed. 

The Women in Music Northern Ireland Fund is designed to support organisations and established collectives working to promote gender equality and the role of women in music. The fund will provide grants of between £1000 - £5000 to support projects with the aim of advancing the awareness of gender equality and diversity in music in Northern Ireland through education and skills development, support and empowerment.

The project should produce tangible and measurable results, such as providing women with demonstrable skills in sound engineering and production. Overall, the project should push the boundaries of your activities as an organisation or collective and enable you undertake a new project that you are not currently able to achieve without support.

There will be a two-stage application process. Deadlines and further details can be found within the ‘How to apply’ section.

Download the full Application Guidance document here.

Who can apply?

The fund is open to established collectives* and organisations who deliver projects that aim to:

  • promote gender equality
  • actively encourage greater participation of women in live music in Northern Ireland
  • inform and educate women in a range of career opportunities in the music industry in NI

 The proposed project must support these aims. The main contact at the organisation or collective must be aged 21 or over and must have been based in Northern Ireland for at least the past three consecutive years. Please note that you do not have to be a member of the organisation Women in Music to apply for this fund.

*- A collective is defined as a group of individuals who share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest or work together to achieve a common objective. When applying as a collective, you should nominate a lead person to be the recipient and manager of the grant funding. We would expect this person to have a track record of working in music and to be able to demonstrate expertise related to the aims of the fund. As an established collective, you should have already worked together on a project and have been active for more than 6 months. You will be asked to outline the history of your collective as part of the full application process.

What can you apply for?

Within this fund the following activities are eligible:

  • Venue hire / rehearsal space costs
  • Fees: for musicians, artists or any other professionals (including project management) involved in making your project happen
  • Travel, access and subsistence costs for those involved in the project
  • Marketing and promotion costs (this must be less than 50% of the grant)
  • Costs associated with project documentation and evaluation
  • Any other reasonable costs associated with your project

 Within the second stage application, the budget should reflect the resources required to allow this activity to take place or covering the period of time needed to create new projects and explore collaborative practice.

What we can’t fund

Below is a list of what is ineligible for the Women in Music Northern Ireland Fund. Please read this thoroughly. If you apply for any of the below, your expression of interest will be automatically rejected, and you will not be invited to submit a full application.

  • Applications from individuals. All applications must be from an established collective or organisation.
  • Collectives or organisations that are not working in music
  • Collectives or organisations that have been active for less than 6 months
  • Projects that do not have a clear benefit in terms of promoting gender equality and/or actively encouraging the greater participation of women in music in Northern Ireland.
  • Projects for commercial gain
  • Projects which promote the activities of political parties
  • Projects that will raise money for another charity
  • Projects involving participants under the age of 18
  • Retrospective activity (projects that have already taken place.) If you are seeking funding for a project that has already started, you should clearly demonstrate how the funds will be used to add value to the existing project
  • Any costs associated with recording
  • Projects that use our grant to make financial awards to individuals or organisations
  • Projects intended to fund core organisational costs, including salary costs
  • Individual living costs except for access requirements
  • Formal courses of study, training or research (this includes undergraduate study, postgraduate study, year-long courses, costs associated with PhD study)
  • Opportunities already funded by Help Musicians UK or other organisations we support.
  • Collectives or organisations, 50% of whom have not resided in NI for at least three years
  • An organisation that is a membership body and the project only relates to its members
  • Capital / equipment costs
  • No more than 50% of the project can be for promotion and marketing

How to apply

The Women in Music Northern Ireland Fund is a two-stage application process.

First stage – expression of interest

We are currently inviting expressions of interest to the fund as the first stage of the application process. Please complete our short form to register your expression of interest. You will be asked to provide some basic contact details about your organisation / collective, your achievements so far, the project you are looking to fund, and the impact you are trying to achieve.

Applications can be made through the online form and the deadline is 14 September 2018 5pm.

Second stage – full application

If you successfully move to the second stage, you will be notified by email. We will ask you to submit a full application and provide further information about your project, including a detailed budget, project plan and timescale. Second stage application forms and further guidance will be circulated to you following confirmation of your acceptance by email.

You must confirm your acceptance of the second stage otherwise you will be ineligible.

We do not expect to be able to fund all second stage applications.

Following the closing date, full applications will be considered by a panel of experts hosted by Help Musicians NI and including members of the Women in Music NI Chapter Committee.

Please find details of the application process and associated deadlines below:


Funding Open

31 July 2018

First stage: Deadline for Expression of Interest

14 September 2018 by 5pm

Invitations to apply sent to selected applicants

28 September 2018

Second stage: Deadline for applications

26 October 2018 by 5pm

Second stage: shortlisting panel

9 November 2018

Successful applicants notified

21 November 2018

Grant Agreements issued (no later than)

27 November 2018


If you are successful, the project end date must be within 12 months of the date of the Grant Agreement.  

Guidance for applicants

When making your expression of interest, it is important that you look carefully at the criteria to make sure that your organisation or collective is as well as your proposed project eligible. You need to tell us why we should support your project, setting out clearly what you have achieved in the past and how your proposed project will fulfil the stated aims of the Women in Music Northern Ireland fund.

If you would like any further advice, you can visit the following page on the website www.helpmusicians.org.uk/creative-programme/advice-for-funding-applications- or contact us at NIinfo@helpmusicians.org.uk / 020 890233162