Funding for projects

Finding funding for music projects can be tough but opportunities are out there. We hope that the following page will show you where to look and make navigating the many funding options available a little easier.

Where can I find project funding?

The main providers of project funding for musicians are the PRS for Music Foundation and the UK’s arts councils (Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland)

Arts Councils offer many different funding schemes, below are a few examples of grants that cover music projects and are open for all to apply:

Specific grants will have different rules but funding can be sought for assistance with research and development, creating new work for production or touring, training, mentoring and continuing professional development, and business and market development.

The PRS for Music Foundation are entirely music focused and also offer a range of schemes to artists and groups of all genres. One example being the Momentum Music fund which offers grants of £5k-£15k for artists and bands to break through to the next level of their career.

It is also worth taking a look at the BPI Music Growth Export scheme and Sky Academy Arts Scholarships.

Help Musicians UK also offer funding opportunities to emerging artists who are already making an impact in their field. Our current opportunities are the Emerging Artists Fund in association with PledgeMusic and Career Development Bursaries.

For more funding ideas the Arts Council England provides a guide to ‘Other Sources of Funding’ listing other organisations which fund the arts or you can use our very own Help Musicians UK funding wizard.

Rules, criteria and deadlines for all funding schemes can vary from year to year. We recommend visiting the websites of the individual funding organisations which will provide up to date information.

Advice on making funding applications

Funding is always very competitive, and it is important to think carefully about whether it is the right time to be applying. Always read the guidelines carefully to be sure that you’re eligible and that what you’re applying for is appropriate for the specific funding scheme. To help you with this process our Talent Programme Manager Tim Foxon has put together his top tips for applying for funding.

For further general advice on funding for music projects – be that recording, touring, promotion or something else, there are plenty of resources to help you. Music Tank have published ‘Easy Money? The Definitive UK Guide To Funding Music Projects’ which can be downloaded for a fee from their website. If you are applying for the Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts scheme, Fresh On the Net provide a beginners’ guide.

Crowd funding for your project

Many musicians are using crowd-funding platforms to engage their fanbase and get financial backing for their projects and our Emerging Artists Fund in association with PledgeMusic reflects this growing trend. There is plenty of advice available and many success stories. Creative Choices provides a general overview on crowdfunding for the arts and there are some helpful tips on The DIY Musician and Ditto Music. One of our 2014 emerging artists – 12 Ensemble offer some first-hand advice after crowdfunding for their debut album. 

Popular crowdfunding platforms for musicians include:

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"Help Musicians UK supported our family when my husband became seriously ill. Without them we would not have been able to adapt our house to meet his needs. Now he is back home with his family where he belongs for which we will always be grateful."

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