Sadly, our own funding is drawing to a close – our last ever schemes are now open for applications on Hiive. But while it's an incredibly tough time for arts funding, there is support out there. We've pulled together a list of some of what's available to help you get your project off the ground. Good luck!

Performing arts

BBC Performing Arts Fund
Deadline(s): Various

The spiel: “We support performing arts individuals and community groups through grants, mentoring and advice.

What they fund: Every time you vote in a show like Strictly Come Dancing or Over the Rainbow, you help to support talent. The jury may be out over the artistic quality of these shows, but we’re very happy to see that some of the money raised through these phone lines goes straight to emerging artists, to lift the barriers stopping them from achieving their aims. Each year, the fund focuses on dance, theatre or music. Sign up to the newsletter to stay in the loop. 


Equity Charitable Trust
Deadline(s): Various

The spiel: “Help. Hope. Opportunity.”

What they fund: Developed out of the Equity trade union, this individual body offers a number of very specific funding opportunities, including The John Fernald Award for trainee assistant theatre directors and the Grants for Theatres programme, which is geared towards refurbishment. Their educational bursaries enable professional actors with a minimum of 10 years adult experience to develop new skills or even make a fresh start, and have helped hundreds of performers complete recognised courses and achieve valuable new qualifications. Depending on your circumstances, grants can cover some or even all of the course costs. They regret they’re unable to help musicians, drama students or amateur performers.

They have a links page to other organisations and charities. 


Deadline(s): Ongoing

The spiel: “Escalator can take artists to the next level of their careers or enable them to take time to explore new creative territories.”

What they fund: Live in the East of England? Now, aren’t you lucky. Supported by Arts Council England and managed by The Junction in Cambridge, the Escalator programme promotes creative risk-taking across a   multiplicity of disciplines. Since it launched with the East to Edinburgh programme in 2003, Escalator has enabled a number of collaborations and has over 300 individuals and companies on its alumni. Application packs can be downloaded from The Junction’s website, which also offers a number of workshops with companies such as Blind Summit and Hoipolloi, facilitating knowledge exchange in the creative industries.


IdeasFund Edinburgh
Deadline(s): November

Do you have a performance idea that will stand out from the crowd? Every year, we give away £20,000 and a generous portion of mentoring and marketing support so that two productions by IdeasTap members can make their mark on the world’s biggest arts festival.


National Centre for Circus Arts
Deadline(s): Every 3 months

The spiel: “Experiments in circus. Early stage funding for rehearsal, research and development.”

What they fund: Through Lab:time individual artists and companies are able to secure rehearsal and research and development time in the Creation Studio at the National Centre for Circus Arts, as well as small but significant amounts of seed funding to support the first stages of exploration. The programme consists of four different areas of circus performance with Space:time, Team:time, Tech:time and High:time. Whether you need rehearsal space, collaborations or new equipment or rigging support, Lab:time could help you out.


Our past collaborators