Grants are available for arts, museums and libraries projects that engage people in England with arts and culture.

Current Status
Open for Applications
Maximum value:
£ 100,000

Objectives of Fund

This new grants programme is intended to help the Arts Council achieve its mission of ‘Great art and culture for everyone’. It also provides a means to support a broad range of not-for-profit projects that create and sustain quality work and help people across England to engage with arts and culture.

The programme supports development by allowing artists, cultural practitioners and organisations to work in new ways and to get their work out to new audiences.

The Arts Council is making the following changes to its programmes:

  • The budget for Project Grants has been increased with £97.3 million available each year for museums, libraries, artists and arts organisations.
  • The additional funding will allow further support the integration of museums and libraries into our total investment approach.
  • Project Grants will also be more open to supporting those working in creative and digital media than the existing Grants for the Arts.
  • Some aspects of the Strategic Touring and Ambition for Excellence funds will be absorbed into Project Grants, with £14 million per year reserved to support nationally significant and national touring projects of over £100,000.
  • National Portfolio Organisations will be able to apply for some of the national activity previously supported by Strategic Touring and Ambition for Excellence.

Value Notes

The budget each year is £97.3 million.

Grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 are available.

The funding can support projects lasting up to a maximum of three years.

Match Funding Restrictions

Match funding of at least 10% is required and it must be from sources other than the Arts Council.

Who Can Apply

Individuals and organisations can apply.

To be eligible, applicants (individual or organisation) must:

  • Be based within (live in or have a business address in) the European Union.
  • Have a UK bank account in the exact name they are applying in
  • Be at least 18 years old (for organisations, have an accountable person who is at least 18).

The following information is for organisations:

  • Organisations refers to a group of people working towards a common goal with a governing document that covers the type of project being applied. This could be, for example, a charity, a limited company or an unincorporated group. Examples would be arts organisations, museums, libraries, Music Education Hubs, and organisations that use the arts in their work.
  • All organisations need to have a bank account in the organisation’s name, with two signatories.
  • Limited companies and registered charities need to have a registered office in the UK.
  • Existing members of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio cannot apply for less than £100,000 or for non-National Activities.

Applications will be accepted from organisations working as a consortium, partnership, network or group. For non-constituted consortiums or groups, one organisation must act as the lead organisation and submit the application. If the application goes on to be successful, this organisation would then be accountable for the grant.


A full list of restrictions can be found in the guidance notes.

Eligible Expenditure

Applications must meet the programme’s four criteria: Quality, Public engagement, Finance and Management.

The funding is for projects that are focused on one or more of the following artforms and disciplines:

  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Visual arts
  • Literature
  • Combined arts
  • Museum practice (accredited museums only)
  • Libraries (arts-focused projects only).

Projects may work with these artforms in other contexts. Examples might include:

  • Creative media and the wider creative industries (for example, film or audio, design, gaming).
  • Technology, including digital technology (for example, virtual reality or live-streaming).
  • Other non-arts organisations or settings (for example, residential care providers, or a science organisation).
  • Other non-arts cultural forms or sectors (for example, health and wellbeing, social inclusion, heritage or sport).

How To Apply

Groups should first read the Access support information sheets as well as guidelines for applications of £15,000 and under or applications exceeding £15,000, all of which can be found on the Arts Council England website.

Applications are made using Arts Council England’s Grantium system.

The programme is always open, and has a quick turnaround:

  • Applications for £15,000 or under will receive a decision in six weeks.
  • Applications for more than £15,000 will receive a decision in 12 weeks.

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