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Long read: Here’s where to find funding to support your music projects in 2022

Looking for support within the music industry? Will Pritchard has delved deep to deliver this extensive guide for UD, highlighting the potential funding available for your music projects in 2022…

If you know where to look, there are plenty of funding options available to musicians and artists at all stages of their career.

Chief among these funding options are grants – free money! Getting hold of a grant typically involves an application process in which you outline what you’d like to achieve, how much money you need to make it happen, and how you’ll show off what the money helped you achieve. 

Some funding comes via regular opportunities, with yearly or monthly grants available, some are ongoing and you can apply anytime. Other opportunities are more ad hoc, popping up occasionally or in support of a specific event – keeping track of these can be a case of being in the right place at the right time, or, more simply, signed up to the right newsletters.

Below, we’ve compiled some of the best opportunities out there at the moment – and included some links to newsletters to sign up for, and sites to bookmark for regular visits on your funding hunt.

Quick links

Finding funding can feel like being lost in a maze, so here are some quick links to webpages that are (mostly!) up-to-date with the latest information:

· Funding opportunities from Arts Council England are listed here.

· Creative Scotland lists its funding programmes here.

· Funding available through the Arts Council of Wales can be found here.

· Check back here for information on other funding opportunities in Northern Ireland.

· PRS Foundation lists its up-to-date application deadlines here.

· Help Musicians also has a handy Funding Wizard tool: input all your relevant information here to be provided with a range of funding opportunities.

· The latest from Youth Music can be found here

Newsletters to know

Signing up to a bunch of newsletters is a great way to hear about funding opportunities that you might not come across:

· Receive monthly tips and opportunities from UD here.

· Sign up to Youth Music’s letter here.

· Get updates from Arts Admin here.

· The PRS Foundation newsletter is here.

·  Stay in the know with On The Move here.

Funding opportunities to check out

Getting started

Name: Hit The Road

Details: This fund is for bands and artists in Scotland who want to take their music out on tour. It includes a training and rehearsing programme, followed by a three-date tour.

Who can apply? The initiative is open to performers of all genres aged between 14 and 19 who live in Scotland.

Deadline: Applications for the 2022 tour are open now.

Where can I find more information? Find out more and apply for Hit The Road here.

Name: PRS Foundation Women Make Music

Details: Women Make Music offers awards of up to £5,000 to women, trans and non binary songwriters and composers.

The fund supports the creation of new music (including writing, recording, release, and live performances). Grants can also be used to facilitate collaborations, creative residencies, and promotion and marketing.

Who can apply? Women Make Music is for UK-based women, trans and non binary songwriters and composers. It is open to musicians of all genres and backgrounds, and at all stages of their careers.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by 6pm on the 15th of March 2022. Head here to begin yours.

Where can I find more information? Guidance for PRS Foundation grants is extensive; you’ll find detailed guidance on the Women Make Music fund here.

Name: PRS Foundation Open Fund For Music Creators

Details: The Open Fund for Music Creators awards grants of up to £5,000 to musicians and songwriters.

Funding is provided to support the writing, recording, release, and live performance of new music, as well as collaborations, creative residencies, and promotion and marketing (if it involves an element of creation and/or performance).

Who can apply? The Open Fund for Music Creators is for UK-based musicians and songwriters at all stages of their careers.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by 6pm on the 15th of March 2022. Head here to begin yours.

Where can I find more information? Guidance for PRS Foundation grants is extensive; make sure to read all the details shared here before completing and submitting an application.

Name: MOBO Help Musicians Fund

Details: The MOBO Help Musicians Fund offers up to £3,000 to support musicians with recording and releasing music.

The award also includes one-to-one business advice sessions and a health consultation covering all aspects of a musician’s physical and mental health.

Who can apply? The MOBO Help Musicians Fund is for musicians making “Hip Hop, Grime, R&B, Soul, music of African origin, Reggae, Jazz and Gospel.”

It is open to full-time, professional UK musicians aged 18 and over.

The fund has a focus on independent artists (for example, self-managing, self-releasing, self-producing artists).

Deadline: Applications are open now. Head over here to apply.

Where can I find more information? Find the full guidelines for the MOBO Help Musicians Fund here.

Name: Help Musicians Recording & Releasing Music

Details: Help Musicians’ Recording & Releasing Music funding offers musicians with an active career up to £3,000 in financial support towards their creative output.

The award also includes one-to-one business advice sessions and a health consultation covering all aspects of a musician’s physical and mental health.

Who can apply? The Help Musicians Recording & Releasing Music fund is open to full-time, professional UK musicians aged 18 and over.

It is open to all musical genres and disciplines, and has a focus on independent artists (for example, self-managing, self-releasing, self-producing artists).

This fund is not for artists who already receive financial backing from a record label, publisher or private investor.

Deadline: Applications are open now. Head over here to apply.

Where can I find more information? Find the full funding application guidelines for Help Musicians Recording & Releasing Music here.

Name: Drake Music Emergent Bursaries

Details: Drake Music’s Emergent Bursaries includes three £750 awards for early-career artists. Two awards will go to “emerging musicians of all types and genres,” while one award is aimed specifically at supporting an early-career DJ.

The funding can be spent on anything that will help the recipient grow as an artist.

The award also includes access to creative development opportunities and advice through Drake Music.

Who can apply? The Emergent Bursaries are open to UK-based Disabled musicians who are Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority group. “Emerging” refers to experience, not age: this fund is for musicians taking their first creative career steps.

Deadline: Applications for the latest round of funding closed on the 21st of February 2022 but keep checking back for further openings. 

Where can I find more information? Find more information on this year’s awards, and future Emergent Bursaries funding, over here.

Name: Youth Music NextGen Fund

Details: The NextGen Fund offers grants of up to £2,500 to young, early-stage musicians.

The money is aimed at supporting new projects, ideas, or businesses where a lack of funding is presenting a hurdle to progress.

Who can apply? NextGen is open to 18-25 year olds (and up to 30-year-olds who identify as Disabled) living in the UK.

It is aimed at musicians, producers, engineers, DJs, MCs, rappers, and songwriters, as well as managers, promoters, A&Rs, agents, and activists and campaigners who are transforming the music industries.

Deadline: The January NextGen deadline has just passed, but applications will be open again in Spring.

Where can I find more information? Find application guidance for the NextGen Fund here.

Youth Music has a number of different funding opportunities. Find all the latest information on this and other funds here.

Name: The FAC Step Up Fund

Details: The FAC Step Up Fund is a joint venture of the Featured Artists Coalition (or FAC, an industry body for UK artists) and Amazon Music.

It provides funding of up to £8,000, a one-year free membership with the FAC, and promotional support from Amazon Music.

It is aimed at upcoming artists, with support focused on career development and money helping towards recording, releasing, marketing, and tour support. Ten awards are granted each year.

Who can apply? The FAC Step Up Fund is for anyone aged 16 and over. You need to have released at least three songs within the past year, and have had a minimum of 10,000 streams per song on a mainstream streaming service.

Artists with “an ongoing agreement with a major or large independent record label” are not eligible for this grant.

Deadline: This year’s application window is closed but check back later in the year for details of the 2023 round of funding.

Where can I find more information? Find FAC’s website over here, and read the application guidelines here.

Name: Grand Plan Fund

Details: Grand Plan awards three grants of £1,000 each month.

The fund is aimed at creative projects “for which £1,000 would make a huge difference,” and is not intended for projects in which company running costs, marketing, or university projects are likely to suck up budget.

Grants are awarded across a range of creative practices, and to people in all areas of the UK and at different stages of their creative development.

Who can apply? The Grand Plan Fund is open to people of colour based in the UK who are aged 18 and over.

It aims to fund projects that are “least likely to find support from major funders,” and is not targeted at organisations or charities involved in regular fundraising.

Deadline: Applications are open every month, with the deadline typically landing on the last day of the month.

Check here for month-by-month deadlines.

Where can I find more information? Find Grand Plan’s website over here, and dig into the application guidance here.

Taking it to the next level

Name: Creative Scotland Open Fund for Individuals

Details: Creative Scotland’s Open Fund for Individuals runs throughout the year and offers grants ranging from between £500 and £100,000.

There are three funding levels: £500 to £5000; £5001 to £20,000; and £20,001 to £100,000

The fund is designed to benefit individual creative development, as well as providing opportunities “for the wider community to develop, evolve and flourish.”

Who can apply? This fund is for self-employed and freelance artists who live in Scotland and are at least 18 years old.

Deadline: Creative Scotland’s Open Fund for Individuals is open for applications throughout the year.

Where can I find more information? Familiarise yourself with all the guidance on the Open Fund for Individuals here.

Name: PRS Foundation Power Up Programme

Details: Power Up funds 20 Black music creators and 20 Black executives and industry professionals with grants of up to £15,000.

The programme also includes mentoring, access to partners, marketing support, and involvement in the long-term Power Up network.

Who can apply? The Power Up Programme is for Black, UK-based artists, songwriters, composers and producers working in any genre, as well as executives and industry professionals.

It is open to artists releasing music independently (those signed to major record labels or publishers are not eligible for this fund).

This Programme is aimed at people who are on their way to forging a successful, long-term career and are at “a tipping point” in that process. It is not designed for early-stage artists or executives.

Deadline: This is an annual programme, so if you missed this year’s deadline there will be an opportunity to apply in 2023.

Where can I find more information? Find all the guidance on the Power Up Programme, and begin your application, here.

Name: PRS Hitmaker Fund

Details: The Hitmaker Fund is specifically aimed at songwriters and producers, and offers grants of £5-10,000. 

Who can apply? This fund is for people who can demonstrate an existing track record of producing and writing songs. You also need to be based in the UK.

Applicants must have at least five credited works registered with PRS for Music.

Deadline: The deadline for the PPL Momentum Accelerator is 6pm on the 27th of April 2022.

Where can I find more information? Everything you need to know about the Hitmaker Fund is over here. Familiarise yourself with PRS Foundation awards over here.

Name: Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP)

Details: DYCP supports a wide range of creative activities, including music.

Grants range from £2-10,000 and are aimed at individuals who want to take their creative work to the next level.

Who can apply? Applicants must be 18 or over, living in England, and have one years’ creative practice experience, not including formal education.

Applications must show “a clear development plan.”

Deadline: The deadline for 2022 applications is midday on the 22nd of March.

Where can I find more information? Read all the guidance on how to apply here. Take a quiz here to find out whether you’re ready to apply.

Name: Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP)

Details: DYCP supports a wide range of creative activities, including music.

Grants range from £2-10,000 and are aimed at individuals who want to take their creative work to the next level.

Who can apply? Applicants must be 18 or over, living in England, and have one years’ creative practice experience, not including formal education.

Applications must show “a clear development plan.”

Deadline: The deadline for 2022 applications is midday on the 22nd of March.

Where can I find more information? Read all the guidance on how to apply here. Take a quiz here to find out whether you’re ready to apply.

Name: PPL Momentum Music Fund

Details: The PPL Momentum Music Fund is managed by the PRS Foundation and offers grants of £5-15,000.

Awards are aimed at supporting artists and bands into the next stage of their career, and can be used to fund recording, touring in the UK, as well as marketing and promotion.

Who can apply? The PPL Momentum Music Fund is for UK-based artists at a “tipping point” in their career. You should be able to demonstrate a strong UK fanbase, as well as interest from the media and a clear plan for the next stages of your career.

It is not open to artists signed to major record labels or publishers.

Deadline: The deadline for the PPL Momentum Music Fund is 6pm on the 1st of March 2022.

Where can I find more information? Read up about the PPL Momentum Music Fund here, and familiarise yourself with PRS Foundation awards over here. There’s a video on how to apply here too.

Name: PPL Momentum Accelerator

Details: The PPL Momentum Accelerator is a targeted scheme to support artists outside of London. Its current focus regions are Yorkshire and the Liverpool City Region. 

Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

The fund supports at least four Yorkshire-based artists each year, and two artists from the Liverpool City Region. Five “Future Industry Professional” grantees are also selected from the Liverpool City Region, receiving £1,000 worth of support each.

Who can apply? Similarly to the PPL Momentum Music Fund, the PPL Momentum Accelerator is for artists at a “tipping point” in their career who are face barriers to achieving the next stage in their development.

You must be based in Yorkshire or the Liverpool City Region to be eligible for the PPL Momentum Accelerator.

Deadline: The deadline for the PPL Momentum Accelerator is 6pm on the 1st of March 2022.

Where can I find more information? Read up about the PPL Momentum Accelerator here, and familiarise yourself with PRS Foundation awards over here.

Name: Help Musicians’ Music-led Creative Collaboration

Details: The Music-led Creative Collaboration fund is specifically for musicians working in collaboration with other creatives, such as lighting designers, choreographers and visual artists, to produce a new collaborative work.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects which “push the boundaries of what you do as a music creator or performer, exploring or testing something that you are not currently able to achieve without support.”

Who can apply? Professional, UK-based musicians (of any genre or discipline) aged 18 or over are welcome to apply.

Deadline: Applications are open now. Head here to submit yours.

Where can I find more information? Read over the application guidelines for Help Musicians’ Music-led Creative Collaboration here.

Name: Help Musicians’ Develop Your Skills

Details: Help Musicians provides grants of up to £1,500 to support musicians in developing their skills.

This could be directly related to performing, music-making, or involve learning more about the music industry and moving to the next stage of your career.

Who can apply? Applications are open to musicians of all genres and disciplines. You must be over 18 and able to demonstrate an active career in music.

Deadline: Applications are open now. Head here to apply.

Where can I find more information? Find the application guidelines for Help Musicians’ Develop Your Skills funding here.

The big bucks!

Name: National Lottery Project Grants

Details: National Lottery Project Grants support a wide range of creative activities, including music.

The funding is for projects “that engage people in England with creativity and culture.” Your project must have a start and end date, and a set of aims that you’d like to achieve in that time.

Applications are split into two categories: those for up to £30,000 and those for over £30,000.

Who can apply? National Lottery Project Grants are open to individuals as well as organisations. Applicants must be 18 or over, and living in England.

Deadline: National Lottery Project Grants are open throughout the year, so you can begin your application when you’re ready to get started.

Where can I find more information? Watch a video covering all the relevant aspects of the National Lottery Project Grants here, and access information sheets and FAQs here. The application process is broken down into three steps here.

If you’re looking for help in taking the next steps in your career, UD are currently recruiting for the Incubator Programme, a six-month talent and career development opportunity for 10 exceptional artists making music of Black Origin. Register your interest HERE

By: Will Pritchard @wf_pritchard

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