Funding for arts projects

Browse through this guide to find out more about the types of funding available for arts projects.

1. Westminster-specific funding

Arts and cultural organisations setting up projects that benefit Westminster communities may be eligible for neighbourhood funding from your local ward councillors’ budgets.

You will need to discuss your project with your ward councillors or you can email the ward budgets team on wardbudgets@westminster.gov.uk for more details.

The Edward Harvist Trust gives capital grants that work to improve the quality of life for Westminster-based residents. For more information or to apply, please call 020 7641 1859 or email cheadley-barton@westminster.gov.uk.

Paddington Welfare Charities give grants to individuals or organisations that work to benefit residents who are in need, hardship or distress, or who are sick, disabled or infirm. To find out more, please call 020 7641 1859 or email cheadley-barton@westminster.gov.uk.

John Lyon's Charity gives grants to registered charities for the benefit of children and young people. The charity has distributed over £70 million to services including youth clubs, arts projects, counselling, child care and parental support schemes, sports programmes and academic bursaries and accept first stage proposals at any time. Please view the John Lyon's website for more details. 

The Westminster Amalgamated Charity welcomes applications from organisations in Westminster or those outside the area that assist Westminster residents in need.

Culture Seeds is the Mayor of London’s brand new £1 million small grants programme to help London’s local communities grow grassroots arts, culture and heritage projects across the Capital. Culture Seeds will offer grants of £1,000-£5,000 to small organisations, groups and individuals. Culture Seeds will remain open for applications until March 2020. There are no other deadlines and you can apply at any time. 

2. National Lottery funders

The Big Lottery Fund provides funding for charities, voluntary organisations, and projects that improve the health, education and environment of communities.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants is an open-application funding programme that funds arts activities which engage people in England or help artists and arts organisations carry out their work.

Heritage Lottery Fund helps communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our heritage.

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) runs various funding schemes to encourage UK talent and innovation in science, technology and art industries.

British Film Institute (BFI) is the lead body for film in the UK. They distribute lottery funds to support filmmakers in the UK. Find out more on the BFI Film Fund website.

3. Trusts and foundations

The OneFamily Foundation offers funding of up to £25,000 for community projects across the UK. The funding can be used for a wide range of projects. Westminster community groups, clubs or schools are welcome to apply. 

London Community Foundation administer funds for charities such as Comic Relief and projects across greater London with some targeted funds in particular boroughs.

Trusthouse Charitable Foundation gives grants for running costs or one-off capital costs to charities and not-for-profit organisations. 

Youth Music is a UK-wide charity that targets young people living in areas of social and economic need. The charity funds music activities run by not-for-profit organisations for people aged up to 18.

Wellcome Trust Arts Awards support imaginative and experimental arts projects that explore biomedical science. 

Wolfson Foundation grants are generally given for capital infrastructure for performing arts, museums and galleries.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent foundations that provide grants in the UK.

The Peter De Haan Charitable Trust awards grants to organisations that provide opportunities to take part in the arts in educational and community settings, especially for people or groups with limited access to the arts.

The Baring Foundation was set up in 1969 to give money to charities and voluntary organisations set up for charitable purposes. They have specific grants programmes concerned with strengthening the voluntary sector, the arts and international development.

The Clore Duffield Foundation concentrates its support on education, the arts, museum and gallery education, health, social care and disability, placing a particular emphasis on supporting children and young people.

The Foyle Foundation is an independent trust that gives grants to UK charities whose main work is in the areas of learning, arts and health.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Arts programme encourages new ways for people in the UK to enjoy, experience and be involved in the Arts. Funding benefits organisations and groups through the grants scheme and special projects.

4. Other sources for funding information

Funding Central is a free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The site provides access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities, plus a wealth of tools and resources supporting organisations to develop sustainable income strategies appropriate to their needs.

One Westminster provides services for voluntary groups in Westminster.

Bridging culture and audiovisual content through digital. A new call has been launched as part of this programme to support project(s) at the crossroads between different cultural and creative sectors (including audiovisual), such as through the use of innovative technologies, including virtual reality. The call will also foster innovative cross-sectoral approaches and tools to facilitate access, distribution, promotion and monetisation of culture and creativity, including cultural heritage.

5. #MyWestminster Fund

​The #MyWestminster Fund is set up by the council to support organisations with projects that celebrate our City for All principles - allowing people in Westminster to make the best of their lives and helping London to thrive. 

Find out more about the #MyWestminster Fund

Last updated: 14 May 2019