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Funding awards can be fiercely competitive, but artists can improve their chance of success by applying only for the opportunities that match to their circumstances or ideas and by completing application forms as accurately and effectively as possible. 

There are funding bodies and awards to help with musicians’ funding, including:

Getting funds through local government

Arts Council England (ACE)

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They invest money from government and the National Lottery in arts and culture across England. This funds a wide range of activities – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, crafts to collections.

ACE offers a range of funding opportunities for both artists and arts organisations:

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland supports the full range of arts activities throughout Northern Ireland. As well as funding arts organisations, there are a range of support schemes for individuals and musicians.

Arts Council of Wales

The Arts Council of Wales  is the official body that funds and develops the arts in Wales. The funding they distribute comes from both the Welsh government and The National Lottery. Most of the funding goes to artists and arts organisations carrying out programmes of work across Wales.

Sometimes they also run their own projects, especially when these explore new areas of arts activity, or help to persuade other organisations to take an interest in the arts.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland distributes funds for musicians from two primary sources - the Scottish government and the National Lottery. As well as supporting arts organisations across Scotland, support is also available for the development of individuals, the funding of ideas, plus new work and projects.

Cultural Enterprise Office

Cultural Enterprise Office is a not-for-profit service providing access to free creative business support. They can help creatives such as musicians and creative micro-businesses build the skills and knowledge through specialist advice, programmes and events. They can help with guiding to funding available from a range of sources as well as making funding applications and proposals.

Funding new music through PRS Foundation

PRS Foundation’s mission is to help musicians fund, stimulate and support the creation and performance of new music throughout the UK and to ensure that this music is enjoyed by a wide audience. Since 2000, it has supported over 7,300 new music initiatives to the tune of over £35 million.

It does this through open grant schemes which are available to musicians and organisations four times per year. There are also partnership programmes in response to specific needs and gaps in funding.

Latest funding opportunities for music creators

Getting financial support

Help Musicians

Help Musicians provides a range of finance support for musicians to:

  • Study musical theatre, opera or postgraduate studies
  • Create and release music
  • Develop skills or artistic practice

Help Musicians also provides specific financial support for:

Alongside funding for musicians, Help Musicians advice section can help you track down opportunities relevant to you. Musicians in Scotland and Northern Ireland can also contact dedicated on-the-ground teams for additional support.

Looking for financial support in times of need?

Take a look at our guidance to financial support and grants available to musicins through the MU and other organisations.

Financial support for musicians

Funding news

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Funding Round Opens for Music Export Growth Scheme

Round 22 of funding for small to medium sized music companies looking to build the profile of their artists overseas will close on 4 December 2023. The Music Export Growth Scheme will also be running an explanatory webinar on 27 November.

Published: 15 November 2023

Read more about Funding Round Opens for Music Export Growth Scheme
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New Training and Funding Opportunities for Individuals and Creative Businesses in South West England

The MU’s Wales and South West England Regional Office share three new opportunities for those based in Bristol and the South West. There are two creative funds opening for applications and training available for a night-time sector wellbeing champion.

Published: 14 November 2023

Read more about New Training and Funding Opportunities for Individuals and Creative Businesses in South West England
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Ofsted Music Subject Report: MU Response

Ofsted has published a new report into music education in schools in England, revealing serious inequalities in terms of access to instrumental tuition among other findings.

Published: 26 September 2023

Read more about Ofsted Music Subject Report: MU Response

Upcoming events

Last chance to book

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04 Dec 2023

PRS Members’ Fund Advice Session

This one hour webinar will explain the different types of support the PRS Members’ Fund can provide. It is aimed at those who are members of both the MU and PRS for Music.

Online Member only
Read more about PRS Members’ Fund Advice Session

Last chance to book

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04 Dec 2023

Guided Meditation

An extremely efficient and powerful meditation practice, based on Ascension meditation techniques.

Online Member only
Read more about Guided Meditation

Last chance to book

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05 Dec 2023

1-2-1 Advice Sessions Aberdeen

Book a 30-minute advice session relating to your music career with MU Regional Officer Louise Stanners Pow, available only to members in Scotland.

TBC (city centre location)
Read more about 1-2-1 Advice Sessions Aberdeen