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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

An empty, lit up, theatre stage.

An Update on Local Authority Budget Cuts in the Midlands

We share a statement from the Midlands TUC Creative and Leisure Industries Committee on severe cultural budget cuts at Birmingham City Council, and a petition opposing 100% cuts to the cultural budget at Nottingham City Council.

Published: 26 February 2024

Read more about An Update on Local Authority Budget Cuts in the Midlands
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POWER UP Programme Back for Fourth Year as Applications Open for 2024

The multi award-winning POWER UP Movement has opened applications for Black music creators and industry professionals to join year four of its Participant Programme, which provides grants of up to £15,000 as well as mentoring, wellbeing and network support.

Published: 26 February 2024

Read more about POWER UP Programme Back for Fourth Year as Applications Open for 2024
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MU Royalties Team Announce Record Distribution to Members

Geoff Ellerby, National Organiser for Recording & Broadcasting has reported back that 2023 saw a record £1.57m being distributed to members, and thanks the R&B team for their unrelenting dedication to the task.

Published: 20 December 2023

Read more about MU Royalties Team Announce Record Distribution to Members

Upcoming events

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04 Mar 2024

Guided Meditation

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

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05 Mar 2024

One-to-One Advice Surgery

An in-person advice session to address any questions about your career as a musician - discuss your career opportunities, a legal query or a project. 

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07 Mar 2024

Cafe CULT: Bereavement

In this online one-hour session, you will gain valuable resources and insights to help contribute to breaking the stigma associated with bereavement.

Online, Wales
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