Access and Participation Fund

See examples of previous Arts Access and Participation: Explore and Test and More and Better recipients in our grants database.

The purpose of the Fund

PLEASE NOTE: APPLICATIONS TO THIS FUND ARE NO LONGER SUBJECT TO DEADLINES AND ARE NOW ACCEPTED ON A ROLLING BASIS.

We want to use our funding to support organisations to test, implement and develop ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts. It will not be enough to simply increase numbers – our emphasis is on addressing inequalities of opportunity. We want to help organisations to build stronger evidence about what works so that they can improve practice and achieve greater impact.

We will consider applications for:

  • New ways of working, or work with new audiences and participants – together with a strong commitment to learning about these approaches and sharing your learning
  • Work that involves any of the following: crafts, dance, design, digital arts and media, film, literature (including creative writing and poetry), music, opera, photography, theatre, the visual arts, and cross-arts practices
  • Work that is focused on improving access to the arts as a social good in itself, promoting enjoyment, increased attendance and participation by people facing disadvantage and inequality of access
  • Work that uses access to and participation in the arts to help achieve other social benefits (e.g. skills development, employability, educational achievement, social development, community cohesion, well-being, etc.)
  • Work that includes an element of training for artists working in a participatory setting
  • Work that supports organisations to embed digital solutions in widening access and participation in the arts

Two types of grant are available to support work at different stages of development:

  • Access and participation ‘explore and test’ grants – offering funding for up to two years to help test new approaches or gather evidence for the first time about approaches that have been used before
  • Access and participation ‘more and better’ grants – offering longer, larger grants to help increase the impact and effectiveness of work which has already shown promise or positive impact