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Press Release
  • 22 Jun 2015

Paul Hamlyn Foundation sets out bold new strategy to widen access and participation in the arts

Paul Hamlyn Foundation, one of the UK’s largest independent grant-making Foundations, today launches its new strategic plan for 2015-2021.

The plan outlines how the Foundation intends to further strengthen its support for the arts, including actively making the case for the value of the arts in education, and the positive difference the arts can make to people’s lives.

The Foundation is particularly seeking to fund organisations that have ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts, placing particular emphasis on addressing inequalities of opportunity. The Foundation is therefore launching two new funds:

  • Access and participation test fund: to identify and support innovative approaches and big ideas. It will enable organisations to research, test and pilot different approaches to widening access and deepening participation
  • Access and participation development fund: to support organisations to extend their reach. The Foundation is seeking applications from across the UK and would welcome collaborations and partnerships, and is prepared to support core costs as well as project costs to enable ground-breaking initiatives to get off the ground

To help demonstrate the valuable role the arts can play in education, the Foundation will also launch two additional funds

  • Arts based learning for young people – building the case: the Foundation is seeking to fund innovative pilot projects, including supporting arts organisations to work more closely with schools, colleges and teachers
  • Developing teachers’ skills and confidence in the arts: the Foundation is particularly keen to fund projects that include primary schools and teachers and help build lifelong love for the arts at an early age

These priorities are central to Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s new strategy, which outlines 6 areas where the Foundation wishes to support change:

  • Backing people with great ideas to support social innovation
  • Supporting young people who are experiencing disadvantage
  • Widening access and participation in the arts
  • Improving support for people who migrate, but also for receiving communities to better support integration
  • Improving people’s education and learning through the arts
  • Developing the evidence base to show the arts make a difference to people’s lives

The Foundation is making £25m per year in grant funding available to those working at the forefront of thinking across all of these strategic priorities, and just under half of this will be available to organisations working in and with the arts.

Commenting, Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said:

“Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s mission remains ambitious and has never been more relevant, and our new strategy is bold and far-reaching. The arts can make an incredibly positive difference to people’s lives, but access and participation remain significant challenges. Our aim is to create opportunities for a much broader range of people to engage with the arts, which can ultimately help them to realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.”

The strategic plan follows an in-depth consultation exercise and review of performance. Paul Hamlyn Foundation recently appointed Moira Sinclair as its new Chief Executive. Moira previously held the post of Executive Director at Arts Council England, London and the South East, and will lead the implementation of the new strategy. Some of the Foundation’s new funds will open for applications on 22 June 2015, others will follow later in the year.