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Breakthrough Fund

About the initiative

The Breakthrough Fund recognises that a vibrant arts ecology requires not only great artists, but also talented and visionary people with the drive and skills to make change happen. For over ten years the fund has supported exceptional individuals with a compelling and powerful vision to develop their thinking and ideas.

Taking a distinctive, deliberately responsive approach, we aim to offer transformational support that has the potential for game-changing developments – for the individual, their organisation, and the wider arts and cultural offer. Tailored support of this kind is increasingly scarce and it is our belief that it is much needed if individuals are to be given the opportunity to realise their full potential and make the most of their personal talent.

We identify individual grantees at a clear moment of potential breakthrough, through confidential nomination leading to a competitive application process, and then offer engaged and flexible multi-year backing. Support is paid to the organisation or company through which they pursue their Breakthrough plans.

In March 2018, the Breakthrough Fund announced its fifth cycle of awards since it launched in 2008, offering five new awards totalling £1,596,000, awarded to the most pressing and compelling amongst a field of 39 applications from across many areas of the arts. Prior to this, a total of 21 Breakthrough grants over the previous four cycles have totalled £5,562,252.