ACE make £20 million available to artists and freelancers

ACE say 'artists and creative practitioners will be able to apply for grants of up to £2,500 if they have a track record in publicly funded culture.' 

Round two deadline: 30 April 2020

Open Until:

Posted: 10/03/2022

Who is eligible to apply for this fund?

Freelance creative practitioners whose main work* is focused on these artforms and disciplines:

  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Visual Arts
  • Literature
  • Combined Arts
  • Museums practice

This work includes: choreographers, writers, translators, producers, editors, freelance educators in the disciplines and artforms ACE support, composers, directors, designers, artists, craft makers and curators.

Magicians and comedians can apply to this fund, as long as they have a track record of receiving public funding for their work.

*‘Main work’ means that you generate more than 50 per cent of your income through your freelance work.



There will be two rounds of this fund.  You can apply to only one of these rounds.

Round One- Opens 9 April, deadline 16 April 2020
Round Two- Opens 16 April, deadline 30 April 2020


What the funding will cover 

The aim of this funding is to ensure that we have a freelance sector that is still in a position to practice once the situation created by the Covid-19 emergency has eased. We want to provide basic financial support during this time and afford practitioners time to stabilise, think and plan for the future.

We do not expect you to deliver creative outputs using this funding during this time. However, we recognise you may want to explore new opportunities or refocus your practice.

Each practitioner can apply for funding of up to £2,500. If you have additional costs relating to a disability, you can apply for up to £3,000 in total: up to £2,500 of the amount of income you have lost (or costs incurred) and up to £500 of additional costs relating to your disability.


We can’t support:

• Output-focused proposals for project work, for example, creation of new work, or touring (there will be other opportunities to apply for this type of project as the emergency situation eases)

• Students specifically for their higher education tuition fees and associated costs

• Applications from people who do not generate more than 50 per cent of their income through their freelance work. If your primary income is through a PAYE position which you have lost as a result of the Covid-19 emergency, you may be able to access the Government’s salary guarantee funding


How to apply

 We will keep the application process as straightforward as possible. We do not expect that it will take more than half a day to complete in most cases.

We will ask you:

1. To identify the work you have had cancelled or curtailed due to the Covid-19 emergency and the income you have lost or costs you have incurred, up to the value of £2,500 (we might contact you to ask for evidence of this at a later date).

2. To tell us about your practice and your track record working in the publicly funded culture sector. This means that you have experience of making and delivering work directly or indirectly supported by funds from arm’s length bodies (such as the Arts Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund, or the National Lottery Community Fund), local authorities, universities, other public sector bodies or trusts and foundations.

3. To tell us how you will use the time this funding affords you to stabilise, think and plan for the future. You don’t need to have any income from other sources (or ‘match funding’) to apply to this programme.

You will use Grantium, our online application portal, to apply.

As with the fund for organisations, if you are interested in applying for this but are not already registered on Grantium (Arts Council’s funding portal), you will need to do so in early April. They say there will be help to do this.

LEAN has registered on Grantium in the past and can share our experiences. Email Jane.


How would this funding impact on my application for Universal Credit/financial support for my business from the government?

We cannot advise on how our funding might impact on Universal Credit, or any other form of benefit or funding. You should contact HMRC for advice.

If you have other means of support from sources that will be sufficient for this period, then we ask that you please do not apply.



"Just to say a huge thanks ... I am looking forward to progressing with this project thanks to your support, advice and guidance"

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