What funding is available to artists and companies?
You can learn more about available funding here.
Please note that the details of individual funding programmes can change from
year to year, so be sure to check the Available Funding page of the Arts
Council website on a regular basis. You can also sign up to the Arts Council’s monthly Newsletter here
I'm an actor and I'd like to train full-time abroad – will the Arts Council help with this?
No, unfortunately the Arts Council is not in a
position to support vocational acting training abroad.
I'm a theatre / director and/or a playwright and I'd like to put on a production – how do I get help from the Arts Council?
The way to get help for a single production is through the Theatre Project Award. There are usually two deadlines a year, around Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. There are four strands to the award:
- Strand 1: Play Development
- Strand 2: Theatre Creation
- Strand 3: New Work
- Strand 4: Theatre Production
The guidelines for the award are usually published about eight weeks in advance of the deadline, and contain all the information you require to apply. Please note that the Theatre Project Award is extremely competitive, so there is no guarantee of success even if your application satisfies the criteria for the award. It is advisable to read the guidelines very carefully, and to have the support of a venue and/or festival or other theatre producing organisation when making a project application.
I'm a playwright and I'd like to develop a new play – how can the Arts Council help with this?
You can get support to develop a play script or performance text through Strand 1 of the Theatre Project Award, mentioned in the answer to question two above. Details of the award are available in the available funding section of the Arts Council website.
I'm a producer interested in developing a number of ideas – can the Arts Council help with this?
Arts Grant Funding allows individual artists and/or entities to propose a
programme of work over a fixed period of time. Usually this is – for example –
to produce one play in a year, and also to begin to develop another. Note that
Arts Grant Funding is an extremely competitive award, and you should speak to
the Theatre team before making an application.
Do I have to have a company to apply for Arts Council funding?
No. Individuals are eligible to apply for most Arts Council schemes and awards, other than the main grant programme (Strategic Funding). Note that, If you apply as an individual, we will only deal with you directly, and if successful, payments will be made to you in your name, and you will be responsible for accounting for the monies offered.
I’m a professional theatre artist and would like to travel abroad to see work, or to attend a short course or residency to develop my arts practice. Can I get funding from the Arts Council?
As part of the Arts Council’s Agility Award and
Bursary Award, you can include as part of your proposal time out to travel
abroad to see work and/or to take part in a short course* or residency. You
would need to demonstrate how this will aid the development of your practice as an artist.
for formal postgraduate training abroad will not be considered.
If I'm successful with an application, what do I need to draw down Arts Council funding?
The letter of offer you receive will outline the steps required to draw down any funding offered. Whether you are applying as an individual, a company or partnership, you will need a tax clearance certificate and a bank account in the name of the applicant. Monies offered cannot be paid by the Arts Council to an account in a name other than that of the applicant. You will be asked to complete an Awards Report Form and submit an Income and Expenditure account before you can drawdown the final portion of your award.
How does the Arts Council make its decisions?
Each award and scheme has its own set of guidelines. Within the guidelines document in each case, the process for assessing and adjudicating on applications is set out under Section 3, Processing and assessment of applications. For general information about the Arts Council's current strategy see Making Great Art Work (PDF,
How long does it usually take to get a decision?
On account of the large volume of applications we receive across all artforms, the assessment and decision-making process usually takes between twelve to fifteen weeks
If I make an application and it is unsuccessful, can I get feedback?
Yes, if you email email@example.com, we can send you a copy of your assessment.
Can I reapply with the same application if it has been turned down?
Yes, in certain circumstances, but you must contact the Theatre team in advance to clarify if you are eligible to do so.
What are the most common mistakes when applying for Arts Council funding?
The most common mistake is not giving yourself enough time
to read the guidelines and prepare for what you have to do to make a successful
Other common mistakes include:
- Missing the deadline
- No supporting material or missing supporting materials
- No budget template
- No letters of support or MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding)
- Insufficient evidence of financial support from other sources
- Insufficient evidence of collaborators or partners
- Lack of clear detail about what is proposed and how it will be achieved
Is it possible for me to meet with someone from the Theatre team?
Unfortunately due to time constraints the Theatre team is not in a position to meet with individuals other than in exceptional circumstances. However, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone us with questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible and do our best to assist. However, you are advised to look at the Arts Council website first, where most standard questions about the application process can be answered, and where there is information about all available funding.
Will the Arts Council support me to pay for the fees for drama school?
No, unfortunately the Arts Council does not offer funding to support training for actors. Our main focus is on funding the work of artists who have already embarked on their professional career.