ACE (Arts Council England)

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation. Arts Council England is a government-funded body dedicated to promoting the performing, visual and literary arts in England. Since 1994, Arts Council England has been responsible for distributing lottery funding. This investment has helped to transform the building stock of arts organisations and to create lots of additional high quality arts activity.
Since October 2011, Arts Council England has been responsible for supporting and developing museums, a function it inherited from the now defunct Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

ACE champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) 

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects from history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, performing arts, and much more.

BBSRC (Bioscience Research body) 

Part of UK Research and Innovation, a new organisation that brings together the UK’s seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England to maximise the contribution of each council and create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision is to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. They support around 1600 scientists and 2000 research students in universities and institutes across the UK.


CAMEo is the Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies at the University of Leicester.

CAMEo was launched in 2016 to provide new understandings of the cultural industries, the ‘creative economy’, arts, media and cultural policy, consumer culture dynamics, and the mediation and representation of cultural and economic life.

CAMEo is an interdisciplinary platform for academic research as well as for collaborations with culture and media practitioners. Together with a wide range of partners we explore the diverse and complex ways in which cultural and media economies are being defined, valued, enacted, experienced and represented. Their research also seeks to foreground issues of participation, sustainability and social justice in cultural and media economies.

CAMEo Website

Clore Duffield Foundation

The Clore Foundation was founded in 1964 by the late Sir Charles Clore, one of Britain's most successful post-war businessmen and one of the most generous philanthropists of his day. After Sir Charles' death in 1979, his daughter, Vivien Duffield, assumed the Chairmanship of the Foundation and created her own Foundation in 1987 with the aim of continuing and consolidating her family's history of philanthropy. The two Foundations were merged in 2000 to become the Clore Duffield Foundation. Vivien Duffield was awarded a CBE in 1989 and a DBE in 2000. The Foundation has distributed more than £55 million to charitable purposes over the past decade.

Whilst the Foundation does occasionally make donations to the health and social care sectors, it should be noted that the majority of its support is directed towards the cultural sector, and in particular to cultural learning and to museum, gallery, heritage and performing arts learning spaces. Support for enhancing Jewish life has largely been directed towards JW3: London's Jewish Community Centre.

Applications are reviewed and rejected on an ongoing basis, although all successful grants can only be awarded at meetings of the Trustees. These are held twice a year, usually in June and December. Grants range from £10,000 to in excess of £1m, although larger grants are made infrequently. The majority of expenditure is for capital projects – only a small number of grants are made each year for programme funding.
Please note that organisations must be registered charities to be eligible for the Main Grants Programme, with the exception of local authority cultural organisations. Every year the Foundation receives many more requests than can ever be granted, and like most grant-making organisations, has to turn down many of the applications received. Applicants are therefore encouraged to apply to multiple funding sources, and not just to this Foundation.

Clore Leadership Programme

Initiated by the Clore Duffield Foundation, and sustained by the Foundation's generous support, the Programme is the UK's first cross-disciplinary leadership programme for the cultural and creative sector. It was established as an independent organisation in 2004. Inspired by the vision of its Founding Director Chris Smith, the Programme focused initially on the Fellowship Programme, aimed at shaping creative leaders through in-depth learning, and tailored as far as possible to the needs, aspirations and circumstances of between 20 and 30 individuals a year. The structure of the Fellowship programme is based on recommendations which was made to the Clore Duffield Foundation by John Holden and Robert Hewison, and includes workshops and residential courses, an extended placement, individually-selected training, mentoring and coaching. Since it was first established, the Clore programme has been a pioneer in leadership development, a source of expert advice and an inspirational example for other initiatives in the UK and beyond, including the Clore Social Leadership Programme.

Developments in the Programme since 2004 have included:
Intensive fortnight-long residential Short Courses
A Board Development programme, to strengthen governance in the cultural sector
The extension of the Fellowships to international participants
One and two-day follow-up courses (Clore Plus)
An association with the University of Hong Kong to create Asia’s first Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme
One-week courses for Emerging Leaders
The creation of consortia of large-scale national cultural organisations, to support the Fellowship programme
The introduction of leadership development days, run in partnership with other organisations

Contemporary Journal (The)  

The Contemporary Journal is the digital strand of the Public Programmes and Research department at Nottingham Contemporary. The Contemporary Journal is an open-access and digital-first publishing platform created by PP&R. The journal explores the public programme’s research strands, widens and transnationalises its research community, and brings together interdisciplinary modes of enquiry in the fields of critical theory, artistic research, the curatorial, and visual cultures. The Contemporary Journal is committed to different annual research strands, publishing original research in two formats: themed papers or visual essays, and guest-edited special issues.

Creative Clusters (AHRC programme) 

The Creative Industries Clusters Programme, is funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is an ambitious research and development investment to establish up to eight Creative R&D Partnerships within existing creative clusters across the UK. A total of £45m funding is available for up to eight Creative R&D Partnerships. For each individual Creative R&D Partnership an AHRC contribution of £4-6m fEC is available for 54 months.

Cultural Development Fund

This fund aims to allow cities and towns to invest in creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that lead to culture-led economic growth and productivity. This fund is from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) with a budget of £20 million available.
The fund is open to towns and cities outside of London who want to make the most of culture’s contribution to their local economy.
Investment in cultural and creative industry activities such as; events; leadership training; capital investment; skills development; cultural programmes.
Grant Range : £3m - £7m

Key links:

Culture Forum North 

Culture Forum North grew out of a knowledge sharing group of universities and arts organisations which first met 2012. It brings together a wealth of knowledge and experience, both in its members’ individual areas of expertise and in the group’s collective understanding about the value, and potential impact of partnership working. The Forum, supported by Arts Council England, welcomes members from across the cultural and academic spectrum in the North, who share an ambition to lead cultural thought, learning and practice through knowledge sharing and co-creation.

CVAN (Contemporary Visual Arts Network)

CVAN represents and supports a diverse and vibrant visual arts ecology, embracing a broad range of artistic and curatorial practice across the nine English regions.
Their mission is to strengthen and develop the contemporary visual arts sector in England, using the Network as a platform for collegiate working locally and nationally. Their vision is of a strong, sustainable and supportive contemporary visual arts network, working collectively to safeguard the future of artists and our sector as a whole.

CVAN have a consistent message regionally and nationally about the network and the visual arts sector as a whole, and as such, encourage members to advocate these messages:

  • Contemporary visual arts are at the heart of our nation, and are central to what makes us expressive and creative individuals within society;
  • The UK’s contemporary visual arts sector is the world leader in this field, and therefore our country maintains a true competitive advantage;
  • The sector’s contribution to national and regional economies, and to society in general, far outweighs the small amount of public subsidy it receives.

Liz Hawley

Craig Ashley


D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
There are 38 LEPs in England. They play a central role in deciding local economic priorities, and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and create local jobs.
D2N2, established in 2010, is one of the largest LEPs in England, covering an area with a population of more than two million people and with an economic output of over £42.9billion GVA (Gross Value Added) (ONS report, February 2016). D2N2’s over-arching target is to support the creation of 55,000 new jobs in D2N2 by 2023. The majority of these jobs will be in the private sector. The LEP is led and governed by a private sector-led Board; which is made up of high profile and respected leaders from the D2N2 area's businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and voluntary services organisations, and other sectors.

DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad.
We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success.


Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. They do this by funding the charitable work of organisations that are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.

The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. In 2017 we made grants of £40.5 million towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment and social change. We also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.

Extra Special People (ESP)

ESP is Eastside Projects’ Associates scheme. ESP works with artists, designers, curators and writers to support the development of work, ideas, connections and careers through a programme of events, opportunities and projects. Members become active contributors to a practice-led peer support network and benefit from Eastside Projects’ experience of the contemporary art world and regional, national and international contacts.

ESP is currently led by Amelia Beavis Harrison and Ruth Claxton and is supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

The main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering (Part of the UK Research and Innovation's 7 research councils).

ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)  

ESRC are the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. (Part of the UK Research and Innovation's 7 research councils.) They support independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society. ESRC's total budget for 2017-18 was around £202 million. At any one time ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

European Social Fund (ESF)

The ESF invests in people, with a focus on improving employment and education opportunities across the European Union. It also aims to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people at risk of poverty.

The ESF investments cover all EU regions. More than € 80 billion is earmarked for human capital investment in Member States between 2014 and 2020, with an extra of at least € 3.2 billion allocated to the Youth Employment Initiative.
For the 2014-2020 period, the ESF will focus on four of the cohesion policy's thematic objectives:
promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
promoting social inclusion and combating poverty
investing in education, skills and lifelong learning
enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration

In addition, 20 % of ESF investments will be committed to activities improving social inclusion and combating poverty. This is known as thematic concentration.
To find out more: see theEuropean Social Fund rulesand the ESF website.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions.

The ERDF focuses its investments on several key priority areas. This is known as 'thematic concentration':
Innovation and research; The digital agenda; Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); The low-carbon economy.

The ERDF resources allocated to these priorities will depend on the category of region. In more developed regions, at least 80 % of funds must focus on at least two of these priorities; In transition regions, this focus is for 60 % of the funds; This is 50 % in less developed regions.

Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grantmaking trust that distributes grants to UK charities. The Foundation does not support applications from individuals.
We welcome applications from across the country and encourage applications from all areas outside London and the South East.

Since it became operational in November 2001, The Foundation has disbursed £91.5M in grants (up to 31st December 2017).

The Foundation supports charities in three main areas:
Main Grants Scheme, supporting charities whose core work covers Arts and Learning
The Foyle School Library Scheme
Small Grants Scheme, supporting charities in all fields with a turnover of less than £150,000 per annum

Gulbenkian Foundation

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is an international foundation based in Portugal whose statutory aims are in the fields of arts, social welfare, education and science. Created by a clause in Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian's will, the Foundation's statutes were approved in 1956. The Foundation also maintains a Science Institute near Lisbon, a Portuguese delegation in Paris and the grant giving branch in London.

The Foundation acts in its four statutorily defined areas: arts, education, science, and social welfare. The bulk of its activities are in Portugal but its impact is felt much more widely and it is becoming increasingly international in order to address society’s biggest problems and respect the Founder’s wishes. It works extensively with other leading European Foundations and partners constantly with NGOs and charities.

IRO (Independent Research Organisations)

All UK higher education institutions (HEIs) are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training, and associated activities from AHRC. The higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland determine whether an organisation meets the criteria to be a higher education institute.
Back in 2006/2007 independent research organisations (IROs) became eligible for funding if they possessed an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the national research base and are able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes. for a full list of currently eligible IROs and information about eligibility.

LEP (Local Enterprise Partnerships)

There are 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships across England. They are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and local private sector businesses. They play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and job creation, improve infrastructure and raise workforce skills within the local area. LEP boards are led by a business Chair and board members are local leaders of industry (including SMEs), educational institutions and the public sector.

Leverhulme Trust (The) 

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 they have provided grants and scholarships for research and education; today, they are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80m a year.

They award funding across academic disciplines, supporting talented individuals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences to realise their personal vision in research and professional training. As well as substantial grants for research, they offer fellowships for researchers at every stage of their career, grants for international collaboration and travel, and support for the fine and performing arts.

A distinctive feature of their approach is that the great majority of the awards they make are in the responsive mode – with the choice of topic and the design of the research left with applicants. Their primary aim is to fund original research that advances knowledge of our world and ourselves. They do not set strategic priorities for our grant-making; in making funding decisions our sole concern is for the quality, significance, and originality of the proposed research. As far as possible, they take a non-utilitarian and academy-focused approach to funding.

M4C (Midlands 4 Cities)

The AHRC-funded Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C) brings together six leading universities in the Midlands region: the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, De Montfort University, University of Leicester, Coventry University, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham. M4C provides combined research expertise for the professional and personal development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers.

Midlands Engine

The Midlands Engine is a coalition of Councils, Combined Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), Universities and businesses across the region, actively working with Government to build a collective identity, to enable us to present the Midlands as a competitive and compelling offer that is attractive at home and overseas.

The partnership is about additionality, complementing the work of our partners to generate added value, at scale – right across the Midlands.
Home to over 10 million people and 440,000 large and small businesses, the Midlands has huge potential and the Partnership is focused on its global success – and this in turn will deliver an enhanced quality of life for our citizens and communities.

Our Vision for Growth sets out our five priority areas of focus to ensure the Midlands drives the UK economy:

  • Connecting the Midlands through maximising new technologies to deliver a radical transformation of the Midlands transport network
  • Tackling the mismatch between business skills needs and the skill levels of Midlands residents
  • Growing International Trade and Investment in existing and new markets
  • Increasing Innovation and Enterprise, creating an environment where our science and innovation strengths can be maximised
  • And, Shaping Great Places by promoting the Midlands as a great place to live, visit, learn and work.

Mighty Creatives

The Mighty Creatives promotes, secures and designs high quality change which has children and young people's creative voice at its heart. Applying tools, methods and networks that can secure change at scale, change which can be evaluated. Mighty Creatives offer young people an inspiring arts journey through their Arts Award and their Artsmark programme in Schools. They also produce the Emerge Festivals across 12 Midlands locations. In 2013 The Mighty Creatives launched an investment programme to establish joined up strategic planning and development of the arts and cultural offer for schools in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham - a precursor to Cultural Education Partnerships we are working with now. An evaluation of this programme is available and in this film our artist Anthony Greentree brings to life this ‘local learning’ in partnership with Derby Theatre, The Spark Arts for Children and New Art Exchange. Their summits, conferences and training brings expertise, learning and networks to bear on the cultural education challenge.

NPO (National Portfolio Organisations)

Arts Council England recently announced their new National Portfolio for 2018-22 which they describe as

'a fresh, ambitious and wide-ranging group of organisations that we believe will bring new energy to the arts and cultural sector, while reaching more people in more places than ever before.'

In all, 831 organisations will receive a total of £1.6 billion over four years for 844 projects. Importantly, ACE will be investing £170 million more outside London and there will be significantly increased investment in places like Reading, Bradford, Plymouth, Northumberland and Stoke.

Find out more about NPOs and how ACE investment is spent across the UK

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Their mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. They have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts.

PHF's strategic priorities include:
Nurturing Ideas & People
Arts Access & Participation
Education & Learning through The Arts
Arts Evidence
Investing in Young People
Migration & Integration

Paul Mellon Fellowships & Grants

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is an educational charity committed to promoting original, world-class research into the history of British art and architecture of all periods. They collaborate closely with the Yale Center for British Art, and are part of Yale University

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art offers a variety of Fellowships (for individuals) and Grants (for institutions and individuals) twice a year in a strictly timetabled schedule. The programme supports scholarship, academic research and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of British art and architectural history from the medieval period to the present, although all supported topics must have an historical perspective.
They do not offer fellowships and grants in the fields of archaeology, the current practice of architecture or the performing arts. They have no discretionary funds outside their stated programme.

REF (Research Excellence Framework)

The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).

The funding bodies’ shared policy aim for research assessment is to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education. We expect that this will be achieved through the threefold purpose of the REF:

  • To provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment.
  • To provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks, for use within the HE sector and for public information.
  • To inform the selective allocation of funding for research.

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally, founded for the advancement of architecture under its charter granted in 1837 and Supplemental Charter granted in 1971.

RIBA East Midlands
Covering six counties, the East Midlands region represents over 900 chartered members, 850 Student Members and 120 Chartered Practices.

We provide a range of events and services for our members including the RIBA’s Core CPD programme, management and delivery of the RIBA East Midlands Awards and the highly successful Student Mentoring scheme. We also host talks and tours, including RIBA's Great British Buildings series, as well as regular member communications and engagement with political and industry stakeholders to promote RIBA policy at a regional level. We work with the regional council and our four member-led branches to deliver activity, for and on behalf of the East Midlands membership, and often in collaboration with key stakeholders and partners including the region’s four validated schools of architecture. We have two member-led groups: the RIBA East Midlands Education and RIBA East Midlands Housing & Planning Groups, which provide further expertise and links to support delivery of regional and national RIBA strategic objectives.

RIBA West Midlands

The RIBA West Midlands team supports RIBA architects throughout the region with various different services and initiatives.
We have a regular newsletter for members and subscribers and offer local and core Continuing Professional Development that can be attended by our members, architects and associated professions. We provide regular updates of our activity plus news of branches and members' projects through press relations and social media.
Make sure you attend our regional awards, they play a key date every year within the West Midlands built environment network. We are proud of our close working relationships with RIBA Chartered Practices and architects. We work to deliver built environment programs through our regional Schools of Architecture to RIBA student members.

RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company)

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs over 1000 staff and produces around 20 productions a year. The RSC plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally.

The company's home is in Stratford-upon-Avon, where it has recently redeveloped its Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres as part of a £112.8-million "Transformation" project. The theatres re-opened in November 2010, having closed in 2007. The new buildings attracted 18,000 visitors within the first week and received a positive media response both upon opening, and following the first full Shakespeare performances. Performances in Stratford-upon-Avon continued throughout the Transformation project at the temporary Courtyard Theatre.

As well as the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the RSC produces new work from living artists and develops creative links with theatre-makers from around the world, as well as working with teachers to inspire a lifelong love of William Shakespeare in young people and running events for everyone to explore and participate in its work.


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs, also small and medium enterprises) or small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The abbreviation "SME" is used in the European Union and by international organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Small enterprises outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employ many more people. SMEs are also said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors.

STEAM Fields

STEAM fields are science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, or applied mathematics. The acronym STEAM is designed to integrate STEM subjects into various relevant education disciplines. These programs aim to teach students to think critically and use engineering or technology in imaginative designs or creative approaches to real-world problems while building on students' mathematics and science base. STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative solutions.

Relevant links from US/UK:
STEAM Fields
How the sciences and arts are coming together to drive innovation

TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework)

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is a national exercise, introduced by the government in England. It assesses excellence in teaching at universities and colleges, and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study. The results can help those considering higher education choose where to apply.

There are systems in place to help ensure that all UK colleges and universities meet national quality standards. The TEF looks at what they are doing in addition to these standards, and awards them gold, silver or bronze for excellence.
The TEF process is managed by the Office for Students, and ratings are judged by an independent panel of students, academics and other experts.

Whats is the TEF

UK Young Artists (UKYA)

UK Young Artists is a registered charity that champions the next generation of creativity, supporting collaboration and intercultural dialogue, ensuring a vibrant and diverse creative future for the UK. They develop artists’ practice through cross art form opportunities and celebrate creativity at national & international festivals.

UK Research and Innovation

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. We are an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, both to government and internationally, we are supported and challenged by an independent chair and board. We are principally funded through the Science Budget by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a biomedical research charity based in London, United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health. The aim of the Trust is to achieve extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds, and in addition to funding biomedical research it supports the public understanding of science. It has an endowment of £23.2 billion (2017) making it the second wealthiest charitable foundation in the world, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Trust has been described by the Financial Times as the United Kingdom's largest provider of non-governmental funding for scientific research and one of the largest providers in the world.