As much as we hate to admit it, having an amazing concept and producing first-class work isn’t always enough to get your creative vision on stage. It’s a sad fact that even the best productions can lose money…and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find the initial funding to make it a reality.
Fortunately, however, living in a culture-loving land like the UK comes with its perks and, providing you’re willing to work extremely hard for it, financial support is available. Here’s our guide to just a few of the fantastic organisations out there designed to help you get your concept from page to stage and hopefully far beyond.
Stage One has established its name in the industry as one of the leading supporters of new producing talent. A registered charity, the organisation receives financial support from the Theatre Investment Fund voluntary ticket levy, as well as a donations for its running from theatre management organisation SOLT. It’s an incredible organisation to help both new shows and new producers get their names out there, and a brilliant source to investigate if you’re looking to grow and improve.
The various funding sources allow producers to make investments in new shows that otherwise wouldn’t have the chance – whether that’s a particular piece of writing or a talented producer looking to take their career to the next level. The organisation’s Start-Up Fund, for example, awards commercial producers up to £50,000 for their first West End or high-profile touring production.
More information: stageone.uk.com
Arts Council England (ACE)
We said the UK was a creative place and we weren’t lying. Arts Council England (ACE for short) invests money from the government and National Lottery in worthy arts and culture projects across the country to encourage growth and talent. Between 2015-2018 the organisation aims to invest £210 million in the arts (£70 million each year!) with individual awards varying between £1,000 and £100,000 and covering every aspect of the arts. The more creative, the better…
In another of the UK’s sunny destinations? Don’t worry, the equivalent bodies of the Scottish Arts Council, the Arts Council of Wales, and Arts Council of Northern Ireland are all there to help…
Find out more: www.artscouncil.org.uk
If you’re between 18-30 years old, Sky Arts Ignition provides fantastic opportunities to take creative visions off that napkin and into venues across the UK. Whatever your specialism, each artist receives 30,000/€40,000 towards the development of their project and the cost of living for a year, as well as brilliant mentoring opportunities from relevant professionals and Sky experts.
The opportunities used to be hosted on arts networking and support site IdeasTap until it closed last year – they’re lucky enough to have found a new home, however, on Hiive (which we’ll explore in more detail in just a tick)…
IdeasTap was one of the most innovative and exciting support sources for young artists until it, unfortunately, lost its funding and closed in 2015. However, despite its sad demise, the organisation has been able to continue to support emerging talent through funded competitions on Hiive, a new site with a huge amount of information, scholarships and opportunity for those in the arts
Whether you’re a writer looking to get your work from page to stage, or a producer searching for new collaborations and creativity – Hiive boasts a huge amount of money and resource for culture professionals (both experienced and emerging) so is a worthy place to investigate whatever your forte.
Visit and sign up to the site: app.hiive.co.uk/
The Wellcome Trust is one of the UK’s most exciting funding sources, supporting not only new creative works but also research and funding in scientific communities, education, medicine and mental health.
Each year, the Wellcome Trust awards over £700 million in funding – whether that’s to individual researchers, a team or an organisation. What’s more, they have key strategy objectives they aim to fulfil every year which can help inspire your work. Performance artist Bryony Kimmings, for example, produced a successful show on alcoholism in 2011 which, in turn, gave valuable research for scientific groups too. It’s all about collaboration across the sectors.
Visit the organisation: www.wellcome.ac.uk
So, there you have it. This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the professional and respectable organisations out there to help kickstart your project. Getting funding isn’t easy but, as with anything good in life, it’s worth it in the end. Have any stories of your own funding experiences? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.