One very good place to start looking for funding is Funding Central – www.fundingcentral.org.uk. They include funding for individuals, and charities and other organisation types.
Funding for ‘heritage’, ‘green’ projects, training, and creative enterprises are grouped together below.
Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Fund
Heritage Crafts is inviting craft practitioners and organisations to apply for small grants to fund projects that support and promote endangered crafts (the craft must be listed as endangered or critically endangered on the current Red List of Endangered Crafts). There is a maximum of £2,000 available for each project and we will work with you to develop and support your work. Read more…
The Heritage Alliance produces an excellent listing of funding for training and projects for all kinds of heritage, including crafts: www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/fundingdirectory This directory is particularly relevant if your craft involves working on heritage assets such as listed buildings, archival documents, or museum objects (you may also want to look at the Institute for Conservation if this is the case – www.icon.org.uk/index.php).
Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust
The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers grants of up to £18,000 to talented and aspiring makers looking to further their skills through traditional college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships and one-to-one training with a master craftsperson. Since QEST has awarded over £5.2million to 700 individuals working across the UK in 130 different craft disciplines. The charity has two funding application rounds a year, in January and July. For more details visit www.qest.org.uk.
Funding for apprenticeships and other training
- The annual Heritage Crafts Awards – usually includes training awards, see http://awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ for details.
- General careers advice – including current funding opportunities: www.creative-choices.co.uk/develop-your-career
- Local sources – many local charities exist that are able to support training. If your Local Authority employs a funding officer, they will be a good route into these (particularly as small local charities may not have websites). Or your local main library may be able to help.
- Specialist craft funders – if your craft has a Livery Company, they may run specialist training, or offer bursaries; the Livery Companies are setting up a new scheme of apprenticeships, with bursaries, but no details are available yet – it is worth asking the specific company if they are involved, and when they will be announcing their apprenticeships.
- Funding for specific groups – some schemes exist which support individuals in particular circumstances e.g. CockPit Arts in London has a Creative Careers programme, which supports previously unemployed young people, and Thomas Wall Trust supports disadvantaged individuals in vocational training. Your local main library or online searching may help you to find these.
- Funding for employers – unfortunately, this is only available for apprenticeships meeting certain criteria, and for young people, and is of a very small amount. Heritage Crafts is working to change this.
Crafts enterprise funding
- Funding for creative businesses – www.creative-choices.co.uk/tools-resources/article/financial-help-and-support
- For creative businesses run by young people (under 18-30) – www.creative-choices.co.uk/tools-resources/article/transmit-start-up-loans
- Funding for businesses run by older people (30+) – www.startuploans.co.uk/faqs/