Overview of Composer Hardship Funds (April 2020)

Sound and Music COVID-19 Response

There are several organisations who can provide financial support to composers affected by the coronavirus crisis. But we know that navigating this information can be challenging.

Sound and Music and Attitude is Everything have worked together to collect data available about some of the largest funds that composers can apply to. We have put it all into one place on this page.

Please note that this information is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. We'll do our best to keep it updated. You should check the relevant websites for the most up to date information.Please note too that while some deadlines are given, with these hardship funds it could be best to apply as soon as possible. Again, check with the relevant funds if you need more information about this.

Follow us on Twitter @soundandmusic - we are posting lots of resources to help composers during this time. Please do email us if you have any feedback about this page. 

Also, check out https://www.coronamusicians.info for a comprehensive list of all support and advice available for musicians.

Coronavirus Hardship Fund from Help Musicians UK

https://www.cognitoforms.com/HelpMusicians1/HelpMusiciansCoronavirusFinancialHardshipFund

*Not currently accepting new applications*

Contact: hardshipfund@helpmusicians.org.uk

Membership criteria: none
General criteria: 18+, UK resident, actively working in music
Income criteria: earn more than 50% of income through music
Savings criteria: have less than £5000 savings
Deadline or deadlines for applying: rolling, no deadline
Amount you can apply for: £500 one off payment
What you need to apply: complete application form which includes links to your music, details of previous HMUK funding, and describing your current situation
When a decision will be made: within 10 working days of application being submitted
When funding would be received: money transferred directly after you've been contacted
Details of access support offered: email address to direct access support requests.

Creative Scotland
https://www.creativescotland.com/funding/funding-programmes/open-fund-sustaining-creative-development

Contact: enquiries@creativescotland.com

Membership criteria: none
General criteria: Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for projects supporting the development of their practice.
Income criteria: not mentioned
Savings criteria: not mentioned
Deadline or deadlines for applying: second round opens 20 April, closes 25 April or potentially earlier (see this page for more info)
Amount you can apply for: £1,000-£50,000
What you need to apply: UK bank acccount
When a decision will be made: 8 weeks
When funding would be received: not mentioned
Details of access support offered: https://www.creativescotland.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/83222/CS-Open-Fund-for-Individuals-March-2020-FINAL.pdf

Arts Council England
https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/financial-support-artists-creative-practitioners-and-freelancers

Contact: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/contact-us
Note that their website states they cannot offer one-to-one advice other than if you have access needs and require further support to complete the application.

Membership criteria: none
General criteria: “You must have experience of delivering work that was funded (directly or indirectly) by bodies such as Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Lottery Community Fund, local authorities, universities, public sector bodies, trusts and foundations, etc. You need to have been part of the delivery of publicly funded work, even if you didn’t directly apply for the funding yourself.”
Income criteria: 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.
Savings criteria: as above
Deadline or deadlines for applying: first deadline: 9 April 2020; second deadline: 16 April
Amount you can apply for: up to £2,500
What you need to apply: Grantium account - made at least 3 days before the deadline
When a decision will be made: No details (“as fast as we can”)
When funding would be received: As above
Details of access support offered: If you have additional costs relating to a disability, you can apply for up to £3,000. You can also contact Customer Services for help completing the application.

Easy Read version of criteria: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Emergency%20Response%20Fund%20-%20For%20individuals%20%28Easy%20Read%29.pdf 

PRS Emergency Relief Fund
https://www.prsformusic.com/c/emergency-relief-fund

Contact: emergency.relief@prsformusic.com

Membership criteria: Yes - you must have been a PRS writer member for at least two years, and have earned at least £500 of PRS royalties within the last two years
General criteria: suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to the Coronavirus pandemic
Income criteria: Not specified. You declare your income for the assessment

Savings criteria: Not specified. You declare your savings for the assessment
Deadline or deadlines for applying: the first deadline is 17 April
Amount you can apply for: up to £1000
What you need to apply: figure of your current monthly income (after tax and excluding PRS royalties); The amount of savings you currently have (Bank, Building Societies, Post Office or other accessible funds); Details of any other funding from charities you’ve received in the past six months (amount and date)
When a decision will be made: 5 days after you apply
When funding would be received: ASAP
Details of access support offered: not specified

MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund from Musicians’ Union
https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/hardshipfund

Contact: none provided

Membership criteria: Yes, for at least 12 months.
General criteria: UK resident
Income criteria: must not have any other income or savings to rely on
Savings criteria: must not have any other income or savings to rely on
Deadline or deadlines for applying: rolling, no deadline
Amount you can apply for: £200 maximum
What you need to apply: MU membership number
When a decision will be made: within 3 working days of application being sent
When funding would be received: within 5 working days of funding being awarded
Details of access support offered: not specified

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PRS Foundation’s Sustaining Creativity Fund
https://prsfoundation.com/funding-support/funding-music-creators/all-career-levels/sustaining-creativity-fund/

Contact: applications@prsfoundation.com

Membership criteria: n/a
General criteria: designed for outstanding music creators experiencing professional hardship from loss of work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling them to sustain creativity and get back on track
Income criteria: You declare your music income and must rely on music income to get by
Savings criteria: Savings will be factored in (alongside access to other funding which negates the need for support). Those with significant savings (i.e. over £5,000) need not apply.
Deadline or deadlines for applying: first deadline is April 13th (6pm), second deadline is May 11th (6pm)
Amount you can apply for: £750
What you need to apply: financial status information, track record, music links and creative development plans, details on access to other finance
When a decision will be made: Approx. 14 days after each deadline
When funding would be received: Within 14 days of submission of a signed grant offer letter and requested assets [NB. this is not a fund designed to meet immediate/pressing/emergency funding needs]
Details of access support offered: those with access requirements can request a 2 day extension and other support from the PRS Foundation team, including top-up funding of £250 where required

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Looking for more help?

We recommend visiting https://www.coronamusicians.info

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