Applying for Grants and Bursaries

When applying for a grant, it is important to target prospective funders effectively.  Trusts, companies, local authorities, and statutory bodies do not respond well to circular letters or untargeted phone calls, and they are unlikely to succeed.  It is important to approach those funders whose priorities and concerns are directly relevant to your situation, needs and aims.  Below is a list of organisations offering advice who can help applicants target appropriate funders and sponsors.

It is important to prepare funding applications carefully.  In applying to charities and trusts you need to be specific about how your needs and aims meet the
objectives of the organisation
.  Seek detailed advice on writing applications, and request any information and guidance notes that the charity or trust provides
before making a written application.

Consider approaching local businesses or trusts that may support training in the arts: ask your local library for more information.  Try contacting trade unions and other professional bodies and approach family contacts that could be useful.  You could try approaching individuals in the profession, but remember that well known actors and directors receive hundreds of requests from students every year – what makes your application different?

Organisations Offering Advice

Association of Charitable Foundations
Tel: 020 7255 44992
Central House, Upper Woburn Walk, London  WC1H 0AE

The UK’s support organisation for grant making trusts and foundations of all types.  Contains useful information on the website but cannot give advice about individual applications, nor help grant-seekers find suitable funders.

Family Welfare Association
501-505 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AU
Set up to help students and parents by putting them in touch with likely sources of financial aid, also offering information about welfare grants. The Service advises students and parents faced with difficulties in their negotiations with LEAs and provide liaison with educational charities. There is also a useful online database which will search for charities appropriate for your course.

The Foundation for Sport and the Arts
Tel: 0151 259 5505, PO Box 20, Liverpool  L13 1HB
Occasionally makes awards for dance and drama studies.

The University of London Careers Service
Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London  WC1B 5DN
Maintains a reference library containing information from various educational trusts and foundations who may offer assistance to students,endowed scholarships and details and guidance on all grants available from LEAs.

The Central Advisory for Trusts and Scholarships
7-11 Kensington High Street, London  W8 5NP

Centre for Creative Communities
Tel: 0845 111 1711
Regent House Business Centre, 24/25 Nutford Place, London W1H 5YN
Library which you can use by appointment.  Mon – Thurs, 10am-4pm.

Charitable Trusts and Foundations

Below is a list of some charitable trusts and Foundations that have awarded grants to students in the past.  However it is not a definitive list and you should also refer to the books and directories of Trusts and Foundations listed below.

The Altrusa Careers Trust
PO Box 6160,
Orkney KW16 3HA
The Trust was established to help women in the UK and Eire further their career prospects or to retrain after bringing up a family. Present loan maximum is £500. Applications received are reviewed after 31 March each year.

The Crescent Trust
Tel: 020 7730 5420
The Crescent Trust, 27a Sloane Square, London  SW1W 8AB
Contact Ms C Akehurst

Equity Trust Fund
Tel: 020 7404 6041
222 Africa House, 64 Kingsway, London  WC2B 6BD
Only able to help professional performers, but some students may be able to meet the criteria set by the trust.

Fame Academy Bursary to fund West End Dreams
Tel: 020 8576 8043
Offering up to 20 awards worth a total of £150,000 to aspiring performers to kick start or continue their musical theatre studies.  Open for applications early spring.

The Fenton Arts Trust
PO Box 135, East Horsley, Surrey KT24 9AB
Grants are made towards the creative arts, principally painting and drama.  Applications in writing to Ms Shelley Baxter.

The Follett Trust
Tel: 01934 838337
17 Chescombe Road, Yatton, Bristol  BS19 4EE
Contact M D Follett.

Mackintosh Foundation
Tel: 020 7637 8866
1 Bedford Square, London  WC1B 3RA
Awards scholarships to promote and develop theatre and the performing arts.

The Rosemary Bugden Charitable Trust
Tel: 0117 917 3922
Osbourne Clarke, 50 Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol  BS1 4HE
Contact J W Sharpe. Funding for performing arts in U.K

Sydney Dean Whitehead’s Charitable Trust
Moore Stephens, 30 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2PD
Tel: 01225 486100 Fax: 01225 448198

Ernest & Young Sydney Dean Whitehead’s Charitable Trust
1 Barbirolli Square, Manchester ME 3EY
Apply to the Secretary, in writing (including SAE).  The trustees apply their funds towards supporting parents with the educational costs of their children and respond more readily to appeals relating to children with special talents, particularly in the artistic fields.  They also respond more readily to appeals which show that there is an element of self-help already in operation and where a lack of finance could preclude children from receiving the type of education their particular ‘gift’ merits.

The Sidney Perry Foundation
PO Box 889, Oxford   OX1 9PT
Assistance to those of great promise, under 35 at the start of their course, who would be unable to proceed with their studies through lack of means. Average grant in the region of £500. Application form available from Mrs L A Owens enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

The Talbot House Trust
White Horse Court, 25C North Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire  CM23 2LD
Assistance for individuals undertaking courses in the performing arts.
Grants to help with the cost of equipment/instruments, fees or maintenance/living expenses. No grants are made to Postgraduates.Forms should be submitted by March for consideration in May. Contact: Mrs Jane Day.

Winterbourne Charitable Trust
9 Wilton Row, London SW1X 7NR
Contact  A S D Barrett.

Helpful Books

Some of the books listed should be available in large public libraries, many of them can be purchased from the Directory of Social Change (DSC) including the Educational Grants Directory, A Guide to the Major Trusts, Grants for Individuals in Need and The Arts Funding Guide.

The Educational Grants Directory
By Michael Eastwood and David Casson. Available from Directory of Social Change Ltd, 24 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2DP.  020 7391 4800

Sponsorship for Students
This publication lists 2,500 scholarships and bursaries from 200 different organisations. Published and distributed by Hobsons Publishing plc (in conjunction with COIC/CRAC )  Available from:  Customer Services, Biblios PDS Ltd.  Star Road, Partridge Green, West Sussex RH13 8LD.

The Grants Register
This publication lists over 4,000 awards for students studying both in the UK and abroad. Apply online:

The Directory of Grant Making Trusts
Published by the Charities Aid Foundation. Available at most public libraries and from Directory of Grant Making Trusts, Kingshill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA

Sponsorship and Funding Directory
Published annually by Hobsons.  Listing of employers and companies offering sponsorship and placement opportunities. Available from:  Hobsons, Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LZ.

Charities Digest
Contains a chapter on education which includes details of scholarships. Available from

Money To Study: The Complete Guide to Student Finance
Available from Family Welfare Association, 501-505 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 4AU

Useful Websites

National Careers Service

The Stage Advice


Grants for Actors

Professional and Career Development Loan

The Actor’s Guild

For further queries please contact Cygnet office on 01392 277189