Weston Culture Fund


Grants are available for mid- to large-scale cultural organisations in the UK to help them restart important work, refresh activities, and develop plans to rebuild audiences following closures due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.

Current Status:  Open for Applications

Maximum value:  £2,000,000

Objectives of Fund

The funding is intended for museums, performing, visual and literary arts organisations across the UK to support them as they attempt to recover following the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Value Notes

A total of £25 million will be awarded in grants.

Grants of between £100,000 and £2 million are available. The grant size awarded will depend on the size of the organisation applying, based on the following guide:

  • Annual income of between £500,000 and £750,000: maximum grant of £100,000.
  • Annual income of between £750,001 and £1 million: maximum grant of £200,000.
  • Annual income of between £1,000,001 and £2.5 million: maximum grant of £500,000.
  • Annual income of between £2,500,001 and £5 million: maximum grant of £1 million.
  • Annual income of between £5,000,001 and £7.5 million: maximum grant of £1.5 million.
  • Annual income of over £7.5 million: maximum grant of £2 million.

Organisations seeking less than £100,000 should apply through the Foundation’s regular grants programme.

Who Can Apply

Applications are accepted from:

  • Performing and visual arts organisations, which includes those working in the areas of:
    • Theatre – including pantomime, circus arts, children’s, youth and family theatre.
    • Music – including opera, choral, orchestral, jazz, contemporary and world music.
    • Dance – including ballet, contemporary and dance genres from around the world.
    • Visual arts – including painting, photography, printmaking, film, sculpture and illustration.
  • Literary arts organisations.
  • Arts centres.
  • Independent cinemas.
  • Accredited museums and galleries or museums/galleries working towards accreditation that are not run by local authorities.
  • DCMS sponsored museums and galleries.

Organisations have to be one of the following to be eligible:

  • Registered charity.
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
  • Exempt organisation registered with the Charity Commission.

To be eligible for funding, organisations must have had an annual income of over £500,000 in their pre-COVID-19 audited accounts (not including income relating to a capital project).

Organisations with a lower income can apply to the Foundation’s regular grants programme.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Social Enterprises.
  • Community Interest Companies (CICs).
  • Community benefit and co-operative societies.
  • Organisations with an annual income of under £500,000 in the pre-COVID-19 years.
  • Non-accredited museums and galleries (unless working towards accreditation).
  • Museums and galleries run by a local authority.
  • University museums or collections.
  • Libraries.
  • Festivals and outdoor arts (including street shows, processions, participatory events, installations, and walkabout performances).
  • Historic properties and heritage sites (including buildings, monuments, sites of historic interest, house collections, gardens, castles and areas of natural beauty).
  • Schools, higher and further education institutions, including conservatoires and performing arts education organisations.
  • Arts of any genre in hospital or healthcare settings.
  • Organisations that promote political beliefs or faiths.
  • Historic debts that pre-dated COVID-19 and debts and/or loans incurred as a result of the pandemic.
  • Costs that are eligible to be covered by strands of government support (eg, furloughing).
  • New, major capital projects.
  • Endowments, reserve funds or deferred revenue funds for future years.

Organisations cannot apply to both the Weston Culture Fund and the Foundation’s regular/major grants programme at the same time.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for supporting the costs organisations are likely to incur over the next 12 months that are associated with any or all of the following activities:

  • Restarting work and reopening, if the organisations has yet to do so. Examples of costs may include (but are not limited to):
    • Increased cleaning bills.
    • COVID-19 specific staff training.
    • Marketing materials.
  • Making critical adaptations or improvements to the organisation’s physical or digital infrastructure that aid the organisation’s ability to generate income and/or develop audiences. Examples of costs may include (but are not limited to):
    • Box office adaptations to facilitate social distancing.
    • Technical upgrades to enable ticketed/free live screenings.
    • Changes to signage.
  • Programming new activity or adapting existing activities to ensure that new and existing audiences can be reached. Examples of costs may include (but are not limited to):
    • Commissioning artists.
    • Rehearsal fees.

How To Apply

Applications are open between 5 October 2020 and 9 November 2020 (5pm).

To start their application, organisations should take the eligibility quiz available on the website of the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Application guidelines and the application form are also available on the website. The application form and supporting documents should be submitted via the Foundation’s online application portal.

Decisions will be made and applicants will be notified by 31 January 2021

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