Cumbria Arts & Culture Network – COVID-19

To help our members during the current time, please find below a list of financial resources.


Arts Council England

Arts Council England COVID19 Emergency Funding Streams

ACE are making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and they have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of their funding, to help alleviate pressure on them as best we can.

Blog post from ACE CEO Darren Henley explaining why they have made these funding streams available


For organisations outside of the National Portfolio (£50 million)

Organisations can apply for up to £35,000 for activity intended to prevent your organisation ceasing operation due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 emergency.  Alternatively, for activity specifically designed to be deliverable during the next six months.

Full guidance can be downloaded here.


For Individuals (£20 million)

Freelance Creative Practitioners can apply for up to £2,500 each.  The fund aims to afford practitioners time to stabilise, think and plan for the future. You can apply for costs relating to additional equipment (such as IT equipment); licenses for digital products;  time to research or work up other activities that you are able to undertake in the next few months or to explore new opportunities or refocus your practice.

Full guidance can be downloaded here


Benevolent Funds:

£4 million of this funding for individuals has been set aside to support artists working in specific artforms.

For more information click here.


Cumbria LEP’s Business & Economic Response Group

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: there is ambiguity with regards to this scheme and how HMRC require companies to apply overtime, weekly as opposed to monthly salary payments, holiday entitlement during furlough periods. Urgent clarification is being sought.

Note: HMRC have announced holiday entitlement accrued during 20/21 is eligible to be carried over into 2012/22 and 22/23.


The group noted that they are receiving levels of feedback from those ineligible for the government support for self employed workers, that suggests this will apply to more than the 5% announced by government. It is also clear that despite the available universal credit, bank bridging loans and mortgage holidays, many will find the gap until first payment of support for the self-employed by HMRC in June will be too late.


If you have comments, questions or observations you would like us to feed back to LEP’s Business & Economic Response Group please email CACN Chair:


Small Business Grant Fund

Find full document of the Governments guidance here: Grant Funding Schemes Small Business Grant Fund / Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance for business

Central government will be releasing funds to local authorities to provide Business support grants to eligible Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector. The grant can be for £10k or £25k depending on your eligibility.

In Cumbria, the six district councils are administering these grants. and five of the six districts are asking businesses to apply for the grants online. If you are in Allerdale, Barrow, Copeland, Eden or South Lakeland you need to complete and submit an online form:


National Funders supporting Arts & Culture

Gasworks – Grant writing support

Freelands Foundation

PRS Foundation Fund – Grants to help music creators

National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund

Charities Aid Foundation – Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

Help Musicians – Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

Theatre Support – COVID funding resource list

Master Class Resources for the theatre community

Society of Authors – Emergency contingency fund

If you are aware of any support missing from this list, please contact Laurar Rutter ( with the details.