Please see below list of potential financial streams for freelancers/individuals. Please note this is a working document, some funds may or may not be available at the time of viewing, but deadlines will be updated and available through the direct links.

If you know of a fund to help individuals that is not included – please get in touch with so we can add to the list.



Who: All theatre workers

What: Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities.

Criteria: Varies amongst the variety of their 14 member charitites.


Benevolent Fund

Who: Actors and Stage Managers

What: Financial support

Criteria: Must have contracted Covid-19, or be self-isolating because they are unwell with coronavirus symptoms, and have applied for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance (or, are already in receipt of any means-tested benefits).


Actors Childrens Trust

Who: Actors who are parents

What: Money and advice to actor-parents and their children

Criteria: Must have had paid, professional acting work for more than half of their working life



Who: Technical professionals working in live events, theatre, film and TV industries

What: Provides funds for people who are seriously ill or suffering from an accident and therefore unable to earn.

Separate hardship fund also available for those affected by Covid.

Criteria:  UK resident – must have worked in the industry for 5 years or be a direct dependent of someone that has – don’t have to be currently active in the industry so long as you haven’t been out of the industry for longer than you worked in it.


Dance Professionals Fund

Who: Professional dancers, Dance Teachers, Choreographers and Choreologists

What: Financial support in time of need.

Criteria: Must have 3 years of professional dance performance, teaching or choreography in the UK – be a practising, former or retired dance professional; or in certain circumstances, be a dependent of a dance professional – be in receipt of all the state benefits you are entitled to at the time of applying – have individual savings of less than £6,000 if of working age, or £16,000 if retired – have no other significant means of support e.g. from a partner or from capital assets.



Who: Any professional eligible to join Equity

What: Financial grants for urgent one-off expenses (typical claims range from £60 – £350)

Criteria: Must be a Full Equity Member (which includes graduates, long service, life and child members)


Equity Charitable Trust

Who: All freelance professional performers and those who work in the theatre profession on a freelance basis

What: Financial assistance

Criteria: Emergency funds are available to all freelance professional performers and those who work in the theatre profession on a freelance basis. This includes: actors, choreographers, dancers, theatre directors, models, singers, stage management, stand ups, storytellers, stunt performers and co-ordinators, theatre designers, theatre fight directors, TV and radio presenters, variety, circus, cabaret and light entertainment artists, voice artists, walk-on and supporting artists.  (excludes musicians, drama students or amateur performers)


help musicians logo

Who:  Self-Employed or Unemployed Professional Working Musicians (performers, composers/creators or directly involved in the production of music).

What: Provides financial support for musicians struggling on Universal Credit or on other support – from a £2.55 million charitable fund.

Criteria:  UK Resident


Screenshot 2023 10 26 At 14.57.19

Who: Aims to support the many varied careers within theatre.

What: Financial support for an idea or project that will have a significant impact on their professional development and subsequent career.

Criteria: You must have a minimum of 2 years’ experience working professionally within the theatre industry


Musicians Union

Who: Musicians Union Members

What: An Emergency Hardship Fund of £1m in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic

Criteria: Must be a UK resident – Must be currently paying the full MU membership subscription rate – suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to the Coronavirus pandemic – must not have already successfully received a payment from the MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund

PAUL HAMLYN FOUNDATION – Ideas and Pioneers Fund

Paul Hamlyn Foundaiton

Who: All Theatre Freelancers and organisations

What: grants of up to £15,000 to support people with a vision of a better society to explore their ideas for change.


  • If you’ve got an innovative idea or new approach.
  • The focus is on supporting the earliest stages of idea development – even if your plan is risky or experimental. We’re looking for potential, not the finished product.
  • Whether you’re applying as an individual, charity, social enterprise or limited company.
  • Open to anyone – from individuals, groups of up to three people and organisations with up to five employees.
  • If you haven’t applied for funding before.
  • Particularly welcome first time applicants.
  • If you’re young.
  • Most of the people they aim to support to be between 18-30 years old.
  • Whatever your background .
  • Everyone from activists to researchers, as long as you’re focused on exploring an idea for change