Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Arts Access and Participation Fund


Grants for organisations to widen and deepen participation in the arts.

Current Status
Open for Applications
Maximum value:
£ 400,000

Objectives of Fund

PHF believes in the power of the arts as a force for change and one that enriches people’s lives and communities.

The aim of the Access and Participation Fund is to support change in the way the arts are created, presented, accessed and experienced so that a wider and more diverse group of people have access to quality artistic practice, both as audiences and participants.

Value Notes

Grants of between £30,000 and £400,000 for activity lasting between 12 months and 4 years with an option to extend for a further period. Most grants are in the £60,000 to £250,000 range.

Pre-application access support and a bursary of up to £500 is available to help groups apply.

Who Can Apply

Not-for-profit, formally constituted organisations in the UK are eligible to apply.

Priority will be given to organisations that are led by, and work that is developed and delivered with (including as artists and or practitioners), people who are most affected by systemic oppression and or discrimination. This means Black, Asian and other groups who experience racism, Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people who experience the effects of ableism, those who identify as sitting at the intersections of several minoritized identities, and people experiencing poverty.

Priority will also be given to communities outside London.

It is unlikely that newly registered organisations that have yet to produce independently audited/examined accounts will be funded, and it is recommended that they speak to a Grants Manager first.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Projects where the key outcome is solely artistic and does not address the Fund’s purpose to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts.
  • Work where the primary purpose is to deliver health benefits through participation in arts activities.
  • Work where the primary purpose is to develop access to reading, where such work is not directly related to an arts activity.
  • Formal research programmes.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding will cover work that involves any of the following: crafts, dance, design, digital arts and media, film, literature (including creative writing and poetry), music, opera, photography, theatre, the visual arts, and cross-arts practices.

The funding can be used in one or more of the following ways:

  • Support which underpins specific programmes of work
  • Support for core costs
  • Support to adapt existing work to new contexts or to test new ways of working.

Ideas should contribute in some way to all of the following areas:

  • Work with communities who are experiencing inequality of opportunity to access and participate in the arts, who face long-term structural and systemic inequalities and are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
  • Development of a committed relationship with those communities and a meaningful process of engagement, including working in ways that address power imbalances recognising and valuing the expertise and experience of communities to lead the way that art is created, presented, accessed and experienced.
  • Proposals that show a clear understanding of the whole organisation’s role in addressing structural inequalities, that make continuing improvements in the way their organisation works and seek to influence partners and the sector more widely;
  • Commitment to developing a diverse and inclusive organisation and practice including leadership, governance, workforce and approaches that reflect the experiences and strengths of communities to increase and enrich the range of stories represented and people delivering the work. PHF is looking for applications which demonstrate they support and champion people with lived experience in the leadership and delivery of this work, particularly people with experience of racism, disabled people and people experiencing poverty.
  • Commitment to gathering evidence, reflecting upon it and sharing it to improve future practice.

How To Apply

There are no deadlines. Applications can be made at any time.

There is a two-stage application process. The Foundation aims to reach a final decision on applications within four months of receipt of stage 1 applications.

Groups that wish to discuss their proposal may book an optional Enquiry Call with the Arts Access and Participation team.

The guidance notes, sample application form and the online application form are available from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation website.

Contact the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for further information or by Clicking Here