A street performer wears a fantastical pink outfit.
© Andy Garbutt  

Read on for details of the different awards and funding opportunities we’ll be offering over the next 12 months.

Bradford 2025 will showcase the incredible creativity, talent, passion and excellence that exists here in Bradford. We know that this talent comes in all shapes, sizes, artforms and approaches, and from every corner of our community – from professional artists who are already an essential part of the district’s vibrant cultural scene, to neighbourhoods, groups and individuals who come together to celebrate creativity in their communities. 

This page details the different funding opportunities from Bradford 2025 that will be available across the next 12 months. We’re sharing these now so you can start to think, plan and imagine.

We’ll publish full guidance for each opportunity when they open, alongside details of online information sessions and support for those with access needs.  

The funding opportunities will be: 

  • Project call outs for artists and creatives in Bradford District – Round 1 opened February 2024 and closed March 2024.  A second round will open in August/ September 2024.
  • Grants for community-led organisations – opened March 2024, closes 24 April 2024
  • Micro-grants for community and volunteer groups – opens in autumn 2024

 

Grants for artists and creatives in Bradford District

Round 2 open from August

We want to support Bradford’s brilliant creative sector to bring your artistic ideas to life in 2025, realising opportunities that could only happen during our year as UK City of Culture. These awards are open to individual artists, companies, collectives, creative collaborations, festivals and any other artist-led activity.

There will be two rounds of awards. In each round we expect to award up to 15 projects, each for up to £15,000.

 

Round 1 – Now closed

  • Opened February 2024 and closed in March 2024
  • A list of the successful projects will be published soon
  • This round was primarily for projects where the final output will happen in the first half of 2025 – roughly January to July 2025

Round 2 – Opens August 2024

  • Applications open in August 2024, with the deadline in September 2024
  • Successful applicants will be notified in October 2024 
  • This round will primarily be for projects where the final output will happen in the second half of 2025 – roughly August to December
  • In this round, we may also encourage applications from artforms, identities and geographical areas that were less well represented in Round 1 

What we’ll be looking for
First and foremost, the work must be designed to reach people and audiences in Bradford District, and it must happen between 1 January and 31 December 2025.   

You must be able to demonstrate a genuine connection to the district (living here, company based here, history of making and sharing work here, etc). We will accept applications from companies based outside Bradford, but only where the lead artist is based in Bradford.  

We will support a broad range of artforms including theatre, music, live art, visual arts, photography, literature, storytelling – or something that combines artforms and blurs definitions in the way that we know Bradford’s brilliant artists do so well. 

We are happy to receive applications where workshops, engagement and participation are part of the project, and really want to see as many opportunities as possible for Bradford residents to get involved. However, it should result in a finished output (not a work in progress) that will be experienced by audiences, the general public or a wider group of people – for example, an exhibition, screening, performance, reading, listening event, installation, etc.  

We welcome applications from festivals for a new commission or a special 2025 event within your festival programme that wouldn’t otherwise happen without our support.  However, we won’t support the running costs of your regular festival programme.  

Match funding
Match funding is not essential, but we will look more favourably on applications that have, or have plans to, draw extra funding from other sources too.    

Support available alongside an award
If you are awarded a grant, there will be a range of advice and guidance available from the Bradford 2025 team around areas such as technical, production, access, marketing and engagement.  Your event will also be included in a number of marketing and PR activities that we have planned. While this is the case, we expect all projects to have their own marketing plans prepared, with the costs included in your budget.

Grants for community-led organisations

Open now

We’re really pleased to be working with GiveBradford, which distributes vital grants and gives trusted advice to community organisations across the district to influence positive change. 

GiveBradford are delivering the Bradford 2025 Creative Communities Fund. This programme will support community organisations to engage local people of all ages in creative and cultural activity as part of Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture. Proposed activities should be led by community organisations, promoting and celebrating the diversity and richness of Bradford’s culture. 

We’ve shared a few examples of the kind of activities that can be funded below, and we look forward to hearing your ideas. 

  • A community centre works with spoken-word facilitators to deliver creative-writing and poetry workshops, leading to a series of multilingual events.
  • A project allows the people of Bradford to define what culture means to them through a range of creative activities, (eg activities centred on food, music, dance, fashion, etc)  
  • A youth organisation offers a series of ‘taster’ workshops led by experienced facilitators in a variety of creative activities. The young participants then choose to write, produce and perform in short films that reflect their experience of diversity in Bradford. 

There will be one round of applications, awarding 20–30 grants between £500 and £15,000, with a pot size of £250,000. 

Grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 should be spent over an 18-month period, with activity taking place during 2025. 

Grants below £5,000 may be spent over a shorter period, with activity taking place during 2025. 

We appreciate some organisations may already have people who want to take part and have already consulted them about what they wish to do, whereas other organisations may wish to spend the initial months of their grant period undertaking consultation and planning work. 

Who can apply?
Community organisations based in Bradford or nearby localities (eg Kirklees) can apply. 

  • Incorporated community organisations must have an income under £550,000 in the most recent financial year.
  • Small unincorporated and unregistered community organisations can apply for a maximum of £5,000, and can only apply if your annual income is less than £10,000, and if securing the grant would not take you above this threshold for the current financial year.

Dates 

  • February 2024 – GiveBradford will hold an online briefing event to introduce the Bradford 2025 Creative Communities Fund and explain the programme criteria 
  • March 2024 – Applications open
  • 23 April 2024 – April Applications close. 
  • July 2024 – Decisions will be shared with applicants 

Find all the information on the GiveBradford website. 

Micro-grants for community and volunteer groups 

Opens in Autumn 2024 

Some community, volunteer and social groups may not be eligible for the GiveBradford grants, or may just need a small amount of money to make their activity happen – for example, hiring a venue for a reading of works by a local poetry group or materials for a group henna workshop. As a result, we are also launching a Micro Grants fund of up to £500 to support these small and special one-off moments in 2024.   

  • There will be around 25 Micro Grants, each valued at £250–£500 .   
  • There will be one round of applications, with a very simple application process and quick turnaround time.
  • Applications will open in autumn 2024 – and the event or activity can happen any time in 2025. 

Additional information

Places and spaces
We want to see creative things happening in every corner of our District. Across all programming, funding and opportunities we will be looking at where things will be happening and will be ensuring that there is something inspiring, exciting and unexpected on everyone’s doorstep. We are committed to ensuring Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture is district-wide in both vision and delivery.

Activities and events could happen in parks, on the street, in shops, in social clubs, in community centres, in schools, in people’s houses, in places of worship, online or wherever will make it easiest for the people for whom they’re designed to get involved. 

Project-specific development commissions
Separate to the grants listed above, there are a number of artists and companies with whom we have been talking about specific events and productions as part of the Bradford 2025 programme that have come through pitches, our previous seed commissions and ongoing relationships. More information about these exciting works will be shared as we officially launch the Bradford 2025 programme in September 2024.    

If you’ve got a great idea and you don’t think it fits one of the grant programmes we’ve outlined above, please get in touch via [email protected] and we’ll do our best to signpost you to other existing grant schemes. 

A UK City of Culture for everyone 
Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture is for everyone in Bradford – it will celebrate all the identities, experiences, backgrounds and beliefs that makeup our rich and brilliant district. This will be reflected across all the grants and will be a key consideration when we’re reviewing applications. We’ll also be looking to make sure you’ve thought about how your project will be accessible, meaningful and welcoming to the people you’re creating it with and for. 

Find out more
Full information about our grants programmes will be added to the website as they are launched. The best way to find out as soon as they’re live is to follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter.  

For all of the grant opportunities, there will also be an online information session, open to everyone, where we’ll give a full overview and ask any questions you have about the application process and criteria. Details of these will be published alongside the application guidance.