We have put together this information page that we hope will be useful for freelancers. It covers links to organisations offering useful tips, financial support, advice on applications to ACE, as well as discussion forums/groups you might like to join.

This is a living document so if there are links you think it would be good for us to highlight and share, please email us at rtyds@rtyds.co.uk and we will update the page.

Last updated 30 July 2021


These organisations can give freelancers guidance on tax, Universal Credit and other queries around self-employment:

Freelancers Make Theatre Work – their website has information on Tax Deferral and Universal Credit. They have also set up a support email address that will be checked regularly. It is a private space for thoughts, ideas, grievances and positive ideasthat they can then hopefully share (anonymously and with your consent) and act on, if possible. Contact them on: support@freelancersmaketheatrework.com

ACAS – an independent organisation for free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice (for both employers and employees)

Bectu – Coronavirus advice from the union for creative ambition.

HMRC Helpline – for freelancers and businesses who are worried about paying their tax.

Theatre Helpline –  free, independent and confidential phone and email service providing support to people working in the theatre industry.

HMRC Covid-19 Help Line for self-employed and businesses – 0300 456 3565

Turn2us – a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially.

SOLT & UK Theatre: Theatre SupportAn extensive guide to support available for theatre professionals.


A Guide to Successful Freelancing – a helpful beginner’s guide for those who are new to freelancing

A free package of support for D/deaf and disabled freelancers from Graeae, including access support for meetings, purchase/loan of technology, free/cheap rehearsal space, shadowing and mentoring opportunities.

Producer Ruby Glaskin has created a spreadsheet to help you do a simple risk assessment on your freelance income

B3 Creative Network have opened applications for B3 Origin – a mentoring programme for creatives working in the fields of film, digital media, the visual arts and theatre.

GOV.UK – Guidance for employees, employers and businesses


Spunglass Theatre

What Business Resources are Available for People with Disabilities? – A carefully researched guide by AABRS, which covers business plans, funding, specialist advice and support, and regionally relevant grants.

Smashing It: A Guide to Applying for Funding, edited by Sabrina Mahfouz.

Arts Council England – COVID-19 support and funding information

Support for Theatre Professionals during Coronavirus – links to advice and support.

Mayor of London – Culture at Risk Resources

Online document listing theatres and their re-opening status


These are industry-focused discussion groups around Covid-19 and its effect on the arts:

Class and Coronavirus Network set up by Directors Stef O’Driscoll and Caitriona Shoobridge to support WBCU-C theatre makers

Freelancers Make Theatre Work

Regular SOLT Updates from Freelancers Make Theatre Work

Freelance Task Force

Stage Sight – a group that’s open to everyone and free to join. Their vision is to create an off-stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability.

Theatre Industry Coronavirus Facebook Group

Public Campaign for the Arts

MAKE Online – created by Talawa to allow Black theatre artists, makers and off stage talent to connect with the wider theatre industry.

A comprehensive online document detailing conversation groups available


GOV.UK – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant – Extension

  • Deadline to apply is 30 September 2021.
  • Available to self-employed individuals whose income/profit was impacted by coronavirus between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.
  • HMRC will work out your grant amount based on how much your turnover is down by after comparing turnover figures.

Fleabag Support Fund

  • Applications for the Fleabag Support Fund will reopen in September 2021.
  • A small crisis grant for theatrical artists and professionals whose livelihoods and creative futures have been threatened in the wake of Covid-19.

The Directors Charitable Foundation – Directors Support Scheme Grant

  • Applications are open.
  • Offering short-term support for all stage, screen, games, music video and commercials directors who have been affected by Covid-19.
  • In exceptional circumstances, they are also considering other categories of eligibility, i.e. directors working with marginalised communities or working in unconventional settings.

Equity Charitable Trust – Coronavirus Welfare Support

  • Applications are open.
  • Grants are open to all freelance professional performers and those who work in the theatre profession on a freelance basis.
  • You are eligible if you have previously worked on an Equity contract, but you do not need to be an Equity member to apply.

The Theatrical Guild

  • Applications are open.
  • Both long-term and short-term financial assistance is available for those who work in backstage or front of house positions.

The Royal Variety Charity

  • Applications are open.
  • Financial support grant for people working professionally in the entertainment industry and experiencing financial hardship.
  • You can either apply online or complete this Grant Application Form and post it to them.

Acting For Others

  • Providing emotional and financial support to theatre workers who have been affected by Covid-19.
  • Get in touch with a4o@trtf.com to see how they can provide you with support.


Arts Council England – Developing Your Creative Practice

  • Applications are now closed. The date for the next round of applications is yet to be announced.
  • A fund designed to support independent creative practitioners, helping them take their work to the next level through things such as: research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing ideas, networking or mentoring.
  • There is £18 million of National Lottery funding between October 2020 to October 2021.

Arts Council England – National Lottery Project Grants

  • Applications are open.
  • This fund has a budget of £77.9 million available until 31 August 2021.
  • They are currently focusing on funding independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible.


Creative Scotland – Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development

  • Applications are open. There is no deadline – you can apply at any time during the year. Decisions are communicated within eight to twelve weeks.
  • Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for projects supporting the development of their practice.
  • The fund has an annual budget of around £7.5m across their Open Fund for Individuals and Open Fund for Organisations. They are accepting applications between £1,000 and £100,000.