We have put together this information page that we hope will be useful. It covers links to organisations offering financial support during the Covid-19 health emergency, advice on applications to ACE and 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 15 January 2021


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

  • The deadline to apply for the third grant is 29 January 2021.
  • Available to self-employed individuals who are impacted by reduced demand or are temporarily unable to trade due to coronavirus.
  • The third taxable grant is worth 80% of average monthly trading profits. It is paid in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits (capped at £7,500 in total).

Theatre Community Fund

  • Hardship grants in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund. Offering grants of up to £3000 supporting theatrical artists and professionals whose livelihoods and creative futures have been threatened in the wake of Covid-19.
  • Applications for the Fleabag Support Fund open on the 1st of every month for five days, for the foreseeable future.

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.

The Theatre Artists Fund

  • Applications are currently closed but there will be future application rounds.
  • For theatre professionals who are in need of urgent and critical financial support due to the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the theatre sector.
  • Offering emergency grants of £1,000 for freelancers.

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.
  • They have also extended their charitable reach to directors and assistant directors.

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.

The Turbine Theatre – Funds for Freelancers Crowdfunder

  • Applications are open.
  • A financial resource for actors, creatives, ushers working in theatre.
  • Applicants can apply for financial support by email with a few sentences about your situation: submissions@paultaylormills.com.

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 for this round close at midday on 18 February 2021.
  • 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 April 2021.
  • They are currently focusing on funding independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible.

Artists/Musicians Coronavirus Relief Fund

  • Funds up to £200 for any freelance/self-employed/zero-hour-contracted worker affected by Covid-19.
  • To apply, fill out this Google Form.


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.



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 ideas that 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.


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

Freelance Task Force

Stage Sight – 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



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.

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.

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

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

Online document listing theatres and their re-opening status


Spunglass Theatre

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

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

Arts Council England – COVID-19 support and funding information

GOV.UK – Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Mayor of London – Culture at Risk

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.