Arts Grants Scheme

About the scheme

The Arts Grants Scheme welcomes applications from individuals and organisations looking to produce innovative and engaging art projects across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and offers grants of up to £3,000. There is a large demand on this fund, so unfortunately not all applications will be successful.

Please note that we have updated our Guidance Document and Terms and Conditions Document. We advise all applicants to read carefully before making an application.

Autumn round now open for applications

Application process

The Arts Grant Scheme has been running for more than 15 years, funding over 350 excellent and engaging arts projects.

The fund is open across 2 rounds each year and we welcome projects reflecting a wide range of arts based activities within in the borough from participatory projects, tours, artist-based talks, research and development, theatre, dance etc. 

Please note as Coronavirus restrictions continue to ease, that we still welcome digital projects to be run online but are equally keen to receive proposals for in-person activity, and will require you to describe what measures you are taking in order to conduct your project safely. Please contact us with any questions at

All applicants must download and complete the application form below and email it to by midnight on Friday 15 October.

Arts Grants Application Guidance

This section explains the purpose of the Arts Grant scheme, and provides guidance notes for completing your application form.


  • Introduction to the Arts Grants Scheme
  • Eligibility
  • Completing the application form
  • The application process
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction to the Arts Grants Scheme

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea recognises the value of the arts and is committed to supporting artists and organisations to develop quality arts activities within the borough. The scheme offers grants of up to £3,000.

This commitment is reflected in four key ambitions to:

  1. demonstrate ambition, creativity, and originality
  2. promote collaborative working and build capacity across new and established partnerships
  3. create learning and development opportunities for audiences and participants (which includes artists)
  4. ensure that creative activity is accessible, and supports wellbeing for our residents.
  • There will be a large demand on this fund, so unfortunately not all applications will be successful and you may be a different amount to that which you initially requested. These grant guidelines are intended to make sure you and your idea qualify.
  • First time applicants are advised to read the supplementary information to help you put together your application.
  • Kensington and Chelsea Social Council offer support to voluntary sector organisations, and are able to advise on and proof read draft applications. Contact Tom Richards:

The term ‘arts’ includes music, sound, dance, mime, drama, theatre, storytelling, creative writing, poetry, architecture and allied fields, printmaking, installation, circus, carnival, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, costume and fashion design, textiles, public art, digital arts, video, new media, film and animation.


Who can apply

  • We welcome applications from any of the following who are based in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea:
    • Individual, aged 18 years and over
    • Professional or Voluntary Arts organisation
    • Community Interest Company (CIC)
    • Charity, Community, Voluntary or Not-for-Profit organisation
    • Youth group
    • Health group or organisation
  • If you are not based in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, you are able to apply provided you submit a letter of support from a local partner organisation as a supporting document (see section C - Declaration).
  • If your application is successful, we require the following documentation:
    • as an Organisation: copies of your constitution or memorandum and articles of association, and your latest annual accounts.
    • as an Individual: confirmation letter from an organisation that can receive the grant award on your behalf, as we cannot pay grants into a personal bank account and a redacted copy of a bank statement or bank card reflective of the account listed in your signed agreement.
Who cannot apply
  • We welcome applications from any of the following as partners of projects, but not as the applicant:
    • Schools or educational establishments
    • Any local authority-maintained organisation or departments within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea local authority
    • Commercial companies or profit-making organisations with projects for the purpose of making a profit.
  • We are not able to accept applications from current grant holders or previous grant holders who have failed to return a satisfactory evaluation for the activity funded.
  • Applicants are not permitted to hold more than one Arts Grant award in the same financial year or to receive funding in consecutive rounds.
What we will fund
  • Projects meeting at least two of the four ambitions
  • Projects taking place within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and of benefit to our residents
  • Projects that have a participatory element
  • Artist-based talks
  • Research and development leading to a project that will result in clear public benefit
  • Marketing and promotional material required as part of a project
  • Materials or equipment required as part of a project.
What we will not fund
  • Projects that are for private gain, or result in a profit
  • Projects that have no public benefit for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • Projects that do not have a strong arts component
  • Existing website maintenance
  • Study or training fees
  • Activities that promote a particular political or religious view
  • Framing or exhibition mounting costs
  • Refreshments or meals
  • Capital costs
  • Core running costs or overheads, for example utilities, stationery or rent (although up to 10% of your budget can include costs for overheads specific to your application).
  • Loan repayments
  • VAT
  • Budget deficits
  • Endowments
  • Promotional material, videos and online marketing for the applicant in general, rather than a specific project
  • Activities that have already taken place
  • Activities placed in a formal education setting as part of the core curriculum
  • Recurring projects with no development, such as regular workshops, annual festivals/events.
How much you can apply for
  • Individuals and organisations can apply for a grant up to a maximum of £3,000.
  • Amounts anywhere between £500 - £3,000 may be requested
  • The Arts Grants do not cover 100% of project costs. Matched funding is required least 10% of the total project costs.

Completing the application form

About You / Your Organisation
  • Basic information about you and/or your organisation, such as contact details
  • Your organisation or individual status i.e. charity, CIC, Individual
  • More information on the nature of your work, and any recent professional experience that demonstrates your ability to deliver your project.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Monitoring
  • Protected characteristics are captured to help monitor the accessibility of the Arts Grants Scheme, and inform our annual review of activity run by the Arts Service
  • This information is not used in the assessment process
The Project
  • The type of arts activity the project involves
  • Detail on what you are proposing and what you hope to achieve
  • Evidence that demonstrates that there is a need for the project
  • Local organisations you have approached or identified as project partner(s)
  • Detail of your marketing plan and how you intend to promote the project
  • Detail on your proposed activity/project timeline
  • Detail on how you intend to monitor and evaluate the success of the project, such as audience feedback, participant surveys, case studies etc.

Arts Council England provides helpful advice on monitoring and evaluating projects.

The Creative and Credible report by the University of West England and arts consultants, Willis Newson provides guidance aimed at evaluating arts and health projects.

Audience, Participants and Location
  • Detail on your intended audience or participants, and if your project is targeted at any specific community, age demographic or gender group.
    • Participants are defined as those directly contributing to the contents, organising or delivery of your project, and might include artists, members of the community or organisation staff
    • Audiences are defined as those benefiting from engaging with the end product of your project, e.g. viewing an exhibition, performance or attending an event.
  • The venue or location of your project including a post code and, if this is not yet confirmed, an indication on what type of venue or space you’re looking for.
  • Applicants intending to base their activities in public spaces (e.g. streets, council parks or squares) are required to contact the Events Team prior to submitting an application at E: Find more more information about holding events in public spaces in the borough.
  • Your budget needs to be separated into two sections: income and expenditure. Both must balance by showing equal totals in each section.
  • You must show how you have arrived at your figures, for example the number of days you will be employing an artist; or the number of tickets you expect to sell and at what price.
  • Please include the value of any in-kind support, showing this in both the income and expenditure columns to ensure that your budget balances.
  • At least 10 per cent of the total project income must come from sources other than the Arts Grants Scheme; the cost of your time as in-kind cannot exclusively account for this 10 per cent.
  • The income from other sources can take the form of:
    • A grant from another public funding body
    • A grant from a trust or foundation.
    • Sponsorship or donations from a business
    • Your own or another private individual’s contributions.
    • Earned income, for instance sales of tickets, merchandise, refreshments or advertising.
    • In-kind support such as materials, equipment, work or rehearsal space, transport and professional time given free to the project (both artistic and administrative).

Arts Council England provides helpful guidance on recommended payment rates for artists.

While the Musicians’ Union provides similar advice for paying musicians.

The organisation A-N promotes good practice in working with visual artists, including the calculation of fees.

Declaration – Supporting Information

If you feel that your application will benefit from supporting information, such as visuals of your work that cannot be accessed on a website, you can provide this as a PDF, the equivalent of two sides of A4.

If you are the lead applicant and are not based in Kensington and Chelsea you are required to submit a letter of support from a local project partner. This should be no more than one side of A4

Application Process

Applications open:

  • Autumn Round: Wednesday 1 September 2021
  • Spring Round: Wednesday 16 March 2022

Closing dates for applications are:

  • Autumn Round: Friday 15 October 2021
  • Spring Round: Friday 29 April 2022

Decisions are typically communicated within 4-5 weeks of the deadline.

Application Assessment

The Arts Service is supported in assessing every application by an independent Arts Grants Advisory Panel, comprising local artists, arts organisations and residents.

All applications are assessed against the following criteria:

  • Demonstrating clear planning and organisation
  • Incorporating measures to monitor the progress of the project
  • Offering clear means of evaluating the success of the project
  • A viable budget, offering value for money
  • Offering clear benefits to the residents of Kensington and Chelsea.
If your application is successful
  • The Arts Service advises successful applicants by email, comprising: an offer letter confirming the level of funding awarded and whether there are conditions on this allocation; the terms and conditions of the grant scheme; and marketing guidelines for use of the Council’s logo.
  • Once we receive a signed copy of the offer letter confirming agreement to the award and the scheme terms and conditions, along with your constitution or organisation partner documentation, and finance documents we require we arrange BACS payment of the award.
  • As we are keen to support and promote your project from development to delivery, we ask you to provide us with a clear project timeline, and notify us of when your project is taking place.
  • The grant is paid in full in advance, but we require a completed project evaluation form, including final accounts, at the completion of the project.
  • Failure to return the evaluation form within eight weeks of the project completion date may result in ineligibility for future funding from the Arts Grants scheme.
  • Projects must be completed within 12 months of the offer letter.
  • It is a condition of funding that successful applicants comply with any statutory requirements relating to working with children and vulnerable adults, including valid DBS licenses.
Acknowledging the grant
  • Successful applicants are required to acknowledge the Arts Grant by using the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea logo on all project publicity materials, including printed and online media.
  • Successful applicants are also asked to connect with the Arts Service social media platforms and ensue cross posting of promotional media.
  • A copy of the logo, guidance on its use and Arts Service social media channels are forwarded as part of the confirmation of funding.
Repayment of a grant
  • Under certain circumstances, we may ask for a grant to be repaid, either whole or in part. These circumstances will vary but may include the following:
  • The applicant ceases to operate, is declared bankrupt, or placed into liquidation or receivership.
  • The applicant fails to use the grant for the purpose for which it was obtained, or fails to complete the project within 12 months of a grant being awarded.
  • The applicant fails to comply with the conditions of the grant.
  • The application form was completed fraudulently, incorrectly or misleadingly.
  • The applicant acts in a manner that is fraudulent or negligent at any time during the period of the grant.


Arts Grants Scheme Terms and Conditions


  • Your Arts Grant is to be used for the purpose it is awarded, as described in the offer letter.
  • The Arts Service ask to be kept up to date with information about the progress of your project, including set timelines with clear start and completion dates, or if the proposed outcome of the project is likely to change in any way.
  • If the grant is for equipment, you are required to produce a copy of an invoice or receipt at the completion of the project.
  • The grant will be paid in full upon receipt of your signed letter of acceptance, and the following documentation:
    • as an Organisation: a copy of your constitution or memorandum and articles of association
    • as an Individual: confirmation letter with bank details from an organisation that can receive the grant award on your behalf, as we cannot pay a grant into a personal bank account.
    • A redacted bank statement or card representative of the same bank account listed in your signed agreement.
  • You are required to complete an evaluation of the project within six weeks of the project completion date. Gathering participant stories and audience data from your project is a vital part of our programme and, failure to do so may mean that you are ineligible for future funding from the Arts Grants scheme.
  • All projects must be completed within twelve months of the offer letter. If you foresee that the project will not be completed within this period, please contact the Arts Service.
  • It is a condition of this grant that you comply with any statutory requirements relating to working with children and vulnerable adults and carry out the necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks before appointing staff to work with children under the age of 18 years and vulnerable adults.
  • The Arts Service recommends that any volunteers involved in your project are recruited and managed in accordance with guidance from the Kensington and Chelsea Volunteer Centre.
Covid-19 Considerations

It is a condition of this grant that due consideration is given to the risk posed to participants and audience members from Covid-19, so you are required to work in compliance with current Government guidance. Please liaise with the Special Events Team in advance of holding any activity in an outdoor public space, and the Film Office, if you are filming in any public space with a crew of five or more.

Grant repayment

The Council reserves the right to require that the grant is repaid, in part or in full, where:

  • you cease to operate, are declared bankrupt, or are placed into liquidation or receivership
  • you fail to use the grant for the purpose for which it was obtained, or fail to complete the project within 12 months of the grant award
  • you fail to comply with the conditions of the grant
  • you completed the application form fraudulently or negligently.
Acknowledging the grant

You are asked to acknowledge the grant by using the Council’s logo on promotional and publicity materials for your Project – the logo and guidelines on its use are available from the Arts Service – or in writing by using the phrase Support by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Arts Grants Scheme within any written information about your Project, including press articles and event programmes.

Promoting of your Project and the Arts Grant Scheme
  • The Arts Service is keen to promote your Project and recommends your engaging with the Arts Service social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter by following and tagging on Twitter @RBKCculture and on Facebook/RBKCCulture.
  • The Arts Service requires between three and five high quality images of your Project, along with the following confirmations:
    • photographer credit
    • confirmation of consent and permission of people featured in the images (see GDPR statement)
    • permission to allow the Council to make use of your project details for internal and external promotion (see GDPR statement)
  • If the Council wishes to use your Project as part of the Arts Grants Scheme’s promotion, the Arts Service will endeavour to inform you beforehand.
  • Please contact regarding all of the above
GDPR statement

See more information about how personal data is processed by the Council.

Invitations & Tickets
  • Where possible and appropriate, the Arts Grants Panel and Arts Service are keen to attend projects funded by the Scheme, so request invitation are shared with the Arts Service at least two weeks in advance of the project start date.

Contact the Arts Service

  • Email:
  • To keep up with funding opportunities, arts and culture news, and events in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea email us at: to be added to our mailing list.  

Spring 2021 Awards

A total of £30,000.00 was awarded to 11 projects in the Spring 2021 Arts Grants round, assessed and awards recommended by the newly formed Resident Assessment Panel. The total value of these projects is £150,888, which includes additional funding secured and in-kind support. 

The Gate Theatre: ‘Young Associates’ 

An annual programme of workshops, mentoring and theatre opportunities for 15 talented and enthusiastic young creatives aged between 17-23 years. It enables participants to develop a greater knowledge of the theatre industry and the different roles it offers, to learn skills essential to these roles; to understand how to pursue their professional interests and plan their next steps. Recruitment is targeted at people from non-traditional theatre backgrounds, prioritising those who are resident in the borough.

The Chelsea Theatre: ‘The World's End cabinet of Curiosities'

An exhibition of treasures, memories, and mementos from inside the Worlds End Estate, offering a window on the community within its walls. These exhibits will be provided by residents on the estate, curated as a Cabinet of Curiosities on display in the Chelsea Theatre and online.

Portobello Film Festival: ‘Portobello People's TV’ 

A year-round programme online and in-person under the Portobello People’s TV banner, screening news, views, movies, arts, local history on a dedicated YouTube channel regularly updated, and promoted by live shows with interviews, educational presentations, music and features from local established professionals and artists. The Muse Gallery will provide a venue for live shows and presentations open to the public.

Collective Culture Studio: ‘Infrastructure of Care – Re-Imagining the Westway’

A series of temporary graphic and urban art installations that will form a route along a part of the Westway, with content produced by the Studio and their students, using outdoor spaces hosted by the Westway Trust. The artwork will be a mix of illustrations and mapping in poster format and 1:1 urban intervention visualising ideas and facts about this urban space and explored through guided and interactive walking tours.

Rah Rah Community Theatre Company: ‘Rock Around the Clock’

A touring interactive show and accompanying activity pack for elderly audiences, ‘Rock Around the Clock’ is a musical comedy and love story, set in the 50’s containing all the popular tunes of that time. This will take place at The Edward Woods Centre, Kensington Day Centre, Kensington Nursing Home and Royal Hospital Chelsea.

A Million Freds Productions Ltd: ‘The Sugar House’

UK premiere of award-winning Australian play ‘The Sugar House’, about three generations of working-class women, at the Finborough Theatre, 26 October to 20 November. Alongside the production, a two-strand community arts programme will offer 1) young people five weekly workshops exploring how to create their own performance piece, and 2) older women over 10 sessions will work with a leading female writer to explore storytelling.

The Playground Theatre: ‘Freshly Made’ 

‘Freshly Made’ is the main season of new theatre that will be developed in the theatre’s incubator space, alongside a new writing project with mental health users at St Charles Hospital. With performances to audiences over the first week of August 2021 as part of the Kensington and Chelsea Festival, the first piece is ‘The Crocodile of Old Kang Pow’ by Darren Berry, fusing classical music with reggae, gospel, and Cajun jazz. The second piece is the first play by actor Harry Butler, and charts the twisting relationship between two young people who meet via an internet dating site.

Portobello LIVE CIC: ‘Community Choir’ 

To expand the free, community led choirs, music, and performance programmes as things open after Lockdowns, including performances in residential and care homes, community venues and events.

Age UK K&C: ‘Ready to take part’ 

A weekly Musical Theatre Programme open to both men and women that offers an opportunity to take part in all aspects of musical theatre, building on their successful workshop series run during Lockdowns, supporting those who have been particularly isolated and vulnerable, and providing valuable social connections.

Open Art Spaces: ‘Open Art Spaces’ 

From 7 to 10 October, artists in the area will be invited to open up their studio spaces, to exhibition and sell their artwork and to offer workshops for the community to enjoy art and connect with their creativity, with spaces connecting through umbrella marketing and a map. Open Art Spaces ran from 2012-2016, working with sponsors and partners in the local area. 

Family Art Therapy: ‘Our Power Hub’ 

An intergenerational project to build painting skills - from colour choice through to blending techniques - allowing a creative outlet and safe and calming space for participants to share the motivations behind their artworks.

Last updated: 29 September 2021