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

Detailed below are 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. Guidance will be published for each opportunity when they open, alongside online information sessions and support will be available for access needs.  

The funding opportunities will be: 

  • Micro Commissions for D/deaf and disabled artists – Open now
  • Grants for Artists and Creatives in Bradford District – Opens in February 2024
  • Grants for Community-led Organisations  – Opens in spring 2024
  • Micro Grants for community and volunteer groups – Opens in Autumn 2024
     

Unlimited Micro Commissions for D/deaf and disabled artists 

Open now

We’ve partnered with Unlimited to offer 10, £1000 Micro Commissions for D/deaf and disabled artists from the District. This is a small amount of money and our expectations for what you will deliver reflect this – we want it to be an opportunity for you to have some time to think, imagine, explore and have conversations around a creative idea that you have that you might want to realise as part of 2025. 

 

Grants for Artists and Creatives in the Bradford District

Opens February 2024 

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

There will be two rounds of grants – in each round we expect to award up to 15 grants, each for up to £15,000. (Total of £300,000). 

Round 1 

  • Up to 15 grants awarded 
  • Individual grant awards – from £5,000 to £15,000 
  • Applications will open in February 2024 with the deadline in March. 
  • We will let you know if you have been successful in April 2024 
  • This round will be primarily for projects where the final output will happen in the first half of 2025 (January to July – roughly) 

Round 2 

  • Up to 15 grants awarded 
  • Applications will open in August 2024 with the deadline in September.
  • We will let you know if you have been successful in October 2024 
  • For this round we will be looking at events to happen in the second part of 2025 (August to December) – however in this round we may also encourage applications from artforms, identities and geographical areas that were less well represented in the first round of applications 

 

What we’ll be looking for
First-and-foremost the work must be designed to reach people and audiences in the 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 work-in-progress) that will be experienced by audiences, the general public or a wider group of people e.g. exhibition, screening, performance, reading, listening event, installation.  

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 a grant
If you are awarded a grant there will be a range of advice and guidance available from Bradford 2025 team around things like 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 

Opens in spring 2024  

We’re really pleased to be working with GiveBradford who distribute vital grants and give trusted advice to Community Organisations across the District to influence positive change. 

GiveBradford will be 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 the 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 
  • Allowing local people to define what culture means to them through a range of creative activities, (e.g., activity 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 activity. The young participants then choose to write, produce, and perform in short films that reflect their experience of diversity in Bradford 

 

There will be 1 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 (e.g. 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 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 
  • April 2024 – applications close 
  • July 2024 – decisions will be shared with applicants 

Sign up here to receive information from GiveBradford, to be notified when tickets for the briefing event are available, and when the programme opens for applications. 

 

Micro Grants for community and volunteer groups 

Opens in Autumn 2024 

Some community, volunteer and social groups might not be eligible for the GiveBradford grants, or might just need a small amount of money to make their activity happen – like 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 x £250-£500 Micro Grants.   
  • There will be one round, with a very simple application process and quick turnaround time. This will open in autumn 2024 – and the event or activity can happen anytime in 2025. 
A woman stands with her arms folded, she is wearing a bucket hat and sunglasses. Behind her, a man is doing a breakdancing move with one-handed handstand.

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 happening on everyone’s doorstep. We are committed to ensuring the Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture is district-wide in both vision and delivery.

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

Project specific development commissions
Separate to the grants listed above, there are a number of artists and companies who we have been talking to 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 programme towards the end of next year.    

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 programme@bradford2025.co.uk and we’ll do our best to signpost you to other existing grant schemes. 

A City of Culture for everyone 
UK City of Culture 2025 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 are 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 grant 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 to register 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. 

Download the grants summary

Images: The Mills are Alive by The Brick Box. Photo by Tim Smith; Photo by Karol Wyszynski.