APPLICATION NOW OPEN- Manchester Cultural Sector Hardship Fund for freelancers

Manchester City Council, with industry partners HOME, have annouced a £500,000 hardship fund for freelancers working in Manchester, made possible by a generous gift from the Savannah Wisdom Foundation.

The fund is part of ongoing efforts to support the freelance population of Manchester’s vibrant arts and culture sector, and to prevent the loss of a generation of talented artists and creative practitioners.

The Savannah Wisdom Foundation has created a discretionary fund to support freelancers working in the creative and cultural sectors who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The charity is making up to £500,000 available in grants of £1,500 to individual freelancers.


Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis, so they recommend preparing all documentation and applying as early as you can.

A fixed single grant amount of £1,500 is available per individual.

Grants will be awarded up to the point when the total amount available for scheme has been allocated.

Applications will be processed on a first come first served basis and in order of receipt from the date of launch up to the point that the fund amount is fully allocated.



The fund is designed to assist those whose freelance work has been lost or disrupted because of COVID-19 and who are experiencing hardship because of:

  • Reduced demand for, or capacity to deliver, their services
  • The part of the sector they work in is temporarily unable to trade (due to local/national lockdown measures, social distancing requirements or loss of trade)
  • The fund is specifically aimed towards those who were ineligible for, or have been unsuccessful in applying for the Government Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
The fund is available to freelancers within the arts, cultural and creative industries in Manchester (including: music, theatre, dance, combined arts, visual arts, museums, literature, creative industries, heritage culture and heritage, and whose work has direct creative/cultural outcomes) who are able to demonstrate the following:

  • Freelance work has been lost or disrupted because of COVID-19
  • Current monthly income (before tax) of less than £1,400, or £1,900 for those with dependants
  • At least 50% working time was spent, or 50% income was derived, from freelance employment in the arts, cultural and creative industries sector in the period April 2019 to March 2020*
  • Resident of, or business based in, Manchester**


* New entrants to freelance work in the sector are also eligible if you can provide details of 8 weeks(5 weeks for disabled applicants) of relevant freelance work during the period January 2019 to March 2020 

**You may still be eligible if you live in Greater Manchester but can evidence your freelance work is primarily in Manchester


Contact Details

email or call 0161 523 0444 Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.

Published on:
1 Feb 2021


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