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10 photography grants & funding opportunities for UK applicants

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Written by Becky T

Published Nov 30, 2023

Trying to make a name for yourself as a photographer can involve a lot of stress and unpredictability. Unfortunately, more and more so, careers in the arts are reserved for those who have financial support and safety nets to fall back on. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of UK artists with working class backgrounds has more than halved since the 1970s, to less than 8%. Forming part of a larger movement that wants artistic careers to become more accessible and highly-respected, many organisations and charities are doing their bit by providing grants and funding opportunities to artists in need. So, to help you understand the best opportunities out there, we've put together a list of 10 photography grants and funding opportunities for UK applicants.

Contents:

  1. Gomma Photography Grant
  2. Ampersand/Photoworks Fellowship
  3. Grand Plan Fund
  4. TPF Photography Grant
  5. RPS Women in Photography Bursary
  6. The Hopper Prize
  7. Black Artists Grant
  8. Developing Your Creative Practice Grant
  9. The White Pube Creatives Grant 
  10. The Ian Parry Photojournalism Grant

1. Gomma Photography Grant

Photograph by Andrea Graziosi showing 6 tribespeople in fur coats and white masks, holding chains
Animas by Andrea Graziosi - Third place in the Gamma Grant 2022 competition

Entering its 11th edition in 2024, the Gomma Grant is a photography contest "awarding unconventional and daring works of artists". For a small entry fee, photographers submit their work to be judged by a panel or jurors, which usually includes renowned figures in the arts industries, including gallery owners, creative directors, professors and established photographers and artists.

Submissions open: September 2024 (TBC)

Final deadline: November 2024 (TBC)

Decision announced: February 2025 (TBC)

Grant: 1st place: €1000; 2nd place: €300; 3rd place: €200

Entry fee: €35.00

2. Ampersand/Photoworks Fellowship

Black and white photograph by Johnny Pitts showing people travelling on an underground train
From the Afropean series by Johnny Pitts, inaugural recipient of the Ampersand/Photoworks Fellowship 21/22

Open to mid-career photographers (generally more than 10 years of experience), the Ampersand/Photoworks Fellowship aims to provide an opportunity for these photographers to produce and exhibit an entirely new body of work, recognising that there are few open access opportunities for mid-career photographers in the UK. If you're unsure as to whether the fellowship is right for you, you can take this quiz to find out.

Submissions open: End of April 2024 (TBC)

Final deadline: End of May 2024 (TBC)

Decision announced: August 2024 (TBC)

Grant: £15,000 plus production budget, mentoring & support

Entry fee: Free

3. Grand Plan Fund

image showing logo for Grand Plan

Grand Plan is a UK charity which provides £1,000 grants each year to 20 people of colour who want to bring a new creative project to life. The fund is not exclusive to photographers, and other supportable ventures include poetry, fashion, music, painting, and events. To apply, applicants must be over 18 and based in the UK, as well as identifying either as part of the "Global Majority" or Black, Asian, or Brown. The fund can be used for whatever you need for your creative project, but it can't be used to part-fund projects that cost significantly more than £1,000. If you need more information on the grant and how to apply, check out the application guideline here.

Submission windows: Rounds run every few months. The next three rounds run between:

  • Early January - Mid February 2024
  • Early April - Mid May 2024
  • Early July - Mid August 2024

Grant amount: £1,000

Entry fee: Free

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4. TPF Photography Grant

Image showing a woman sat on a bed with the text 'The Photography Foundation Social Documentary Grant'
Image by The Photography Foundation & LIMI London

The TPF Photography grant is a partnership between the Photography Foundation and LIMI London, where £2,500 is provided to support the production of a social documentary photo essay with a focus on UK social issues. The grant money can be put towards anything you need it for during production, including living expenses, and is open to photographers from any age range, background, and experience level.

Submissions open: Now

Final deadline: 31 December 2023

Decision announced: TBC

Grant amount: £2,500

Entry fee: Free

5. The Royal Photographic Society: Various bursaries

Photograph by Chi Chi Cheng of a shrimp in a tank with blue neon lighting
Image by Chi Chi Cheng, shortlisted for the RPS Postgraduate Bursary 2023

The Royal Photographic Society run a number of bursaries and funding opportunities throughout the year, available to UK residents. For example, the TPA/RPS Environmental Bursary offers £3000 to "support a photographic project that will promote environmental awareness", whilst the RPS Postgraduate Bursary offers £3,500 in support of a postgraduate student. 

Submission windows: Various dates. Check specific bursaries for details.

Grant: Various awards, usually around £3,000

Entry fee: Check specific bursaries for details.

6. The Hopper Prize

Photograph by Ville Kansanen showing a post-like structure in a desert with pale pastel colours
From the Numen series by Ville Kansanen, recipient of the Spring 2023 Hopper Prize

The Hopper Prize provides grants of either $1,000 or $3,500 to visual artists across the globe. 6 grants are awarded on a bi-annual basis, totalling $22,000 every year. Artists working in all types of visual media are welcome to apply, and will be judged based on "artistic excellence and the promise of future potential".

Submissions windows: There are two rounds each year:

  • Spring 2024
  • Fall/Autumn 2024

Grant: 2 artists: $3,500, 4 artists: $1,000

Entry fee: $40 for 10 artworks/images

7. Black Artists Grant

image showing a man putting up artwork with a t-shirt that reads: "Buy art from living artists. The dead ones don't need the money"
Image by Creative Debuts

Offered by Creative Debuts, the Black Artists Grant (BAG) aims to support black UK creatives in their artistic pursuits and practices through a no-strings-attached financial grant that they are encouraged to spend on whatever they need, from equipment to travel, exhibition tickets to general life expenses. This grant forms part of Creative Debuts' wider mission to democratise the art world and provide artist support and encouragement to under-supported and marginalised groups.

Submission windows: No submission deadlines - monthly rolling grant.

Grant: £500 

Entry fee: Free

8. Developing Your Creative Practice Grant

Image showing The Arts Council England logo

Currently running its 19th round, the Developing Your Creative Practice Grant is a creative grant by the Arts Council England, which is available to "individual creative or cultural practitioners". It aims to support artists in their creative or cultural development and help them move forward to the next stage of their creative practice.

If you're unsure as to whether this is the right opportunity for you, you can take this short quiz to check whether you're in the right position to apply.

Submissions open: Now

Final deadline: 14 December 2023

Decision announced: 12 March 2024

Grant: £2000 - £12,000 

Entry fee: Free

9. The White Pube Creatives Grant 

Image showing logo for Creative Debuts - The White Cube Creatives Grant

The White Pube Creatives Grant is a funding opportunity offered by Creative Debuts, which provides a one-off £500 grant to a working class creative in the UK every month. The grant is intended to support those who are in the early stages of their career, but there is no age limit for applicants. The grant used to be exclusively for writers, but was opened up to creatives of any discipline in light of the cost of living crisis in the UK. There is no formal application process - you simply email funding@thewhitepube.com introducing yourself and your work, and you'll be considered for the grant.

Submissions open: 12pm (midday), 16 November 2023

Submissions close: 12pm (midday), 14 December 2023

Decision announced: 12 March 2024

Grant: £500

Entry fee: Free

10. The Ian Parry Photojournalism Grant

Photo by Petra Basnakova showing a donkey sleeping beside an old red car
Image by Petra Basnakova, winner of the 2022 Canon Award for Potential

Open to applicants across the world, The Ian Parry Photojournalism Grant is a financial grant awarded to a photographer, 24 and under or enrolled in a full-time photographic course. The recipient will be awarded £10,000 towards their photojournalism project, as well as guidance, mentorship and their own exhibition. The judges are looking for a project that addresses an important issue related to the human condition.

The grant was created in honour of Ian Parry, a photojournalist who died aged 24 whilst documenting the Romanian Revolution of 1989 for The Sunday Times.

Submissions open: May 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: August 2024 (TBC)

Decision announced: October 2024 (TBC)

Grant: £10,000 

Entry fee: Free

Wrapping up

So there you have it - 10 photography grants and funding opportunities available to UK creatives. If you're working as a photographer (or in many cases, any other kind of visual artist), then these opportunities could provide you with the financial support you need to get a certain project off the ground, in turn helping you to get your name out there and build your credibility as an artist.

You can also look at these photography competitions and awards coming up across 2024, many of which include pretty substantial cash prizes.

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