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Sponsorship from business is not about receiving charitable donations from large organisations. The processes involved in procuring sponsorship can be lengthy and once it has been granted will involve close liaison with the sponsor throughout the project’s lifetime. In return for their funding, the sponsor receives some rights of association which may be used for commercial purposes. The major organisation who may be able to help you pursue business sponsorship is "Arts & Business":

What is Arts & Business?

A nationwide charitable organisation which aims to develop relationships between business and the arts. It is funded through Arts Council England as well a through income generated from business membership, training and publication sales and sponsorship. The organisation can help individual artists by giving practical business advice and training, as well as advising artists how to build commercial partnerships.

Other useful services include:

  • Skills Bank – free business advisors to arts organisations
  • Board Bank – a list of potential board members from the business field
  • Arts@Work – range of projects, including commissions/performances, in the workplace, voluntary work by staff and arts-based training programmes
  • Information Unit – disseminates research, information and data on the arts and business market within the UK and beyond
  • Development Forum  – a group of arts development professionals and managers from UK arts organisations, providing opportunities for debate and networking. The cost of annual membership ranges between £50 and £70 plus VAT.
  • Mentoring Programme – one-to-one management development support for arts managers

What is Available

Arts & Business organise a New Partner scheme which promotes the development of new, sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts. Payment from the business partner can be financial or in-kind, but in all cases the two partners must show how a cash investment from Arts & Business will develop their relationship.

Who Can Apply

Both arts organisations (including local, amateur, charity or not-for-profit companies) and arts individuals are eligible for Arts & Business awards, as long as they have arts at the core of their work. If you’re applying for this scheme, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be able to demonstrate the sustainability of the relationship between the two partners
  • Be able to demonstrate a clear benefit to the business
  • Be able to demonstrate effective plans for evaluation and follow-up
  • Be able to demonstrate clear commitment to the business by creating new and developing existing arts activity
  • Be able to demonstrate value for money
  • Be able to demonstrate that the partnership will be effectively managed and delivered

Priority is given to applicants who are involved in two or more ‘new’ arts-based activities. Arts & Business defines ‘new’ arts as:

  • An arts activity that the business partner is undertaking for the first time
  • Extension of an arts activity to include the whole company
  • A business that has previously sponsored the arts adding another arts-based activity to its work

How to Apply & Contact Details

Applications can be made as often as you wish. The process involves several stages, outlined below:

Stage 1: You need to complete a project proposal form. If this is successful your application goes forward to be developed at Stage 2.

Stage 2: An Arts & Business Manager will advise on what is required, but this may include Memorandum and Articles of Association from the arts partner and Annual Report and accounts from the business partner.

Restrictions: A business must invest a minimum of £1000 (excluding VAT) in a project. Arts & Business will invest any amount between £500 and £50,000 but will not normally invest more than the business partner. No single arts organisation may receive more than £50,000 from Arts & Business in any one financial year.

Contact Details


Arts & Business South-West:
61 Park Street
Tel: 0117 929 0522
Fax: 0117 929 1756

Head Office:
Nutmeg House
60 Gainsford Street
Butler’s Wharf
Tel: 020 7378 8143
Fax: 020 7407 7527

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