New funding opportunities for architects and designers

Thursday 20 February 2014



The British Council and Arts Council England are pleased to announce that funding from the Artists’ International Development Fund will be open to applications from designers, architects and those working in fashion design for the next and future rounds. From February 2014 architects and designers will be eligible to apply for developmental grants, which are between £1,000 to £5,000, to travel, explore and collaborate internationally while carrying out professional projects.

The Artists' international development fund is a joint programme between Arts Council England and the British Council. It is primarily designed to assist young artists in developing their international careers, supporting individual artists based in England to travel, explore and collaborate internationally, developing markets and audiences overseas for their work. Since its inception, the British Council and Arts Council England have made 128 awards totalling nearly £500,000 enabling artists working in theatre, dance, music and the visual arts to travel the world from Australia to Zimbabwe, developing their experience and creating new networks.

The fund is intended to act as a springboard for artists across all disciplines to promote themselves on the international scene. The aim is to produce a cadre of artists and creative practitioners in the UK and around the world who have experienced the benefits of international working between the UK and other countries and are advocates for it. The fund is not just a way to broaden the horizons of artists; it is also about giving audiences the chance to experience the best art from around the world. 

The fund is open to creative producers, curators, editors and artists, as well as architects, fashion designers and designers. Although the programme is aimed at individual artists, small groups of artists who normally collaborate in their work can also apply; including musicians and visual artists who usually create work together, or writers and their translators.

Vicky Richardson, British Council Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion said: "This is the first time a travel grant scheme of this sort has been offered to architects, designers, curators and editors. We're anticipating a lot of interest, and we'll be looking forward to seeing the new work and international collaborations that result from it.”

Nick McDowell, Director of International and London, Arts Council England said: “The Arts Council’s mission is great art and culture for everyone. Our joint programme with the British Council makes a real contribution to this mission, enabling artists from across all disciplines – as well as curators and producers - to collaborate internationally. The Artists’ International Development Fund plays a significant role in realising our refreshed approach to international work and deepening our partnership with the British Council. By making the scheme available to more art forms, the programme can benefit an even wider spectrum of the creativity.”

For the next round (7), the deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 9 May 2013. Activities must start after Friday 27 June 2014 and end before 31 March 2015. 

For more information, and to apply, visit

Notes to Editor

The British Council’s Architecture, Design, Fashion (ADF) department creates links between designers and cultural institutions around the world, through a diverse range of projects across the three disciplines. We form part of the British Council Arts Group, which works across 109 countries to build trust and opportunity for the UK through the exchange of knowledge, experi-ence and ideas worldwide. For more information visit

For information about the British Council contact: 

Mary Doherty, Arts Press Officer, +44 (0) 207 389 3144 

For more information about Arts Council England contact: 

Claire Coveney, Media Relations Officer, 0207 973 5133 

Duty Press Officer, 07595 091334

Artists’ International Development Fund 

The Artists' international development programme is a £750,000 fund. The British Council and Arts Council England each provide half of the funding. Arts Council England manage the programme and decisions on who receives funding are made by a panel comprising staff from both organisations. 

Recent rounds: the successful applicants in Round 6 will be announced on 14 March 2014. 

In Round 5, successful applicants covered a wider range of art forms and countries than before with countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and South Africa represented.

Other countries represented include Brazil, Columbia, Sweden, USA, Russia, Slovakia, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Denmark, Australia, Norway, Tanzania, Belgium, Burma and Bangladesh.

There were eligible 76 entries, of which nearly half (46%) were successful. The amount of funding available was increased significantly for this round compared to the previous. 

They include a project linking carnival in the UK and Rio in the run up to the 2016 Olympics, a giant scroll bridging an artist’s shared heritage of Burma and Bangladesh and an exploration of fashion trends as they reflect social and political history in Slovakia, amongst many others. 

The next round (Round 7) opens for applications on 24 February. The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 9 May 2013, and activities must start after Friday 27 June 2014 and end before 31 March 2015. 


The programme is open to artists working in the following artforms: 

Combined Arts






- who have received recognition for their work in England

- who do not have extensive international experience  in their Artists’ international development application proposed activity

- whose work will benefit from launching better international networks - either artistically or in terms of developing an audience for their work

- who can demonstrate an interest in their work from an overseas partner/host

Resources do not cover residencies for larger groups such as whole theatre or dance groups, or curatorial work based from a gallery or museum involving researching and setting up an exhibition. The programme can cover the targeted exchange of key creative people to develop new concepts or relationships. 

Exchange projects are welcomed. However, international activity, outside the UK, should comprise at least 50% of your project activity and expenditure.

Funding for film makers 

In parallel with the Artists' international development fund, the British Council are administering a separate fund for film makers designed to help emerging UK film talent travel with their work and reach new international audiences. The Travel Grant Fund will support makers of short films in the UK in showing their work at international film festivals.

See for more information

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes. We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose. For more information, please visit

About Arts Council England 

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. Between 2010 and 2015, it will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.