Grants available for community art projects

20th January 2022

Artistic projects in parts of Cumbria are being encouraged to apply for funding to help rejuvenate the arts sector after lockdown.

The Westmorland Arts Trust, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, supports charitable projects that benefit residents in the former county of Westmorland, giving them access to the highest quality music, drama and the visual arts.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to offer creative and cultural activities for people, particularly young adults and children, in the former county of Westmorland.

Funding will cover the costs of organising events, including volunteer expenses, artist fees and marketing costs and promotion. The fund is open to voluntary and community organisations that have charitable aims and have professional input.

Last year, Lake District Summer Music received £1,000 to support its summer festival in venues across Cumbria including Kendal, Ambleside, Hawkshead, Grange-over-Sands, Bowness, Windermere and Kirkby Lonsdale.

Nick Hardisty, Festival Manager, said: “After so many months of enforced isolation, people really needed something to lift their spirits and help them reconnect with the community.

“To bring music back and see the smiling faces from our audience, it was clear how much it meant to everyone to experience live performances again. It was a year full of uncertainty and we could not have done it without the support of Westmorland Arts Trust.”

Previous grant recipients include Bendrigg Trust in Kendal, one of the few specialist outdoor centres in the UK working specifically with disabled and disadvantaged people. It received £1,628 to run its Arty Pants project and give disabled youngsters the chance to experience the arts, find hidden talents and develop creative skills.

The Westmorland Arts Trust was set up in 1996 by the provisions in the will of Dr Elizabeth Kemp, for the purpose of the education of the public in the arts of music, drama and the visual arts. In 2012, it was transferred to the Community Foundation.

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “Since 2012, almost £100,000 has benefited communities in the local area, supporting over 70 projects. These include festivals, music groups and arts activities, helping to strengthen cultural involvement and opportunities in the area.”

For more information or to apply click here or call Ellen Clements on 01900 820827 or email