These are the answers to some of the most common queries.

 If you would like more information please go to Contact Us for our email or phone details. 

Application dates for 2024:

  • Apply by Tuesday 13 February 2024 at midday to receive a decision by the early June 2024

The Arts funding programme can support programmes that work with professionals at an early stage in their career. We tend to see applications where the beneficiaries are in their 20s, but we recognise that adults can be in an early stage of career development across age brackets. 

We only fund UK registered charities that have made at least two years' worth of annual submissions to the Charity Commission, and some Excepted and Exempt charities (some museums, galleries and places of worship). Please see our Funding Guidelines for further information. We do not fund social enterprises or Community Interest Companies, unless they are also registered charities.

Idlewild Trust has limited funds to distribute.  In 2022 we granted £174,000 (£108,000 in 2021) and operates a relatively small grants programme. The Trust was regularly turning down 84% of its applications for a wide range of projects within the performing, visual and applied arts and conservation and preservation. In 2015 the Trustees and Director reviewed the Trust’s grant-giving and talked to organisations about funding needs. We decided to adopt what we feel is ‘best practice’ for a funder of our size and focus our grant giving on specific areas: Arts: Nurturing Early Stage Professionals and Conservation: Works of Art and Objects. Success rate has slightly improved - to 22% in November 2023.


If your project is reliant on a major funder (for example the National Lottery Heritage Fund), it is unlikely that we would fund the project without that funding in place. This is because Idlewild Trust is a small funder and, with large projects and without other funding in place, we feel there is risk of the project not going ahead. However, we regularly fund larger projects that have a major funder already in place.

If you were unsuccessful, you can re-apply at any time, including for the next round.

No. We ask that there is a gap of at least 24 months between grants’ decisions. If you received an award in November 2023, you would not be able to re-apply until our summer deadline for a November 2025 decision. You can find our current deadlines on Apply for a Grant.

We prefer to fund projects that have not started, but also understand that there are some projects within both our Arts and Conservation programmes that run for a year or more. We occasionally consider funding these projects after they’ve started.  However, in both cases, we would need to understand the need for funding and the difference our grant would make.

We fund either the total costs or make a contribution towards a larger funding target.

No. Since February 2016 we no longer award grants to repair work to the fabric of buildings. As a trust with limited resources, we are focusing either on Arts: Nurturing Early Stage Professionals or Conservation: Objects and Works of Art.

Idlewild Trust cannot support projects for children under the age of 18.  It will consider applications that nurture emerging professionals within the arts aged 18 and over, but not within secondary schools, sixth form colleges, Further Education Colleges, universities or conservatoires. Please see our Funding Guidelines

No. We do not fund capital projects including extensions and new facilities. As a trust with limited resources, we focus either on Arts: Nurturing Early Stage Professionals or Conservation: Objects and Works of Art.

No. Since February 2016, we no longer support the conservation or repair of organs or church bells. As a trust with limited resources, we focus our funds for conservation on Objects or Works of Art. Please see our Funding Guidelines.

No. Since February 2016, we no longer support exhibitions, concerts, performances, festivals and touring programmes. Within the arts we now focus Arts: Nurturing Early Stage Professional and this might include, for example, a concert series for emerging professional musicians. Please see our Funding Guidelines.

Idlewild Trust supports projects for people that have sufficient core training or experience to be ready to start a career, or develop their early career. Not all projects we support are for people that have been formally trained at, for example, dance, art or drama school or music college; however, we then expect people’s experience to be highly relevant and valuable.  

Idlewild Trust only awards grants to UK registered charities and does not award grants direct to individuals. Within our Arts Programme, we do not fund projects that benefit just one person, considering only those that work with more than one.

No. We only fund projects either for artists (singers, musicians, artists, actors, dancers) or those involved creatively (composers, curators, writers, theatre-makers).

Our deadlines and decision dates are on our website under Apply for a Grant. When you apply through our online system, you will receive an automatic email that will confirm your application has been received. You will receive an email about whether or not your application has been successful, as far as possible, within 7 days of the decision.

We will consider your application if you are registered with the Scottish Charity Regulator (www.oscr.org.uk/) or if you are either registered or ‘deemed’ with the Charity Commission Northern Ireland NI (www.charitycommissionni.org.uk/manage-your-charity/register-your-charity/the-deemed-list)

No. Even if the education institution is a UK Registered Charity, we no longer fund higher, secondary or primary institutions including universities, schools, colleges and conservatoires, whether state or privately funded.  We know how valuable programmes run by these institutions are, but as we are a smaller funder they are not a priority for our support.

No. We only award Arts Grants to charities that are working solely in the arts sector such as theatres, arts centres, galleries and orchestras.