WOMAD Foundation Training and Professional Development Bursaries for Artists and Festival Production Crew

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts and entertainment industry has been devastating. Thousands of self-employed people lost a year’s work almost overnight. At WOMAD many of our crew have worked with us for decades, many of our artists scrape a living touring the world for minimum return.

It is difficult to know what WOMAD can do to help the people we rely on in these difficult times when the festival itself faces enormous challenges and has already lost four festivals around the world, including the UK, since the pandemic was declared.

We know how skilled our teams are, how transferable many of their skills are to other industries and environments. We thought that one thing we could do to help was create a fund to support our community in gaining training to increase their chances of employment at a time when it is opportunities to show their considerable talents that they desperately need.

Please see below some examples of what you could apply for support for including – Training in associated skills including but not exclusive to:
• IT
• Autocad
• Plant Licence
• Marketing
• Electrical training
• Becoming a trainer/teacher
• HGV Licence
• Achieving a personal licence
• Audience Development
• Rigging
• Safety (NCRQ)
• Excel
• Bookkeeping
• Trailer towing
• Attending an industry conference
• Cultural sector training
• Support for a work experience/internship opportunity


For successful applicants, the WOMAD Foundation can fund up to 90% of the costs of training course fees, travel and accommodation costs related to attending training, and other costs related to professional development.

Bursary funds are limited and unfortunately, we will not be able to support every application. Bursaries of up to £2,000 are available (inclusive of VAT). Organisations can only receive a maximum of £2,000. Applications are limited to one bursary per person or organisation.

Deadline for bursary applications is 1st December at 5pm

WOMAD Foundation Project Application

  • Grant applications will be considered four times a year and should be submitted by the first day of March, June, September and December.
  • At the moment we are only considering applications based in the UK
  • To be considered for a grant, applications must be applied for on the agreed form
  • We provide grants up to £2500 and up to £5000 in exceptional circumstances.
  • Grants will be considered by the trustees and their decision is final. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by the end of March, June, September and December by the Secretary.
  • Please be brief and specific. We appreciate clear and simple language.
  • The Foundation does not usually fund projects that involve:
    • Festivals
    • Tours
    • Purchase of equipment as the main element of the application
    • Bursaries for travel/attendance at conferences

The WOMAD Foundation Application Process

Applications should be sent in full in one email to by 12pm on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September or 1 December. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged. The result of all applications will be considered in the month following the deadline. The applications will fall into three groups, those we are unable to fund, those we are happy to fund on the basis of the application and those applications where we need further information before granting funds. Applicants will receive the result of their application at the end of that month. If more information is required, applicants will be notified separately.

In general, the level of funding awarded is under £3000 but can go up to £5000 in exceptional circumstances. The decision of the WOMAD Foundation trustees is final and no correspondence about the decision will be entered into. Successful applicants will be contacted with a draft agreement and a request for bank account details.

To receive the last 25% of your grant you need to email the WOMAD Foundation within a month of the completion of your project and answer the following in about 500 words each:

  1. Outline the ways in which the project has been successful.
  2. What was the greatest impact of the project? What makes you say that and why?
  3. If you were repeating this project what would you do differently? Why?

Please attach at least 10 photographs of the project or 6 photographs and a video that we have permission to use in publicity.

Once the above has been received the final part of your grant will then be sent to you within four weeks.