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Home > Funding > Funding for Music Creators > Next Steps > The Composers’ Fund > The Composers’ Fund Guidance and FAQs

The Composers’ Fund Guidance and FAQs

The Composers’ Fund Guidance and FAQs


  • Composers with a strong track record in their field who are at a point in their development where access to funding could help move forward their career.
  • Composers who are already making a significant cultural contribution in the UK and have the potential for greater impact in the UK and overseas.
  • Composers writing primarily for live performance.
  • Composers must be based in the UK and must be members of PRS for Music* or in a position to join.
  • Composers who have tangible potential to reach significant acclaim / high profile in contemporary music**

*Please note composers who are members of another performing rights society e.g. ASCAP, SACEM are not eligible.

**If you are a songwriter or producer and interested in applying for similar opportunities please look at the Writer Producer fund here


When assessing applications to this fund, we will be considering the impact of the proposed activity on the development of the composer’s music and profile, and the track record and quality of the applicant composer.

  • Applicants should focus on demonstrating how the proposed funding will support the longer term development of their career and their music.
  • In every case, decision panels will consider the potential of the activity proposed in making a significant impact on the composer in question.
  • The long term prospects of the composer will be considered along with the determination and passion the composer can demonstrate for this next step in their career.

The Composers’ Fund is aimed at established composers who can already demonstrate their impact in their field in either the UK or overseas. If you are a composer who is not at this level we would recommend you apply to our Open funding schemes or our Composer Bursary scheme.

NOTE: The Composers’ Fund is not for early stage composers; consistency of critical acclaim and a demonstrable performance track record will be considered in the assessment of each proposal.


Composers can apply at any deadline for the Composers’ Fund as long as they are not already a recipient of the fund. This means if you have been unsuccessful at a previous deadline you are eligible to apply again (although it may be worth seeking guidance from PRS Foundation to check whether you are at the right level to apply).

This fund is in the first instance a three year pilot scheme, if you are successfully funded at any point during this time you cannot apply for the fund again within the three year pilot (2016 – 2018).

You can apply for the fund if you are currently involved in no more than one other of our funding schemes including Beyond Borders, The Open Fund for Organisations, The Open Fund for Music Creators and Women Make Music.

If you have received funding from the Composers’ Fund you cannot apply directly to The Open Fund for Music Creators or Women Make Music until twelve months after the activity for which you applied has been completed.

Whilst a recipient of the Composers’ Fund, you are able to be named by an organisation as main music creator for The Open Fund or Beyond Borders, so long as the project does not link to Composers’ Fund activity.

Composers currently being commissioned to write a piece for the New Music Biennial in 2019 cannot apply to the Composers’ Fund until this project is complete.

Applications must be made by the composer and all grants awarded via this fund will be paid directly to the composer.


Our Open Funding for Music Creators and Women Make Music schemes are normally used for one-off short term activities such as touring, recording or creation of new works and are available to composers at any stage in their career. Up to £5000 is available via these schemes. The Composers’ Fund is targeted at composers with an existing profile looking for funding to make a career step change.

The Composer Bursaries are a joint funding opportunity for early stage composers who can apply for up to £750 for professional development, including travel to attend performances of their work, non-academic study and equipment purchase up to £500. The Composers’ Fund is targeted at more established composers.

Our New Music Biennial and Beyond Borders programmes are mainly targeted at organisations who are commissioning composers or touring existing repertoire. The Composer’s Fund is for composers only and is not open to commissioning or touring organisations. Activity supported by the Composers’ Fund is determined by the composer. While it is possible this may include commissions or tours, the potential uses of the Fund are far wider.


Applicants will be able to apply for up to £10,000; the costs of the proposed activity music be clearly presented.


We envisage being able to fund between 10-15 composers per year, depending on project scope and available funds.


We will consider every application on a case-by-case basis. We are inviting composers to propose anything that would make a significant difference to their long term development. This for example might include the following areas or others:

  • Recording
  • Promotion/performance of existing works – to get existing pieces performed again/toured in UK and internationally
  • International co-commissions – assistance for composers to establish relationships with commissioning bodies overseas
  • International development – travel to build relationships or spend time overseas, working with festivals or ensembles
  • Performer collaboration – time to work more closely with performers
  • Residencies/sabbaticals – with clearly defined artistic end result(s)
  • Project or promotional support
  • Childcare costs
  • A combination of any of the above
  • Anything a composer can make a valid case for


  • Organisations seeking funding for commissions via a composer applying on their behalf
  • An investment where the composer has not made clear how there will potential for a step change in their profile


We advise you only to make a start on the application when (a) you are sure that you’re eligible for this fund; (b) you have a clear case for why the expenditure is so important; and (c) you have a clear rationale as to why the expenditure you want to make is crucial at this stage in your career.

Deadlines occur twice a year. The next deadline for The Composers’ Fund is November 5th 2018. We aim to communicate back to all applicants with a decision within twelve weeks. All of our funding decisions for the Composers’ Fund are made by an expert group panellists.

The next deadline is November 5th 2018 at 6pm.

Apply now

Please contact / for more information and any questions about the application form or process for applying.

PRS for Music Foundation gratefully acknowledges Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for supporting The Composers’ Fund.