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Home > Latest coronavirus advice to PRS Foundation grantees and applicants

Latest coronavirus advice for PRS Foundation grantees and applicants

Last updated 27 May

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means the UK music sector faces unprecedented challenges. During uncertain times, support from PRS Foundation and like-minded partners is more important than ever.

We remain an open, inclusive, accessible and responsive funder of new music and talent development, committed to supporting exciting, diverse talent and pioneering organisations across the UK so that music creators can realise their potential and reach audiences across the world.

This up-to-date guidance is designed to support PRS Foundation grantees who will be concerned about the potential impact the pandemic will have on their funded activities, for recent applicants unsure of how this might affect decisions and the grant-making process, and for potential applicants. 

We are involved in two of the relief funds outlined below, have applied increased flexibility to funding guidelines so that we can continue to meet the changing needs of music creators and organisations and we are delivering our progammes with no significant delays to deadlines or the decision-making process wherever possible.

We advise our grantees and applicants to prepare for multiple scenarios based on the advice below. For example, consider the impacts of travel bans, cancellations, postponement and/or illness, and act in the best interests of music creators and other stakeholders.

It is important that you familiarise yourself with the latest information available about coronavirus (COVID-19) so that you can make informed decisions. Alongside my great team, I am consulting with funding partners so that we can continue to offer clarity for grantees of all PRS Foundation funding schemes.

Stay safe and stay creative!

Joe Frankland
CEO, PRS Foundation

Useful Links and Updates
For grantees whose projects take place overseas
For grantees whose projects take place in the UK
Will a portion of my grant be reclaimed?
How to contact PRS Foundation
How does this impact recent or potential applicants?

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Useful Links and Updates: – a central source of support and advice for all musicians
UK Music: COVID-19 Statement and Resources
Musicians’ Union: Advice for Musicians in Relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The FAC Directory
ISM Coronavirus Advice Hub
UK Government Response and Menu
FCO Travel Advice
World Health Organization: Q&A on Corona virus
PRS for Music Emergency Relief Fund
Spotify COVID-19 Relief Fund
Music Support + Thrive Mental Health App for the Music Community

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For grantees whose projects take place overseas

We have produced separate guidance for PRS Foundation grantees whose funded activities take place overseas, including official announcements from relevant international showcase event organisers. Please click here and follow our up-to-date advice, including links to Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) updates.

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For grantees whose projects take place in the UK

In many cases your activities will go ahead as planned and there is no reason to liaise with our team.

However, we expect a large number of grantee projects to be impacted.

For the foreseeable future, funded activities may be affected by international travel bans and, in some cases, organisers may decide to cancel or postpone activities based on stakeholder concerns, audience demand and other variables. We advise grantees heed the advice of authorities and update us with significant project changes as per below.

It important that PRS Foundation’s team can prioritise those with urgent concerns and time sensitive enquiries relating to coronavirus. We therefore insist that you read this page in full and check the terms and conditions in your grant offer letter before you get in touch.

We will make decisions on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with funding partners, and with the best interests of the music creators in mind.


Likely Scenarios

a) If you are an Organisation or Music Creator grantee responsible for events, gatherings, a performance or other activity which has or might be impacted:

i) Cancellation
If you cancel an event or activity based on the advice of the authorities or the best interests of stakeholders, please contact the team (see below) to inform us of the impacts and suggested alternative plans if that activity represents more than 10% of your budget allocation^.

ii) Postponement
If the postponement of an event or similar activity is unavoidable based on the advice of the authorities or interests of your stakeholders, our default position is to allow you to spend grant support at a later date. You should make us aware of changes to project timing so that we can consult with funding partners and advise further.

iii) In either event, you should inform us of significant changes to the music creators involved in your project, or significant changes to music creator development so that we can advise based on our funding priorities.

b) If another organisation or third party is responsible for events, gatherings, a performance or other activity which has or might be impacted:

i) Cancellation
Should an event or activity you are involved in be cancelled, and that activity represents over 10% of your budget allocation^, please contact the team to make us aware of the change and the impact it will have on your funded project and the music creators involved. You should feel free to suggest alternative approaches.

ii) Postponement
If the postponement of an activity will have an impact on your funded project, our default position is to allow you to carry out activities at a later date providing rescheduled activity achieves similar outcomes to your original application.

If postponement results in you or the music creators named in an application being unable to take part in or benefit from our support, or prevents you from being able to achieve the outcomes stated in your application, you should update the team so we can advise further.

Only in exceptional circumstances would we be able to support your cash-flow by making an early second payment, and we will do so at the discretion of our grants team (see contact information below).

^if a cancelled activity represents less than 10% of your grant allocation then please proceed with other project elements, reallocate this level of support and inform us at evaluation stage. We do not need to approve less significant changes in these circumstances.

If you have a coronavirus related concern relating to grants support which is not covered above, please contact the team as per below.

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Will a portion of my grant be reclaimed?

Our priority is supporting grantees at a difficult time to fulfil funding priorities and achieve project objectives. It is hard to offer blanket advice across all our programmes and partnerships.

If cancelation or postponement of activities results in grantees being unable to meet those objectives and fulfil funding priorities, we will advise accordingly. We understand that the coronavirus pandemic may put grantees in difficult positions. The sustainability of our grantee music creators and organisations is crucial, and as such we are not rushing decisions.

Where appropriate and after all details are known and discussed with relevant funding partners, we may request to reclaim a fair proportion of grant support in order to continue to invest in creation and performance of outstanding music and music creator development.

For example, where grantees can recover monies following cancelation or postponement, if it is not possible to fulfil funding priorities through alternative activity, PRS Foundation and funding partners reserve the right to reclaim a fair portion of grant support.

In these unprecedented circumstances, we would only reclaim money where it avoids driving grantees and/or music creators into further loss/debt.
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How to contact PRS Foundation

We are here to help you and will do what we can to support grantees.

For grantees wanting PRS Foundation to consider changes to projects as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we have created a form so that you can outline your exceptional circumstances. A Grants Manager will liaise with funding partners where needed, and with PRS Foundation’s CEO and Board where appropriate to make decisions.

We will prioritise time sensitive enquiries, and therefore ask you to declare whether your circumstance is truly urgent or not. This will allow us to fast-track certain responses. We aim to respond to other enquiries within 14 working days. In many cases, a decision will take weeks, not days as we monitor the situation, consult with others and do not want to rush decisions which impact your projects.

Access the exceptional circumstances form here

From there we can help you to assess the situation and we can make an informed decision. Your financial sustainability is paramount, and cash-flow will be factored in.

We allow you to submit updated budgets within this form. For SXSW grantees this is compulsory. It is otherwise optional but we may contact you to request additional information.

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How does this impact recent or future applicants?

For those considering applying to PRS Foundation schemes
Our funding opportunities remain open and accessible and we do not currently expect significant changes to deadlines, or significant delays to the assessment and decision-making process. You should continue to apply and feel free to contact with any questions relating to funding applications.

We have partnered with PRS for Music and the PRS Members’ Benevolent Fund on the PRS Emergency Relief Fund, and announced a new partnership with Spotify which allows PRS Foundation to respond with a new fund which sustains creativity, adapting to the changing needs of music creators.

We advise potential applicants to any of our schemes ensure projects comply with the latest UK Government advice and FCO travel advice. Projects which conflict with that advice are unlikely to be supported.

If you’re worried about coronavirus affecting your project’s expenditure, we encourage you to use the contingency allowance and we will consult with partners of each funding programme to adjust our allowance accordingly.

In the meantime, we are working closely with funding partners and trustees to consider all scenarios and advise you to read the below section so that you are aware of the potential impact of coronavirus on decisions and offers.

For those who have recently applied for PRS Foundation support
If your recent application involves international activity, please monitor coronavirus advice from UK Government, relevant international authorities and event organisers. You will find useful links via our ‘Advice for grantees whose projects take place overseas’ page and should read that guidance in full so that you are aware of grant conditions.

If you recently applied for PRS Foundation support for UK based activity, please monitor advice from UK Government, partners and event organisers relevant to your project.

What happens next?
PRS Foundation and funding partners are monitoring the situation and assessors will be advised to score applications based on our funding priorities, criteria and latest information available to us.

We expect the following scenarios:

i) Unsuccessful applicants will be informed as per usual practice.

ii) Where a decision is hard to make due to uncertainty around coronavirus and your project, please expect a slight delay in the decision-making process. Please contact if this causes issues and feel free to provide an update to your plans if you know your plans will be affected by coronavirus.

iii) Where advisors and partners would like to support an application, an offer will be issued which allows the applicant to consider making further plans.

A condition will be placed on this offer stating that all payments and offers are subject to coronavirus-related developments and that grantees should exercise caution before incurring expenses in light of the ongoing situation.

Payments will be delayed where the PRS Foundation and funding partners deem it appropriate.

Funding partners will update terms and conditions with an express force majeure clause such that if funded activities are rendered impossible due to the coronavirus crisis, then funds may be returned.

PRS Foundation has created a system which allows grantees to outline exceptional circumstances and report on expenditure and income so that PRS Foundation and partners can make decisions based in the best interests of the music creators involved.

This system may be used for those offered funding support in the foreseeable future.