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Home > Funding > The Open Fund > PRS for Music Foundation’s The Open Fund Criteria


The Open Fund is available to any music creator or organisation whose project or programme fits with all three of our funding priorities:

  1. To support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
    We are particularly interested in the quality of the music
  2. To enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
    We are interested in how your project will develop the songwriters and composers involved. We are committed to supporting UK based songwriters and composers of all backgrounds
  3. To inspire audiences
    You will be asked to outline who you are reaching and how. This includes audiences at a local, regional, national or international level

You may also find it useful to consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a music creator?

The following are considered by PRS Foundation to be Music Creators:

Activities we can support:

Admin/Associated Costs

We prioritise spend that directly benefits the music creators involved in a project.

Music creators can ask for administration costs of up to 15% of the request amount (e.g. if requesting funding of £5,000, a maximum contribution of £500 can be made to cover administration costs (e.g. office costs, stationery, postage)).

Most organisations can ask for administration costs of up to 15% of the request amount.

For independent music venues and festivals applying to The Open Fund for Organisations, PRS Foundation recognises that ‘Associated Costs’ (i.e. expenditure not going directly to music creators which indirectly assists music creators in the long-term) may be higher and the current climate means a greater proportion of running costs may be covered. As such, venues and festivals can ask for administration costs of up to 25% of the request amount so long as higher costs are justified in a written application. This may include additional marketing spend, project management costs or other facilities that help creators.

Applicants with access requirements

We recognise that for disabled music creators with access requirements, some proposed activity which supports music creator development (e.g. live performance, touring, access to studios) incurs additional costs, meaning that applicants may require grant support of more than £5,000.

Music creators with access requirements are advised that:
– When submitting Stage 1 applications, applicants should submit Total Project Budget and Request Amounts that do not consider additional access costs.
– When submitting Stage 2 applications which includes a budget section, please outline non-accessibility related expenditure and income. An additional budget question allows applicants to detail additional access requirements needs which will be considered by management team and will therefore not be seen or considered by external advisors unless mentioned in main Funding Priority responses.

Funding decisions will not be affected by additional accessibility support requests and if selected, an appropriate offer amount will be pledged.

We can’t support:

Companies limited by shares will be considered on a case by case basis (see below).

Who can apply?


Ineligible applicants:

Can I apply if I’m a company limited by shares?

The Open Fund is not designed to support organisations that share out profits to members or shareholders, unless the activity you are applying for is a self-contained arts project and has a clear benefit to the audience.  As a result, we prioritise not-for-profit organisations and tend not to support organisations limited by shares. If you are an organisation limited by shares but there’s a clear funding need for a project that is not profitable, you may be able to apply and should speak with our Grants Team ahead of an application. Click here to email the Grants Team.

We are unable to offer the following:

Please note that we are not able to accept hard copies of applications. All applications must be completed online (please email us if you consider yourself to have a disability which could prevent you from completing the online application)

PRS for Music Membership

If applying to The Open Fund for Music Creators (or Women Make Music), we will ask if the music creators involved are already PRS for Music members. Our decision will not be affected if you are not yet a member of PRS for Music but grantees will be signposted to PRS for Music to ensure they are maximising collection society income opportunities.

If you are applying to The Open Fund for Organisations and activities include events, to ensure the writers and publishers of the musical works are paid correctly, your event will need to be licensed appropriately by PRS for Music. If you are unsure whether the correct licence is in place, please contact PRS on 020 3741 3622 and they will be happy to confirm or support you through the licensing process.

Multiple applications

Due to high levels of demand for our funding schemes, we can only accept one application per calendar year to The Open Fund*.

Organisations are restricted to receiving one grant per calendar year with the exception of our UK commissioning programmes Beyond Borders and New Music Biennial. For example, an organisation funded through The Open Fund for Organisations may apply for and receive support for Beyond Borders.

Music creators are also restricted to receiving one grant per calendar year.

We advise individual composers, artists, bands and other music creators to choose the most appropriate funding scheme between The Open Fund for Music Creators and our targeted support schemes such as Women Make Music, The International Showcase Fund, Steve Reid Innovation Award, Flash Funding or Momentum.

Please contact the team if you are unsure which funding scheme is most appropriate.

*Please click here for guidance on the limits to the number of applications you can submit per calendar year.

If you have any concerns about eligibility, please email us.
Do you still have some questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions page.