Peter Sowerby Foundation

Arts charities eligible for new £1.4m Increasing Access Fund from Peter Sowerby Foundation

The Peter Sowerby Foundation has issued a call-out for applications to its new Increasing Access Fund, open to arts charities adapting their work to support communities during the pandemic.

The Fund is designed to aid charities in developing new or adapting existing services in order to meet local or national needs throughout the current crisis. A total of £1.4 million will be distributed amongst organisations whose work will directly benefit those who have struggled with access to key services since the outbreak of Covid-19.

In line with this criteria the Fund’s primary focus is to support charities working to boost digital access to services or to adapt their delivery of existing services to comply with social distancing or other safety measures.


The Fund will award £1.4 million to organisations across the UK that work within the Peter Sowerby Foundation’s key domains:

  • Community – organisations working with young people, especially those considered disadvantaged, delivering support to those disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and/or those working to support isolated older people
  • Environment – organisations working in the area of horticulture and conservation which have been significantly financially impacted by the closure of venues
  • Arts – organisations working in the area of arts, health and well-being where services and programmes are being adapted to benefit communities impacted by Covid-19

The programme is divided into three funding streams, with two that are relevant for museums and heritage organisations:

  • Digital Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) seeking to transform or adapt new services digitally
  • Adapted Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) to pilot, test or launch new services in light of the COVID-19 situation

“Whilst the Foundation has already awarded significant grants in response to the Covid-19 crisis, we recognise the need for further support,” says David Aspinall, chair of Trustees at the Foundation. “As such, we are delighted to announce a further £1.4 million to support organisations to launch new or adapt existing services to ensure that beneficiaries can access the vital support they need at this time.”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16th November 2020, with more details and information on how to apply available here.