10GM - A joint venture to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Greater Manchester

GMCA Inspire Fund

The GMCA Inspire Fund is providing grants of £500 – £2,000 for freelance and independent artists, and small organisations across Greater Manchester. 

You may be a musician who would benefit from a new instrument, a small group who needs funds to expand your wardrobe or replace costumes, or a freelance artist who wishes to upskill via a training course.

The GMCA Inspire Fund is managed by Salford CVS, on behalf of 10GM. 

This fund is now closed and will reopen on 30 September.

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been found and reported that the level of investment and support for freelancers, independent creatives, artists, musicians, and performers across the arts could be improved, with many freelance artists leaving the sector.

Following extensive consultation, the need for a focused, small investment into the creative sector was highlighted. This led to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) establishing the Culture Fund to support the regrowth and strengthening of the creative sector in Greater Manchester.

The GMCA Culture Fund: Inspire is designed to support Greater Manchester-based:


Freelance artists.


Independent creatives, artists, musicians, and performers.


Small creative arts organisations (less than £100k turnover).

Funding rounds and submission deadlines

There will be 5 rounds of funding 2024 – 2026. Please submit your application for consideration in the round of your choice. Please note that funding is ring-fenced to support each round.


CLOSED - Round 1

Round 1 closed at 12:00PM, Friday 1 March 2024. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.


CLOSED - Round 2

Round 2 closed at 12:00PM, Friday 31 May 2024. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.


Round 3 

Opens 30 September until 12:00PM, Friday 1 November 2024.


Round 4

Opens 28 April 2025 until 12:00PM, Friday 30 May 2025.


Round 5

Opens 29 September 2025 until 12:00PM, Friday 31 October 2025.


Decisions are expected within 6 weeks of the closing date you have applied for. 

All projects must be completed by April 2026.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions of the GMCA Inspire Fund are available.

Please read this document thoroughly before applying.

Frequently asked questions 

The GMCA Culture Fund: Inspire welcomes applications that concern or involve:
• Music
• Craft
• Small Capital Expenditures
• Theatre/Spoken Word
• Photography
• Equipment
• Visual Arts
• Film
• Instruments
• Multi-disciplinary Arts
• Design
• Room, space hire but not solely
• Literature
• Museums
• Event/project budgets (in part, only)
• Heritage
• Combined Arts
• Course fees – practice/area-specific (not degree-level or above)
• Dance
• Resources
• Applications only within GM. 

• Total costs of an event or project
• Living costs or expenses
• Organisations already funded by the Spirit and Sustain strands of the GMCA Culture Fund
• Work already supported by GMCA
• Costs towards a project or activity that will last beyond April 2026 
• Living costs, costs to pay yourself or others for time worked, or expenses

Once a few checks have been completed, applications (minus contact details) are passed to the assessment panel for review. This is followed by a meeting to agree on the awards. All applicants will be notified of the outcome, by email, within 10 weeks of the closing date. If successful, your award will be paid into your account by bank transfer. Salford CVS will request a very simple update on progress 4-6 months later; also, quotes, photos, videos etc., will be very welcome!

If you are a small group, freelancer, or independent creative, and unsure whether your idea is an eligible spend, or would like help completing the application form or require it in another format (e.g. hard copy, large print, using BSL etc.), please email: [email protected]

What support is available to applicants?

If you’d like to talk through your project idea or find out more about this fund please contact: [email protected]

Page last reviewed: 04 June 2024.

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