by Author Matt Griffiths

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Youth Music and Arts Council England (ACE) Funding Announcement

3 children gathered round a microphone, 2 wearing headphones.

We are delighted to announce £28.95 million of National Lottery funding to Youth Music through Arts Council England, for the next three years. This will provide a vital boost to grassroots organisations supporting children and young people who face barriers because of who they are, where they live, or what they’re going through.

Youth Music’s unique role as a delegated distributor of National Lottery funds has significantly equalised access to music making, learning and earning for young people for more than 24 years. 

In response to Arts Council England’s Let’s Create strategy and its vision for ensuring all children and young people can fulfil their creative potential, Youth Music will now bring its expertise in inclusive practice to more than music. Alongside the popular Youth Music Trailblazer and Catalyser Funds, two new funds will be delivered: one in 2024 and one in 2025. To ensure Youth Music’s approach is responding to young people’s needs, the team will now begin a period of research and development. 

This is an exciting opportunity to respond to young people’s creative ambitions in a changing world.

Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Youth Music changing its funding programmes?

At Youth Music, we have used our insights, influence and investment to build a sustainable grassroots music infrastructure for more than twenty years.

Now, we’re bringing our expert knowledge and unique approach to equalise creative access for young people beyond music. Ensuring creative opportunities are more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible. 

As a charity built on music, why are you looking to work beyond music?

At Youth Music, we’re committed to responding to the needs of young people in a changing world.  Research for Arts Council England’s Let’s Create Strategy indicated that children and young people see creativity in broad terms, not limited to specific art forms. Therefore, they have asked us to respond to that in delivering our National Lottery programme. 

What does this mean for Youth Music’s grants programme?

To ensure we develop the new funds with young people’s needs at the forefront, we’ll embark on a period of research and development over the next few months. This will require our time and resources, which means we’ve made the decision to pause two of our existing funding programmes for a short period.

We plan to continue with the Youth Music Trailblazer Fund and the Youth Music Catalyser Fund. From 2024, we will only run one Catalyser Fund funding round per year. Trailblazer Fund will continue to have three funding rounds per year.

Read more on the Youth Music Network here.

Can you tell us more about the new funds?

The funding criteria will be determined by a period of research and development, informed by young people’s needs.

We’ll report on our findings in the Autumn 2023, with our first new fund launching in early 2024.

How will the new funds benefit young people?

As always, we will be informed by what young people tell us they need through our research and development phase. We know that music can provide an entry point for many other creative forms which are of huge benefit to young people.