National Support Agencies

Finding the right support to help your ideas grow can make all the difference.  Whatever your arts practice there’s an agency there to support you and offer resources for your area of work.

A-N (Artists Information Company)
A-N is a vital resource for visual and applied artists, whatever your development stage. It offers access to a vast and specialist bank of resources including guidance for commissioners and employers on good practice, fees and payments, contracts and insurance, as well as an online jobs and opportunities service.

Arts Council
The Arts Council is the national development agency for the arts in England and supports a range of artistic activities. The website gives information on Arts Council departments, funding, grants, news, publications and useful links. Subscribe to ArtsJobs and ArtsNews for useful up-to-date information on what’s going on in the arts.

Arts Development UK (AD:UK)
Arts Development UK is a professional association with a membership drawn from local authorities and those working in the creative industries sector in the UK. As a membership organisation it offers practical advice, networking and support and its weekly newsletter highlights the latest news, jobs and funding opportunities.

Arts in Health
The website for the National Alliance for Arts Health and Wellbeing: a resource for arts and health activity. The site has resources to support your own work, and examples of the ways that creative activity can benefit the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Arts Professional
ArtsProfessional is an online resource for people working in the arts that aims to deliver a quality news and information service.  It looks at what’s going on across the arts and analyses the latest ideas, technologies, policies and legislation affecting the sector.

Association of Festival Organisers (AFO)
The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) is a membership group of like-minded festival and event managers who believe in learning and teaching, sharing and networking to continuously improve the festival scene.  Created in 1987 with a small gathering of people working in the community festival business, it now has hundreds of members who exchange ideas and support one another to help develop our sector.  If you have anything to do with festivals, yes anything, you should join AFO.

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF)
The Association of Independent Festivals is a non-profit trade association created to represent and empower independent festivals. The key aim is to help the businesses of our individual members and overall needs of the independent festival sector.

British Arts Festivals Association (BAFA)
The National Membership body for Arts Festivals in the UK: Celebrating, Developing and Strengthening the work of its members.

British Film Institute (BFI)
The British Film Institute (BFI) is the lead organisation for film in the UK and use Lottery funds to support film production, distribution, education and audience development.

British Pyrotechnists Association (BPA)
The British Pyrotechnists Association (BPA) is the trade body that represents the majority of professional firework display companies in the United Kingdom. The Association is committed to maintaining high standards amongst its members, whose activities include the manufacture, importation, sale, transportation, training and use of display fireworks both by members of the public and professionals.

Crafts Council
For those working in contemporary crafts the Crafts Council website is a must for information on professional development opportunities, resources and information on exhibitions and fairs. The Craft Directory lists new and established makers, galleries, awards and jobs to help you make connections.

Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
The DCMS is a government department that aims to make ‘Britain the world’s most creative and exciting place to live, visit and do business’.

Design Council
The Design Council promotes design and architecture and its website features useful resources for small businesses, public sector managers, designers and design students, which include free guides, case studies and lists of networks and organisations.

Disability Arts Online
Disability Arts Online is a disability-led organisation set up to advance disability arts through the pages of their journal.

Earlyarts is a creative teaching and training network, helping educators bring children’s creativity to life.  The site includes research and evidence in creativity in early learning and produces creative teaching materials and training events.

Events Industry Forum (EIF)
EIF is an informal organisation that brings together event industry trade associations.  EIF took over the production of The Purple Guide from the HSE. 

Foundation for Community Dance
The Foundation for Community Dance is the professional organisation for anyone involved in creating opportunities for people to experience and participate in dance.  The website has information on courses and conferences, plus a publications section with information relevant to dancers working in community settings.

Heritage Lottery Fund
The Heritage Lottery Fund offers a range of grant programmes from £3000 to £5 million. The site gives information on how to apply and features projects that have been awarded funding.

Independent Theatre Council (ITC) 
The Independent Theatre Council is the lead body for performing arts organisations and individuals working in the field of drama, dance, opera and music theatre, mime and physical theatre, circus, puppetry, street arts and mixed media.  The site has a resources section and lists the many training courses available to help you run a successful performing arts company.

IVE (Creative, Innovative, Supportive)
IVE is a creative development agency whose work takes place within cultural education, business, manufacturing and the creative industries.  IVE supports the development of creativity as a transferrable skill to improve employability and productivity.

Museums Association
The Museums Association is a membership organisation for everyone working in museums, galleries and heritage. The site includes information on collections, exhibitions, events, campaigns and career development.

Musicians Union
The Musicians’ Union represents musicians working in all sectors of the music business.  The MU looks after the interests of more than 30,000 professional musicians, offering practical advice and downloadable resources for those working in all industry sectors.

National Association of Street Artists (NASA)
National Association of Street Artists: an independent UK network of creative practitioners making work for the outdoors.

National Dance Network
NDN is a meeting point of organisations whose primary role is the development of dance in the context of presenting, programming and commissioning.

National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA)
NODA provides assistance and advice to amateur theatre groups and societies in the UK.  NODA offers its members a range of products and services to help  with productions, such as their health and safety service NODASafe or help with the marketing of productions and societies through the Social Media Helpdesk.

Outdoor Arts UK
The Independent Street Arts Network is a national membership and strategic organisation that aims to bring together the many diverse parts of the Outdoor Arts sector.  ISAN celebrates the wonderful work, amazing talent and tremendous achievements of the brilliant individuals, companies and organisations working in this most accessible of art forms.

PRS for Music Foundation (PRSF)
The UK's leading funder of new music across all genres. PRS for Music Foundation supports a range of new music activity– from composer residencies and commissions to festivals and showcases in the UK and overseas.

Public Art Online
A public art information site that provides guidance and examples of public art practice from around the UK and internationally.

Screen Yorkshire
A regional screen agency supporting film, broadcast and digital media in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The Event Services Association (TESA)
The Event Services Association (TESA) was launched in May 1990 and represents organisers, promoters and suppliers involved in the event industry throughout the UK, particularly those involved with outdoor events.  The Association was established to promote good practice in the industry as well as to represent the interests of the industry and provide advice and information for those working in the sector.

Writers Guild
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain supports writers across media including books, film, online, radio, theatre, TV and videogames.

XTRAX supports inspirational outdoor performance, running projects, festivals and showcases designed to promote innovative outdoor work from UK and international artists.