Our business support programme designed to give passionate arts and cultural organisations the boost to grow and transform - currently in London and Birmingham

We are delighted to be involved in ArtsForward. It gives us a valuable opportunity to have some expert business advice to scale up our successful bespoke dance services, contributing to long term income diversification and supporting us as a charity to become more resilient

- Ben Cooper-Melchiors,
East London Dance

What is ArtsForward?

Arts and cultural organisations are looking for new ways to collaborate and diversify their income streams in order to innovate, grow and create social impact. There is an appetite for change and entrepreneurship. 

Together with our founding partner Deutsche Bank, Arts & Culture have developed ArtsForward. Over the next three years, ArtsForward will work with the private sector and its people with strong business expertise to transform 100 arts and cultural organisations, accelerating their growth and social impact.

After a successful pilot, ArtsForward is underway in London and Birmingham, working with twenty arts and cultural organisations.  We are delighted to announce that ArtsForward builds on this success and we are now supporting another twenty-two organisations going into 2017.

How ArtsForward works

ArtsForward partners selected arts and cultural organisations with a business volunteer who will provide one of the following: one-to-one business mentoring, board level support, or business expertise.

Business Expertise Definition:

  1. An individual helping your organisation to find a quick, practical solution, with specific advice for a short term need

  2. An opportunity for you or/and your team to come together, at one or two sessions and collaborate with a business team of volunteers.


  • If you have rebranded your organisation and you would like some ideas and feedback. 

  • Creation of an environment to test and reflect on your mission and gain a different perspective.

  • Try out a new process or system e.g. box office system and challenge the status quo.

    N.B Please note Arts & Culture at Business in the Community do not provide budget for meeting room or refreshments or space for any intervention sessions.

Projects will be measured for impact against growth criteria - earned income, engagement and job creation.

“Our ArtsForward business mentor is fantastic – really smart, experienced and he asked many insightful questions that have already got me thinking. We talked a lot both about the business planning we’re just embarking on, and the need for us to increase our earned revenue across a number of areas.” - Susanna Eastburn, Executive Director of Sound and Music


We welcome applications from all incorporated companies. However, all organisations must:

  • Be able to commit to the programme and its evaluation framework. The business mentors are volunteers, not consultants, and therefore it is important to recognise the time it will take staff to participate in the programme and implement the changes needed in your organisation

  • Be based in Birmingham or London

  • Be established for three years or more

  • Have a turnover of £50k plus

  • Have at least two or more members of paid staff

  • Have the support of the board for the application (if your organisation has a board)

How to apply

  1. Read the guidance notes - Please note we are currently updating the guidance notes and application form for 2017. 

  2. Contact Amanda Manor on to discuss your interest in the programme

  3. Complete the application form - please note we are updating this.

We invite people to send in applications throughout the year.  We have two yearly deadlines of May and October.

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Manor at


Made for Good + Art Forward