In March 2020, the lights were dimmed on Manchester’s Arts and Culture sector.

Theatres, libraries, museums and arts centres were amongst the first to close their doors to the public at the start of the pandemic.

With the nation in another lockdown, the future is uncertain for many cultural organisations and the freelancers who work with them. The Savannah Wisdom Foundation has created a discretionary fund to support freelancers working in the creative and cultural sectors who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The charity is making up to £500,000 available in grants of £1,500 to individual freelancers.

Take a look at this video for a better understanding of how the whole thing works!


The fund is available to freelancers within the arts, cultural and creative industries in Manchester who are able to demonstrate the following:

  • Freelance work has been lost or disrupted because of COVID-19
  • Current monthly income (before tax) of less than £1,400, or £1,900 for those with dependants
  • At least 50% working time was spent, or 50% income was derived, from freelance employment in the arts, cultural and creative industries sector in the period April 2019 to March 2020*
  • Resident of, or business based in, Manchester

To apply for this fund or to find out more information, you'll have to go to the Cultural Hardship Fund website

If you need support completing the application form you can contact the helpline 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0161 523 0444 or email