Youth Music Trailblazer Fund

Fri 8 April 2022

Grants are available to organisations in England to run projects for children and young people (aged 25 or under) to make, learn and earn in music.

Fund Information

Funding body: The National Foundation for Youth Music

Maximum value: £ 30,000

Application deadline: 13/05/2022


Youth Music is the UK’s largest children’s music charity, set up in 1999 to promote and support music-making opportunities for children with the least access. It is supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council for England. Youth Music’s vision is that ‘life-changing’ music making is available to all children and young people.

Objectives of Fund

The purpose of the Youth Music Trailblazer Fund is to provide support for organisations delivering projects that help children and young people facing barriers to make, learn or earn in music.

The fund is designed to support organisations who want to trial work for the first time, test a new way of working, or disrupt the status quo.

Value Notes

The following levels of funding are available:

  • Grants of £2,000 to £15,000 are available to organisations of less than one year old.
  • Grants of £2,000 to £30,000 are available to organisations of more than one year old.

All funded projects may last between six and 24 months.

Match Funding Restrictions

The total project budget should include at least 10% match funding. There are two types of match funding:

  • Cash match funding – this is where there is money exchange involved; for example, a grant from another funder. At least 5% of the total project budget should be made up of cash match funding.
  • In-kind match funding – this is non-cash support that the applicant or their partners make towards the project; for example, free venue hire or volunteer support.

Funding from Arts Council England or National Lottery cannot be used towards meeting the minimum match funding requirements but can be used as additional contribution.

Who Can Apply

Constituted community organisations based in England may apply.

The fund has a particular focus on supporting:

  • Small organisations who support children and young people to make, learn or earn in music.
  • Those who work with children and young people facing barriers who want to trial a new music offer.
  • Established organisations that want to test a new way of working or disrupt the status quo.

Applications must meet at least one of the following Youth Music themes:

  • Early years.
  • Disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent young people.
  • Youth justice system.
  • Young people facing barriers.
  • Young adults.
  • Organisations and the workforce.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Sole traders.
  • Profit-making programmes.
  • Costs incurred before a grant offer is made.
  • The purchase of land or buildings.
  • Reclaimable VAT.
  • Reserves, loans, or interest payments.
  • Activity that promotes party political or religious beliefs.
  • Activities that are a statutory responsibility.
  • Whole class tuition on the same instrument or group of instruments (eg strings) in schools.
  • Individual tuition fees for young people to learn an instrument in school.
  • GCSE or A-Level Music.
  • School-based music curriculum activity (unless in a special school, Pupil Referral Unit or Alternative Provision setting).

Eligible Expenditure

Eligible projects can offer opportunities in music making, learning, or earning – or a combination of all three.

Examples of eligible projects may include:

  • A new CIC testing out different ways of supporting nurseries to embed music-making into their day-to-day activities.
  • A Music Education Hub that wants to disrupt the status quo of their local music scene by setting up a Youth Board that has budget and power to make decisions about how the hub is run.
  • An established youth centre trialling music activities for the first time.

Eligible costs include:

  • Delivery costs:
    • Music leader fees.
    • Project management.
    • Other members of staff working on the project (eg youth workers).
    • Youth voice activities (eg consultation, youth forum etc).
    • Monitoring, reflection and evaluation.
    • Staff induction and training.
    • Equipment such as musical instruments, hardware and software.
    • Room and venue hire.
    • Food, travel and other access related costs.
  • Core costs:
    • Salaries (staff who are not working directly on the project).
    • Operations (rent and utilities).
    • Governance (audit, legal advice, preparation of annual accounts).
    • Income generation.
    • IT costs.



How To Apply

The deadline for Round 1 applications is 13 May 2022 (5pm).

Guidance notes and the online application portal can be found on the Youth Music website.

Contact Youth Music for further information.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Enquiries
    The National Foundation for Youth Music
    Suites 3-5 Swan Court
    9 Tanner Street
    SE1 3LE
    Tel: 020 7902 1095