ACAVA COVID-19 Hardship Fund Guidance

Last updated: 7 July 2020

The ACAVA COVID-19 Hardship Fund has been set up in response to the financial difficulties experienced by our studio artists following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike other organisations, ACAVA operates with limited staff capacity and no cash reserves, therefore, we are unable to offer blanket discounts on studio fees or cash payments to studio holders.

The fund offers short term financial relief in the form of licence fee reductions to ACAVA studio holders, in any of our buildings, who are experiencing financial difficulty.

The initial fund was enabled by a short term rent reduction by one of our landlords and it was a small pot.

Following a successful recent bid to the Arts Council England Emergency Response Fund we are now able to offer licence fee relief to a larger number of studio holders.

Our long term aim is to grow this fund and continue to offer financial support to our studio holders where there is the greatest need. We hope this can become a permanent scheme and are actively seeking external support to contribute more resource to it.

The fund currently offers two types of support, all applications will be considered for both.

1. Licence fee relief
Successful applicants will be granted a discounted percentage of their license fee for a set period. You will not be expected to pay this back later.

2. Licence fee deferral
Successful applicants will be offered a payment deferral on a percentage of their license fee for a set period. At the end of that time we will be in touch to agree an affordable repayment plan.

How are we going to grow the fund?

  • The fund was initially enabled by a short-term rent discount from one landlord at one building.
  • It has been strengthened by a grant from the Arts Council England Emergency Response Fund.
  • We are awaiting the outcome of another grant scheme that, if successful, would further strengthen the fund.
  • We continue to negotiate with all our landlords for reduced rents.
  • Discussions about rent and rates relief continue with local authorities.
  • We are working on a fundraising strategy (also funded by ACE) and will launch a fundraising campaign later this year.

The application process and decisions
We have created a simple online form that is quick and easy to complete. While we ask you to keep your responses brief, please include as much relevant information as possible, particularly relating to your loss of income and changes to personal circumstances. You can access the form here:


Who can apply?
The fund is open to any current ACAVA studio holder in any of our buildings. All applicants must be up to date on licence fee payments.

Is there a deadline?
The fund is open for applications at any time, which will be assessed on the final Thursday of each month. Check this page for deadlines each month.

Deadlines this month
New, or revised, applications should be received by 12pm noon on Thursday 23rd July. We will be contacting all applicants, successful or not, on the 30th July.

A panel of ACAVA staff will make the final decision on each application and decisions are non-negotiable. We do not have the capacity for lengthy discussions regarding unsuccessful applications.

If my application is unsuccessful can I reapply?

Who should I contact to discuss the fund?
Please contact our Studios Team: studios (at) acava (dot) org