Jerwood Foundation

DCMS Creative Bursaries Scheme/Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme

DCMS Creative Bursaries Scheme/Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries

In 2010, Alan Grieve, Chairman Jerwood Foundation was approached by Margaret Hodge MP, then Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and invited to establish and run a pilot bursary scheme providing 42 paid placements in the arts for recent graduates at the start of their careers. The pilot programme funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE) was designed and managed by the Jerwood Foundation and Jerwood Charitable Foundation under the direction of Kate Danielson. It ran for two years from August 2010 until March 2012.

At the conclusion of the pilot programme in 2012 there were outstanding results. 90% of bursary recipients were employed in the arts at conclusion of the evaluation, compared to 39% of the control group. Of hosts, 90% confirmed they would target less affluent applicants again, 60% extended their placement’s contract and 33% made the new roles permanent, making job creation another major success of the Scheme. In November 2015 the first alumnus of the inaugural edition, Aaron Wright, was announced Artistic Director of Fierce Festival. Aaron’s placement was with Live Art Development Agency in 2010.
Following the successful pilot, the scheme was relaunched as The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries. Designed and managed by Jerwood Charitable Foundation with the combined support of Garfield Weston Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, it ran from June 2015-October 2016.
The third edition of the bursary programme was launched in February 2018 with funding support from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, CHK Charities Ltd and PRS Foundation alongside Jerwood Arts. It enabled 40 recent graduates paid entry-level roles in 39 leading arts organisations throughout the UK and included a structured training and development programme, significant peer networking. 80% of the host organisations were based outside of London. A new international strand was introduced with the support of British Council. It included 15 international placements for selected participants and an international training trip for all 40 participants.


To date, the Creative Bursaries programme has worked with 110 of the UK’s best arts producers and organisations across art forms to kick-start the careers of 124 talented people from lower socio-economic backgrounds; in Truro, Wakefield, Belfast, Leeds, London, Margate, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow and beyond. Critically, it allows organisations to develop new year-long job roles which close skills gaps in their greatest areas of need.
The programme has raised the profile of the debate around diversity, with press coverage in Arts Professional, Arts Industry Magazine (AI) and The Stage and has directly resulted in job creation, with 60% of placements being extended and 32% of roles being made permanent, or leading to longer term employment relationships, across both editions. The initiative was included as a case study in DCMS’ Culture White Paper and referred to as exemplary in Arts Council England’s commissioned report Analysis of Theatre in England.



DCMS Creative Bursaries Scheme © Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Margaret Hodge and Alan Grieve with Billy Elliot actors outside No. 10