Fancy £500? Here’s some Spare Bob

Spare Bob is a £500 micro-grant for Bradford artists and creatives


Application deadlines

The upcoming deadlines are:

  • Sunday 10 March at 11 PM

About Spare Bob

We are delighted to be able to extend our £500 micro-grant for artists and creatives with another round of funding for training or support that will help you develop or progress your creative ambitions.

Please read our full guidance below and if you have any questions, please email

What is Spare Bob for?

Spare Bob is a micro-grant which you can use to fund training or support that will help you develop or progress your creative ambitions. Your application must describe how the fund will help you develop your skills or ideas related to a specific area of development in your artistic career.

Things like:

1. Advice, guidance or learning from others: hiring an expert for some short-term or one-off consultation or advice on areas such as engaging audiences, dramaturgy, fundraising, organisational development (such as getting support on business plans), touring, music marketing and arts-related PR, or technical skills.

Remember: we also have a mentoring scheme if you’re looking for longer-term support or advice from someone.

You could apply to spend time with a producer or songwriter to develop your sound as a musician, to test your creative ideas in a particular area or to cover your time and costs for shadowing or visiting another artist or creative.

Remember: Spare Bob is about your development, not making a ‘product’. It’s also not a fund to pay someone to do a job ‘for’ you, it aims to help you develop your skills, learning or ideas in a specific area of development for your career.


2. Training and events: fees for a short course, a specific series of lessons, a development session, attending a masterclass, exhibition, event or conference. 

Remember: we can’t fund University courses or other longer-term education through Spare Bob.


3. Going places: ticket and travel costs for attending networking events, industry showcases, performances or exhibitions, inspiration trips, pitching events or meetings with potential partners, venues and galleries. 

Remember: be specific about how development will occur when you go places and what you hope to get out of it.


4. Personal development: your time and costs to deliver your Spare Bob activity and develop a particular skill.

Remember: be specific about what you will do with the time and what you hope to get out of it - we appreciate everyone needs paid time to develop.


5. Equipment: buying or hiring equipment related to the art form/skill you want to develop. 

Remember: be specific about how the equipment will make a difference to your development and your practice.

What Spare Bob doesn't cover

Spare Bob is not for the following:

✘ Activity that is not linked to the development of skills related to a creative practice
Buying equipment that is not essential to a specific aspect of development and that you could not otherwise hire*
General ‘cash-match’ for projects**
The creation or delivery of a ‘product’, for example, a performance or event, a recording/EP or album, a piece of art, film, body of work or an exhibition
Contribution towards university courses or other longer-term courses
Your time to write a funding bid
Someone to do a job for you
Costs for rehearsal or studio time that is linked to the creation or delivery of a final product (performance, album, artwork etc.)
The delivery of workshops
Core/delivery funding for programmes or projects
Mentoring (please note we have a separate scheme for mentoring)
Activity you have already received a Spare Bob grant for in the past
Activity you have already undertaken

*Buying or hiring equipment. Ask yourself if it’s something ‘everybody needs’ - if it is, it won’t be eligible. This includes ‘standard’ equipment and packages, such as computers, general administration software, etc. 

We also might know someone who can lend you the equipment you want to trial – so let us know what you need by dropping us an email at and we’ll see what we can do.

**General ‘cash-match’ for Arts Council England or other applications. We need to understand what our Spare Bob is going towards. If this is as part of a bigger project, please be specific about what aspect of the project the money will be used for and how this relates to your development. We cannot fund an entire project. For example: a full R&D phase.

Applicant eligibility

To be eligible to apply to Spare Bob you must meet the following criteria:

✔ You live or work in the Bradford district or you can clearly identify a strong connection to Bradford
✔ You are 18 years old or over
✔ You're an individual or small organisation (with no more than 5 employees and are not NPO funded)
✔ You're involved in making live or visual arts

    • Live arts include spoken word, dance, theatre, storytelling, music, movement and other art forms that have elements of live interactiveness with audiences
    • Visual arts include sculpture, printing, painting, drawing, photography, pottery and other art forms that involve creative expression through visual means
    • When we say ‘artists’, we mean creative people of all kinds including all of the roles required to make brilliant art, including; creatives, producers, curators, administrators, company managers, marketing, technical, production, makers etc.

✔  Applicants can have one successful Spare Bob application per calendar year, so this round is open to those who have had successful Spare Bob applications in the past

Application eligibility checklist

Your application will be assessed against the following criteria to be eligible.

You should be able to tick all of these:

✔ My application is about the development of a skill related to my creative practice
✔ My developmental activity is clear and achievable
✔ My application demonstrates how the funds will be used
✔ My activity is linked with aspect(s) of creative development
✔ The activity does not include any of those listed under ‘What Spare Bob doesn't cover’

How to apply

Applications should be made using our online application form. For the main application questions, you can complete your answers via text in the form, or by uploading an audio or video file.

To help you prepare your submission, the application questions include:

  • Tell us a bit about your creative practice
  • What would you use the funds for?
    Please provide a list of what you will spend the money on and the costs involved
    You can include access costs in the next section
  • How will this grant help your creative development?
  • If you have had a previous successful application, please let us know the impact of the funds and the activities you did.

Other questions that will need to be completed in the form include:

  • What is your connection to Bradford?
  • Do you have any access needs that we should be aware of?
  • Will you need any additional access costs covered?

Support and advice

We’re happy to give you advice on your application via email at

Please remember that support does not necessarily mean your application will be successful.


You can apply for up to £500. We will want to know how you will spend the money. Please provide a short budget or itemised list to clearly identify what you will spend the money on.

Due to the restricted funding available for Spare Bob, we are trialling a new random selection process to ensure fairness in decision-making and equal opportunity for applicants. Each application will be assessed for eligibility by two members of the BPH team and all eligible applicants will then be entered into a random selection process.

If your application is eligible but not selected in this round, you will be offered the opportunity to enter your application into the next round without writing a new application. We will allow applications to be rolled forward once, after this you will need to reapply.

If your application is eligible and selected – congratulations! We will email you with a grant offer letter. Successful applicants will not be eligible to apply again this calendar year.

If your application is not eligible, we will inform you and let you know why. You will be welcome to apply again for future rounds with an amended or new application.

We are trialling random selection over the next 2 rounds of Spare Bob. We’ll then review the outcomes of the process, paying particular attention to the diversity of successful applicants in terms of art form, representation, etc, and decide whether to continue or adapt the decision-making process.

Yes. Please tell us about any access needs or other personal costs you will incur in order to do this activity. These costs can be covered in addition to the £500 Spare Bob. We would suggest listing your access costs separately to your main Spare Bob budget.

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