Fancy £500? Here’s some Spare Bob

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


Spare Bob is a £500 creative development grant for artists and creatives living in, or making work in the Bradford district. 

Application deadlines

The upcoming deadlines for our Spare Bob microgrants are as follows


Round 2

Applications open: Friday 14 June at 10 AM
Applications close: Sunday 28 July at 11 PM

Round 3

Applications open: Friday 13 September at 10 AM
Applications close: Sunday 27 October at 11 PM


Round 1

Applications open: Friday 10 January at 10 AM
Applications close: Sunday 23 February at 11 PM

What is Spare Bob for?

Spare Bob is a £500 microgrant that you can use to fund training or support that will help you progress your creative practice or nurture a new skill. 

You can apply for Spare Bob to cover costs towards the following areas of creative development.

Advice, guidance or learning from others

Spare Bob can be used to pay for consultation or advice on areas such as:

  • Engaging audiences
  • Marketing and PR
  • Fundraising
  • Organisational development
  • Dramaturg, director or producer advice
  • Touring
  • Music producing or songwriting advice 
  • Technical skills relating to your practice 
  • Leadership or change-making within the sector
  • Shadowing or visiting another artist or creative professional
  • Any other area of advice relating to your creative practice 

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

Training and events

Spare Bob can be used to pay for things like

  • short courses
  • training events
  • masterclasses
  • a series of lessons to develop a new skill

Going places and getting inspired 

Spare Bob can be used to cover ticket and travel costs for attending things like 

  • networking events
  • industry showcases
  • conferences
  • performances, exhibitions or festivals related to your creative practice 
  • inspiration trips
  • other creative development events

Developing new partnerships 

Spare Bob can be used to

  • set up a creative network or steering group
  • attend pitching events or meetings with potential partners or new collaborators

Personal development

Spare Bob can be used to pay for the time and costs related to your creative development, but not towards creating a piece of work. 


Spare Bob can be used to purchase or hire specialist equipment related to the skill you want to develop. This fund cannot be used to buy more general equipment most artists need for their practice such as laptops, printers, tablets, replacement instruments or kit etc. 

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.

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 your creative practice
✘ Purchasing or hiring general equipment not specifically related to a new area of creative development
✘ The creation or delivery of a ‘product’, for example, a performance, workshop or event, a recording/EP or album, a piece of art, film, body of work or an exhibition
✘ Costs for rehearsal or studio time linked to the creation, or delivery of a final product (performance, album, artwork etc.)
✘ Contribution towards university courses or other longer-term courses
✘ Your time to write a funding bid
✘ Someone to do a job for you
✘ Core delivery costs for programmes, projects or organisations
✘ Long-term mentoring (please note we have a separate scheme for mentoring)
✘ Activity you have already received a Spare Bob grant for in the past
✘ An activity you have already undertaken
✘ Development relating to commercial film and television production 

Applicant eligibility

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

✔ You’re living in, or making work in the Bradford district
✔ You are 18 years old or over
✔ You're an individual or a 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; creative producers, curators, administrators, company managers, marketers, technicians, production managers, makers etc. 

✔ You have not already received a Spare Bob grant this calendar year
✔ Your application clearly details development activity related to your creative practice
✔ Your planned development activity is clear and achievable
✔ Your application presents a clear breakdown of costs
✔ 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 before each scheduled deadline. Applications reopen 6 weeks before each deadline.

All eligible applications will be entered into a ballot and 8 successful applications will be drawn. 

Applicants will be notified within 3 weeks of the application deadline. 

To help you prepare your application in advance, you can see the application questions in our FAQ section below. You can complete your answers via text in the form, or by uploading an audio or video file.

Support and advice

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


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 in your application.

Due to the restricted funding available for Spare Bob, we are trialling a new random selection ballot 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. We will confirm the outcome of your application within 3 weeks of the closing date. 

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.

Yes. In addition to the £500 Spare Bob grant, we can contribute to any access costs you might face. Please list your access costs separately from your main Spare Bob budget in the application form.

To help you prepare your application in advance, the main application questions are as follows:

  1. Tell us a bit about your creative practice.
  2. What would you use the funds for?
    Please provide a breakdown of what you will spend the money on, and the costs involved.
    Please exclude any access costs and include them in the next section.
  3. How will this grant help your creative development?
  4. If you have received a Spare Bob grant in the past, please let us know what it was for and what the impact of this was.
  5. Do you have any access needs that we should be aware of?
  6. Will you need any additional access costs covered?
    Please let us know roughly what these might include and how much they might cost.

Questions 1-4 can be submitted via the form by uploading a video or audio file. All other questions must be submitted by completing the form.

To access the application form, click the Apply Now button.

To enable us to process your grant, you will need to send us an invoice for the agreed amount which follows our invoicing guidance. Payment will be made within 30 days of receipt of a valid invoice.

See our invoicing guidance

Latest news and events

View our latest news and events

Skip to content