FF#2 FAQ – Freelance Workers



How do I know that you received my application?
You will get an email to let you know that we have successfully received your application. We try to respond as quickly as possible, but there might be some delay. If you still haven’t received an email five days after you submitted your application, please contact Janet Jennings janet.jennings@sheffieldmuseums.org.uk to check its arrived.

We will let you know if there are any issues with the form; if, for example, we can’t open the file, and allow you to resubmit but, as all applications are treated fairly, we can’t give any specific advice on things you might do to improve it.

As we get towards the deadline, and more applications arrive, response might be further delayed. If you send your application in on the 06 September (deadline day), please contact Janet Jennings if you have not had an email to say we have received this by midday Wednesday 08 September.

If I received funding from the first round of the Freelance Fund, can I apply again?
Yes, you can apply again, but priority will be given to others who haven’t been funded previously.

In addition, you shouldn’t apply for the same project as you applied for in round 1. Your application might be a development of this, to extend or take it further, or for something new.
Email Janet Jennings to discuss this further, if you are at all unsure.

Can I submit the same project again, if I was unsuccessful in round 1?
Yes you can submit the same project again if you were unsuccessful in round 1, but please be aware that the application form and amount you can apply for has changed.

If you are thinking of sending the same project in again, you should also consider why this might not have been successful the first time. It might be you need to outline more clearly how this funding would help address the impact of Covid restrictions on your freelance work and allow you to adapt to combat this.

You can gain support on developing your application in Information Sessions run by the Creative Guild in the lead up to the deadline. (See Application Development below).

Can I attach extra information, for example a CV or images, to the application?
No. Please send links to your website with any examples of previous work, additional information or images. Please contact Janet Jennings if you don’t have a website to discuss other ways of including this information with your application.

Are there alternative ways to apply, if I find completing the form problematic?
Yes. We are committed to ensuring this fund is open and accessible to all Freelance Art & Culture Workers in Sheffield and realise some people may find that there are barriers to applying for this grant.

If you experience or expect any barrier with making your application and would like support or help in applying, please contact Janet Jennings (Janet.Jennings@sheffieldmuseums.org.uk) to discuss this further, and identify an option that works best for you.


Where is Sheffield?
In this instance Sheffield is marked by the City Boundary, not the S postcode.

How do I check if I’m inside Sheffield City Boundary?
This map gives you a good idea of the area, but if you are unsure or are on the border, Sheffield City Council also have this searchable map of their Electoral Wards, where you can tap in your postcode. If this is not recognised – you are not in the City Boundary.

Why is this fund so specific to Sheffield City Boundary – I fall just over the border… will I still be eligible?
Funding is for freelancers based in Sheffield – this is not the S postcode or Sheffield City Region – but for people who live or have an office or studio within Sheffield City Boundary. Contributions to the fund are from Sheffield City Council and these come with strict guidance on where spend can be allocated. Unfortunately, if you fall outside of the boundary, you are ineligible.

What do you mean by ‘live or work in Sheffield’?
To be eligible, you need an address in Sheffield City Boundary. This might mean you live here, have an artist’s studio or an office you own or rent here.

If you work/sometimes work at or for an organisation located inside Sheffield City Boundary as part of your freelance work, but this is not where your freelance address is located, you are not eligible to apply. For example, if you are contracted by Sheffield Theatres or Sheffield Museums or work with community groups in the city but your own home or work address isn’t in Sheffield, you are not eligible.


What do you mean by freelance?
Freelance is defined as ‘being self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments.’

I supplement my freelance career with other work (either in the arts or not), can I still apply?
You are still eligible to apply so long as you undertake some form of freelance art or cultural work and this forms part of your income. This funding is not to allow you to undertake creative work as a hobby, or undertake unpaid creative activity, whilst working elsewhere.

If I have paid employment alongside my freelance work, how will this impact the funding decision?
On the application form, you are asked if you have other paid employment outside your freelance work, and if yes, to give an indication of the proportion of time you spend on this and income from this.

The fact that you have employment outside your freelance work won’t affect funding decisions; we understand that many people who work in the arts/creative sector supplement their income by working part time in either arts related jobs or in other industries. We ask this question to gain a better understanding of how you structure your work, as well as feeding into overall research on freelance workers in the city.

How do I prove I am a Freelance Arts/Creative Worker?
You need to prove you work as a creative freelancer by:

Am I eligible to apply if I undertake freelance work but have a Sole Trader Limited Company?
Yes, if you work freelance for different organisations but payments are made through a limited company, which you are the director of, you are still eligible to apply for funding.


I work with a group of creative freelancers, can we apply together?
Yes this funding is supportive of and encourages collaboration.

Freelancers working collaboratively or as a collective are eligible to apply. However, in order to meet eligibility requirements, each member of the group would need to meet all eligibility requirements i.e – be working in the arts, be Sheffield-based and be freelance.

The group would need to nominate a lead applicant whose bank account and UTR Number (See Section 5) be used, if successful. If the group has its own bank account, each group member would need to have individual UTR Numbers.

Please attach a separate sheet to your application which details each members eligibility.


What is a UTR Number, why do I need one and how do I get one?
A UTR is a Unique Tax Reference Number and is issued to anyone in the UK who needs to complete a self-assessment tax form. If you’re freelance, self-employed, a sole trader, or you own a limited company, you need a UTR to submit your tax return. Having this doesn’t mean you will necessarily pay tax but will allow you to report to HMRC on your income.

These grants are only payable to self-employed / freelance workers and therefore you should already have a UTR Number. However, if you don’t, you can get a UTR Number from here. This generally takes 2-3 weeks, although it may take longer right now, due to the impact of Covid.

If you don’t have a number right now, you can apply for a UTR and tell us that this is in progress on your application. If your application is successful, funding won’t be released until you have this.


How much should I apply for? Do I need to include a breakdown budget?
Apply for what you need, rather than what is available. The amount you apply for should reflect the activity you have outlined in your application. The maximum you can apply for is £3,000.

Please provide a simple breakdown of the budget indicating the amount you are applying for, any other income and detailing expenditure. Make sure the budget balances.

If I’m successful, will I get the total amount I applied for?
We are trying to support as many people as we can through this fund, as such successful applicants might get a little less than asked for, if this feels like an appropriate decision. Therefore, while the Panel won’t be taking an ‘all or nothing’ approach, neither are they aiming to give everyone ‘just a little bit’ as we don’t believe spreading funds thinly is the best way to make a difference.

You mention using funds for match against an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant … Can it be used to match other funding application?
Yes, if successful you could use the funding to apply for more funding from other sources, not just Developing Your Creative Practice.

What do you mean by match funding? And do I need it?
You don’t need match funding for this application.

Match funding can be either a cash or in kind contribution to a project or activity from a project partner or another funder or when you generate income which gets rolled back into the project budget and is not profit.

Examples of ‘cash’ match funding are:

·       a grant from the Arts Council or other funder

·       partnership investment – maybe a partner pays for some aspect of the project

·       your own funds – for example if your application requires £3,200, you might request £3,000 and put £200 of your own funding in to make up the extra requirement

·       income raised from selling tickets, goods or services that get rolled back into the project

·       income generated from crowdfunding

You could also identify ‘in kind’ support. This is when someone provides something for free that you would normally have to pay for – For example, if someone allows you to use their venue or equipment free of charge.

Am I more likely to be funded if I have match funding?
Your application will be considered on its strengths in meeting the funding aims and we will look at applications as a whole, and the context you are operating in, and not just your finances.

Whilst your application may be strengthened if you identify you are working collaboratively, show you have strong partnerships or people willing to support you, as this gives confidence your activity is more likely to go ahead, we acknowledge that not all development involves other people and that partnerships might not involve money.


What do you mean by developing my practice?
Your application should be more about research and development, resilience and sustaining your freelance work than specific project delivery. Make sure your application is about your own research, development and knowledge and identifies how this activity might impact on you adapting your work offer or help sustain you/your practice, not solely focussed on delivering a one-off project.

Can I get feedback on my application or help filling in the form?
Sheffield Creative Guild are planning a number of information sessions in August where you will be able to ask questions specific to your application, discuss your ideas, get feedback or help with applying.
These take place on:
Monday 23 August / 12-1.30pm
Wednesday 25 August / 5-6.30pm
Book here


When can I apply?
The application process opens on July 20th and you can apply any time after this.

When is the deadline?
The deadline for application is 9am Monday 6 September 2021.

When will decisions be made?
We will endeavour to inform people whether they have been successful by Friday 8 October. If this timescale slips, you will receive an email to inform you of this and tell you the new proposed decision date.


If you still have specific questions on the scheme about eligibility or other concerns that aren’t covered here, please email janet.jennings@sheffieldmuseums.org.uk

Please be aware that Janet is unable to review applications or suggest how you might improve these or what you should apply for. This is to ensure that there is no conflict of interest and all applications are treated fairly.

We would strongly recommend getting someone else to read through your application before you submit it and if you need help, sign up to attend the Creative Guild information sessions (see Application Development above), especially if you lack experience in applying for funding.

Posted on 19th July 2021

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