The British Council works around the world to support the UK’S arts and culture sectors to be better connected internationally, increasing engagement by international audiences and favourability towards UK arts and culture.  Providing opportunities for purposeful international engagement by UK creative professionals is key to this, and we are pleased to be able to offer festival travel grants to mainland China. 

There are many artistic festivals in mainland China, often presenting innovative and experimental work to an international standard. The grants will allow representatives of UK arts festivals to travel to mainland China in 2024, to gain a better understanding of the cultural landscape and build their capability to engage with Chinese partners, make connections and lay the groundwork for future collaboration.

Travel Grants

Grant Amount

Grants will be offered of up to £3,000. Each festival is only eligible to receive one grant per year and we anticipate that we will be able to offer around ten grants in round one and five in round two.

What is the grant for?

The grant will enable either a representative from a UK festival to visit a festival or festivals in mainland China. Through attending the festival, participants will gain a better understanding of the cultural landscape in mainland China, and make connections which will benefit their festival in the UK. We have decided to create this opportunity around festivals to allow grantees to benefit from the support provided by festival organisers and the volume of sector contacts they are likely to meet during the host festival.

Please note - applicants will need to make their own travel, visa and insurance arrangements. Please refer to the 'Notes for applicants’ - Budget Session for examples of cost items that the grant can cover.

What is the grant not for?

The grant is for travel for scoping trips . The grant cannot be used for overheads cost, general running costs, professional fees or production costs - such as the purchase or hire of materials, equipment, venues, goods and/or services.

The British Council regularly offers funding for cultural collaboration such as the Connections Through Culture programme or the International Collaboration Programme. This festival travel grant seek to make connections which would support a future application to a collaboration fund.


  • Open Call launched – 8 February 2024
  • Round One deadline – 29 February 2024
  • Successful applicants notified – 11 March 2024
  • Grant agreement signed – 22 March 2024
  • Round Two deadline – 8 May 2024
  • Successful applicants notified – 20 May 2024
  • Grant agreement signed – 31 May 2024


We want this opportunity to be inclusive and engage individuals from the four nations, from different regions in the UK and from different backgrounds, gender, disabilities and communities and that the programme will promote visibility, recognition and influence of women, disabled and other underrepresented UK and international artists and creative professionals.

Who is eligible to apply

Representatives from UK arts festivals are eligible to apply. The representative does not need to be a staff member of the organisation, but the organisation will need to verify that they are in a position to represent the festival.

Representatives from UK festivals must have the ability to support future collaborative projects, they do not need to be the artistic director but will need to demonstrate (e.g. through a letter confirming support from the festival Director) that they have the authority to develop projects.

Who is not eligible to apply

  • The festival travel grants aim to develop institutional links and therefore individual artists or freelancers can only apply if they are working directly with a festival in the UK
  • Funding bodies and for-profit companies are ineligible
  • These grants will not support academic links.
  • Individuals based (living) outside of the United Kingdom are ineligible, unless temporarily living outside of the United Kingdom but retaining a home address in the United Kingdom and defined by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs as ‘resident the in the UK’ for tax – see here
  • This opportunity is open to representatives of arts festivals in the UK. The UK festivals must present work from cultural or creative sector(s) within any of the following art forms:
    - Film
    - Creative technology (incl games, immersive, mixed, augmented and virtual reality)
    - Literature
    - Visual Arts
    - Theatre and dance (including circus)
    - Architecture, design & fashion (including craft)
    - Music

We also welcome proposals from festivals who present:
- Cross-art form projects
- Projects with themes relevant to the creative economy
- Cross-disciplinary art projects (e.g., art + science, art + technology)


All applicants will be evaluated by the British Council based on the following criteria and weighting:

Quality – The festival represented is of high artistic/creative quality and has the capacity to develop international connections  25%
Suitability – The proposed trip is relevant, and will provide opportunities for the UK participant to increase their understanding of the Chinese cultural sector as well as develop networks with peers in mainland China. 25%
Planning – The proposed trip is well planned and resourced 25%
Inclusivity - The application increases the visibility, recognition and influence of women, disabled and other underrepresented UK creative professionals 25%

Submission Details

Please submit your application via the online application form 

Each Applicant can only put forward one submission.

Access Support for Completing Your Application 

You can request funds for access costs that you have incurred in completing this application form. Access costs might include support workers, sign language interpreters, technical tools or mental health support. They are defned as costs that you incur due to a disability that others would not incur.  This support is available to all disabled applicants, whether they are successful or not. 

The support is available on two conditions: 

  1. You fully complete all sections of the application form and upload all required supporting documents.
  2. Your application is submitted by the deadline. 

You can request this support through Application Form - Section C. Access costs for completing the application form. 

Please note that applications will not be assessed on the quality of written English.

Notes for Applicants

Note for Applicant is available in the download session at the bottom of the page, please read the document for full details.


If you have further questions, please contact