The United Kingdom remains a magnet for artists and creative entrepreneurs.
The United Kingdom is a priority country in the Netherlands’ International Cultural Policy 2017-2020 and will keep this position for the 2021-24 policy period too. The strategy aims at an increasingly strong and recognisable presence for art, the creative industry and professionals from the Netherlands in prominent places in the United Kingdom.
As an international cultural metropolis, London has tremendous pulling power; almost every country in the world is culturally represented there. The United Kingdom shares a long history of cultural exchange with the Netherlands; this dates back to the seventeenth century, when British royal houses opened their courts to Dutch Masters, architects, designers and scholars. But nowadays as well, British organisations invite Dutch artists and creative entrepreneurs to collaborate with them.
Because of the stiff competition in the United Kingdom, Dutch artists have to work hard for recognition, and once they achieve it, work hard to remain in the spotlights. While London may be the epicentre of international culture, the old industrial cities also offer opportunities for the Netherlands with their own festivals, stages and studios. Greater Manchester area is attracting more and more cultural attention: the Mindscapes project - initiated by DutchCulture and our embassy in London - will also focus on this part of the UK. Moreover, there is more than enough common ground between the Netherlands and England in the areas of heritage management, cultural education, fundraising and other forms of cultural entrepreneurship. Read our analysis about the Dutch cultural activities in the UK in 2018 here.
The Dutch Embassy in London helps identify and utilise opportunities for new makers and creative entrepreneurs, and works with programmes that help Dutch talent make it the international stage. The embassy organises work visits, workshops, seminars, press presentations and network meetings for and with Dutch cultural organisations. In addition, the embassy regularly publishes information on cultural events with a Dutch flavour.
To stimulate the Dutch presence in United Kingdom, the following work in partnership: the Dutch Embassy in London, the Mondriaan Fund, Dutch Performing Arts, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Creative Industries Fund NL, Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Cultural Participation Fund, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the Popcoalitie and DutchCulture.
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Despite the exit, expectations are that cultural exchange will remain at a high level. Read more about the impact of Brexit below, in the FAQ section.
United Kingdom at a glance
featuring 445 artists
12 months (2019)
discipline in 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalisation. To make sure the program fits your project, contact the advisors of the fund before starting the process of application. These are funds:
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for foreign contemporary art platformsto present work by Dutch(-based) living artists. Invited artists can also apply.
> Travel grants to travel to foreign contemporary art platforms for a lecture, workshop or performance.
Cultural Participation Fund
for Communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.
Netherlands Enterprise Agency
for the Creative Industries
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2019/2020.
- 2. Where can I find funding within United Kingdom?
The UK has an elaborate system of art subsidies, but in order to be eligible for these financing opportunities it is in most cases necessary to have a UK based partner. Only people or institutions registered in the UK can apply for funding, unless it is noted to be otherwise. Therefore we advise you to ask your British partner organisation to apply for funding in the UK, at the Dutch Funds or at the Embassy of the Netherlands in London.
Besides that the Embassy of the Netherlands in London has an extensive network in the local cultural sector and in-depth knowledge of its cultural institutions, organisations and theatres. The Embassy can advise on opportunities for cooperation. In addition, they can provide grants to local cultural institutions that present Dutch cultural works in the United Kingdom. They also help Dutch artists and creative entrepreneurs in increasing their visibility.
Doing your research beforehand and finding local partners is essential. You can use the DutchCulture Database by simply going to the search option in the upper left corner, and search for ´United Kingdom´ or any city you are interested in. This way you will see which Dutch artists are already active in which areas.
DutchCulture also works closely together with On the Move, where you will find an elaborate mapping of funding opportunities. Check here the Guide to Funding Opportunities for the International Mobility of Artists and Culture Professionals. This guide was updated in 2018 and lists national, local and international resources, be they public or private.
- 3. Are there funding opportunities within Europe?
Creative Europe (2014-2020) is the seven-year support programme by the European commission for the cultural and audio-visual sector, and consists of two subprogrammes: Culture and MEDIA. The Creative Europe Desk of the Netherlands is part of DutchCulture. In the second half of 2019 the next open call will be published. Be aware that there are many strict conditions to be considered before applying for this programme. The cooperation also has to consists of at least three European countries, a cooperation between only the UK and the Netherlands is therefore not eligible. In April 2019 i-Portunus, a pilot-mobility programme was launched. You can apply here between April and September 2019 for financial support in travel and accommodation costs for international projects within the Creative Europe countries.
Europe for Citizens
Europe for Citizens is the European Union's funding programme to support cooperation projects by citizens, local governments and civil society organizations in the EU. From 2014-2020, 185 million euros is available to support European projects where citizens meet, discuss the future of Europe and remember the (recent) turbulent past of the EU. Europe for Citizens Point NL promotes awareness and understanding of the programme, and provides free advice and support for applicants from the Netherlands. Every participating country has such a contact point. More about Europe for Citizens in Dutch can be found here.
Besides these two programmes of the European Commissions, there are more European funding opportunities and within the two programmes, there are different calls and subprogrammes.
Further funding opportunities
These two funding guides can help you on your way:
Fund-finder, Guide to funding opportunities for arts and culture in Europe, beyond Creative Europe (published by IETM in English)
EU Subsidiewijzer (published by Creative Europe Desk NL in Dutch)
- 4. How can I promote my work in United Kingdom?
It is a good idea to engage local professionals and publicists, that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience and region. There is a growing number of Dutch people living in the United Kingdom and many cities have a Dutch network. Using these existing networks will also help you to promote your work.
Make sure to contact the Embassy to let them know about your projects, and don’t forget to let DutchCulture know! This way you will be included in our Database and become part of our network.
- 5. What visa do I need?
As for now as an EU citizen, you do not need a visa to work in the United Kingdom. If you have a passport from outside the EU, it is wise to check the rules with your country´s representatives in the Netherlands, or you can ask the DutchCulture Mobility Info Point. Regulations will change from 2021.
It is good to know that in the transition period (till the end of 2020) EU citizens can travel to the UK visa-free.
It is important to prepare for different and sometimes stricter rules in United Kingdom, than you may be used to in the Netherlands. Brexit will certainly have an impact on these rules, for further information check the FAQ on Brexit.
Find out exactly what the rules are that a gallery, stage or theatre upholds, before engaging in a cooperation. If you find obstacles on your way, you will have enough time to apply for permits or find other solutions. Always make sure that your health insurance will cover you across borders.
- 6. How can I find a residency, venue at which to perform, exhibition space?
Through the DutchCulture Database you can figure out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country and city. For residencies the organisation Transartists, which is also a part of DutchCulture, is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.
- 7. How will Brexit influence cultural cooperations?
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. How will that influence cultural cooperations?
And what happens next? There are several scenarios possible and the impact on cultural cooperations differs in the respective options.
Below we collected some useful links for you:
• Information for companies is available via the Brexitloket (in Dutch).
• Fill in the Brexit Impact Scan to check the regulations for your specific situation (in Dutch)
• Check the Brexit update of Creative Europe. Creative Europe Desk NL is part of DutchCulture, and you are welcome to contact the desk for further information on the CE programs.
• Read the latest news about the negotiations on the future partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom.