Grants for freelance writing rates increase
Business and business-related grants for freelance writers are expected to rise to £1.9bn by 2021, up 4% on the previous year, according to the latest government figures.
The figures, published on Monday, show that the number of grants for writers will rise to more than 6,500, up from 5,800 in the previous financial year.
The rise in grants is partly due to the introduction of a new system for calculating the cost of writing grants, which has reduced the cost per grant from £40 to £25.
However, it also comes amid the Government’s crackdown on non-academic and unpaid work.
The number of business-based grants for freelancer writers has also risen, from 1,500 to 2,200.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “This Government is committed to supporting and developing the creative industries and to providing support to businesses in the sector.”
The number and size of freelance writers’ grants are set to increase again in 2021, but this year’s figures will be the lowest since 2011.
In its latest annual report on Wednesday, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Skills highlighted the need to continue supporting the creative sector.
It said: “Businesses need support to thrive in an increasingly digital world.
This Government’s support of creative industries in particular will be essential to ensuring that businesses thrive.”
The figures show that grants for business-focused writing rates have risen from £1,800 to £2,000 in the past year.
They were also £2.8m higher in the six months to March than the same period last year.
But the increase was not as large as for the proportion of grants to freelance writing that was in the commercial sector.
The proportion of funding for non-profit sector and voluntary organisations has risen from 16% to 24% since 2011, the figures show.
The Government has said that grants will not be cut as a result of the crackdown on unpaid work, although this will have a “dramatic impact” on the number and quality of grants.
The data showed that, as of the end of June, the number granted a non-commercial grant was 5.2 million, a rise of 4% from the previous six months.
But, of those grants, 3.5 million were in the business sector, down from 4.5m in the same time last year, the department said.
The figures showed that grants to writers are also up.
There were 5,400 grants awarded to writers in the three months to June, a 2% rise on the same quarter last year but a 6% fall from the same six months last year when there were 7,400 grant awards.
However grants for writing are also at their lowest since 2010, when there was a record 4,200 grants.
Grant awards are due to start being disbursed in January, but the government said that there was still a significant gap between the rate of funding awarded and the rate that the government expects writers to earn.