The Libraries Taskforce: Evaluation workshops resource pack

In March 2019 The Audience Agency delivered a series of evaluation workshops for libraries, commissioned by the DCMS Libraries Taskforce and supported by Arts Council England.  Four workshops were delivered across England; in the North West, North East, South West, and London / South East regions.  This Resource Pack brings together the evaluation workshop slide set and notes, themed resource links … More

ICO: Developing Deaf Audiences for film

At least 1 in 6 people in the UK are affected by deafness. This number incorporates a wide range of experiences and forms of communication, but no matter the specific need, the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing deserve to be able to enjoy the cinema. We created this guide to help you understand the challenges Deaf people … More

Your film club, your way: SEN/ ASN

The resource covers five of the most popular or impactful films from Into Film’s inclusion project, provides tips for the arrangement of your Into Film club, suggestions for film reviewing and activities to enhance and support screenings.

Being inventive about funding sources is essential in cinema. From sponsorship, to film funding, to support from trusts and foundations, there are options available to most organisation types.

BFI funding

National projects

The BFI distributes National Lottery funding for national audience projects through two avenues. National-scale projects can apply directly to the Audience Project Fund, a rolling project fund. You can find out more at this link.

Regional projects

Cinemas running regional projects can apply for funding from their film hub. Each hub operates their funding calendar in a different way, although the aims of the funds are largely the same and refer to the priority areas under BFI 2022:

● Engaging audiences​ – maximising the number of audiences engaging with FAN activity and increasing the quality and cultural depth of their experience
● Broadening film choice​ – increasing access to a wide range of independent British and international film for audiences – especially those outside London
● Diversity​ – increasing the diversity of audiences engaging with FAN activity
● Young audiences​ – boosting participation of 16-30 year olds in FAN activity
● Screen heritage​ – facilitating greater access to archive content with a particular focus on national and regional collections

Find out about each hubs funding on their websites.

Film Hub Midlands
Film Hub North
Film Hub Scotland
Film Hub Northern Ireland
Film Hub Wales
Film Hub South West
Film Hub South East
Film Hub London

Film hubs respond to the needs and make up of their regions so funds may be formatted individually, and focus on different elements of the priorities at different times. You must register as an organisation to be a FAN member to receive funding, but registration is free.

National seasons/campaigns on a regional level

Some regional film hubs also offer project funding to any FAN members across all the nations and regions through national programmes:
Major Programmes (large national seasons led by BFI and FAN)
Screen Heritage (national archive seasons)
New Releases (supporting independent film titles)

Access needs to make an application

If you have access requirements that mean you need assistance when applying for BFI and film hub funds, you may be able to request financial support through the BFI Access Support scheme. Find out more information here.

Cinema-specific funders

BFI Audience Projects Fund
Creative Europe UK
Cinema for All
Screen Scotland
Creative Scotland
Northern Ireland Screen
Ffilm Cymru Wales
Film & Television Charity

Diversity funders

There are also a range of funders who fund projects supporting diverse groups.

Reaching Communities from National Lottery
Big Lottery Fund
Heritage Lottery Fund
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
The Baring Foundation
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The Allen Lane Foundation
Arts Council
Comic Relief
Arts & Humanities Research Council
The Rayne Foundation
Creative Scotland
Wolfson Foundation
Garfield Weston
Foyle Foundation
Trusthouse Charitable Foundation
John Ellerman Foundation
The Tudor Trust
The Henry Smith Charity
The Dunhill Medical Trust


From in-kind support of food and drink for your event to large CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds from major commercial organisations, there is money to be found for cinemas that can align the work they’re doing to the priorities of companies.

Article – What sponsors want from the arts, Artshub

Developing a Fundraising Strategy - Institute of Fundraising

In 2018 we asked our network members to tell us how inclusive they felt their cinemas were and what they’d like to do to increase access to their film programmes. 70% felt that more training could help.

The BFI Diversity Standard encourages exhibitors to offer inclusive cinema programmes – inclusion for those with additional needs, as well as for those who may feel culturally excluded.

Lots of us have fears and are aware of the barriers that stand in our way when we try to develop diverse audiences, but we don’t often get the time to consider our options, talk to peers and come up with solutions and ideas to improve what we offer.

FAN delivers training in Inclusive Cinema to our membership, through face-to-face workshops, resources such as this, 121 consultancy, and industry conferences like This Way Up. See us at major independent cinema events, such as Slate Days and Screening Days. The ICO, UKCA and other organisations that specialise in accessibility and diversity also have regular programmes of training to support exhibitors looking to grow their diverse audiences.

Training providers

FAN’s regional film hubs – links on the funding page
Independent Cinema Office (ICO)
Cinema for All
Into Film
UK Cinema Association (UKCA)
Centre for Accessible Environments – accessibility
Arts Marketing Association – audience development incl. Diversity Academy
Audience Agency – audience development
The Other Box – bias, diversity and inclusion training
BRAP – diversity and inclusion training
A&IM – Access and Inclusivity Matters
Sunsurfer – equality, disability and mental health training
The Diversity Trust – equality, diversity and inclusion training
Shape Arts – disability equality training
DASH – accessible marketing and disability equality training
Equality and Diversity UK
ACAS – equality, mediation and management training
Zebra Uno – Deaf awareness and sign language training
RNID – Deaf awareness
Royal Deaf – Deaf awareness
Remark! – Deaf awareness
Deafinitely Theatre – Deaf awareness
BIFA – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training
Amiokaa – equality, diversity & inclusion training
Diverse Matters – equality, diversity and inclusion training

For filmmakers, BFI Network offers a full list of funders and training providers for filmmakers and production roles.

Over 1500+ members make up the Film Audience Network. We work with hundreds of partners in arts organisations, the charity sector and through education to broaden the reach of British and international film to diverse audiences, but this only happens when staff take time to step away from the day-to-day to address the bigger picture.

We’ve collated existing best practice guidance on working with diverse groups and diversity specialists from various sectors, not just our own. We’ve also started to fill in the gaps, by creating new guides for exhibitors where there’s demand.

Here you’ll find an array of guidance to support your inclusive cinema aims. Where there are gaps, we’re aiming to fill them. If you have ideas, or would like to contribute, get in touch.


Inclusive Cinema was a UK-wide project developed by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) designed to support screen exhibitors. Together, we celebrated diversity on screen, in the audience and behind the camera.