Artist & Business Development Program

From the Employability & Enterprise Team

Our program aims to mimic the support that a mainstream/later career artist might receive (or that of a new business receiving seed funding) by offering relevant industry input from multiple successful sources, as well as training programs, spendable budget and further business partners. Having these multiple voices to engage with creates a team for the project in question; helping to deliver a much more considered vision, while empowering the individual and creating career sustainability.

This year we have partnered with Come Play With Me, a brilliant local music/arts supporter who will deliver workshops as part of this program.

This program can be aligned to fit any project endeavouring to utilise entrepreneurial skills to create something exciting, collaborative and innovative. This means that no matter what your project is, if successful, each candidate will have a suitable plan developed and agreed to support their efforts in moving ideas and careers in the right direction.

In previous years, we have helped a number of different students to engage with various career aspirations, including artists such as Caro, Lucy Whittaker, and State of Satta, the label/collective 8MANA, and podcast FEMIGY to name just a few.

Aims of the program
  • To provide a competitive extracurricular opportunity for Leeds Conservatoire students across all pathways.
  • To help students learn and develop within the context of their chosen projects.
  • To nurture and grow artists and businesses in an offsite professional environment.
  • To provide experience in dealing with the wider music industry, with Leeds Conservatoire taking a similar role to that of a professional record label, artist management company or mentor.
  • To promote chosen projects and the values and ethos of Leeds Conservatoire.
  • To help generate income for both Leeds Conservatoire and participating students.
Who is this for

The Artist and Business Development Program is open to all second, third year and post graduate students across all pathways at Leeds Conservatoire.

Any first year students wanting to learn more or discuss potentially suitable projects are encouraged to contact us, with a view to preparing you for support in subsequent years of study.

What is included in the support?

We update the support and content of this program yearly to ensure it reflects student needs, and offers the most relevant and up to date advice and support possible. This includes:

  • Access to specialist mentor sessions - you will normally be provided with three mentors throughout the six month program. You will meet with them throughout this period to progress your project goals and aims.
  • Specially curated in person workshops delivered by the Come Play With Me team as well as other in-house sessions (booked when relevant or required).
  • Funding - up to £500 towards your project.
  • General support from the Employability & Enterprise Team - we have access to a wide range of resources and can assist in finding suitable business partners, solicitors and accountants plus much more.
Application Window

There is one single application window in the first academic semester for this support, as the program then runs for six months across the second semester.

This window will open on Monday 24th October 2022 at 9:00.

It will close on Monday 21st November 2022 at 12:00.

Support Criteria

The Leeds Conservatoire Artist Development Program will provide a significant amount of time, support, and funding to each successful applicant, so we would like to see submissions reflect and acknowledge this in the information and detail shared. Below are a few points to consider before applying for this scheme:

  • Does your project reflect the same values as Leeds Conservatoire ie Creative discovery, collaboration, artistic ambition etc?
  • Are you already attempting to become successful in your chosen area?
  • Can you display a good understanding or relevant research of what might be required to make your project successful?
  • Are you capable and willing to work and develop your ideas with assistance from Leeds Conservatoire and other engaged professionals?
  • Are you ready or willing to release material in support of your project where applicable?
  • Do you have any reviews from local or national press already?
  • Do you actively engage with social media networks to promote your project?
  • Those who have already received support from the Employability and Enterprise team this academic year won't be eligible. 
Application and Selection Process

This is a competitive process with all applicants considered and judged against strict criteria to avoid any form of favouritism. There are two steps to this application and selection process.

Application Form

Firstly the application form contains broad and open questions which reflect the flexibility of the support available. You are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible. You can only apply with your own work or project, and cannot submit another’s work for Artist Development. Once all applications are received (by the deadline) a specially selected panel will review and decide which of these are potential candidates for the support.


Once all applications are received a specially selected panel will review and decide which of these are potential candidates for the support. Those that are successful at this point will be asked to attend an interview/presentation style panel discussion so that we can better understand the project, allowing the candidate to really explain their ideas and goals.

Successful Applicants

Lastly we will evaluate these secondary tasks with the initial submissions and decide which applicants are to receive the support of the Leeds Conservatoire Artist Development program. Once support and appropriate action has been agreed between all parties, the applicant will be asked to sign a memorandum of understanding.

For those who are not successful, we always aim to provide constructive and positive feedback as quickly as possible.

Sample Application Timeline

24/10/22 - 21/11/22 Application window open Applications to outline the project, desired outcomes and include all applicable links (link to music, social media platforms etc).
21/11/22 - 28/11/22 Applications reviewed by a panel of LC staff  
w/c 5/12/22 Successful applications invited to interview/presentation In front of a small panel of industry professionals (mixed LC staff and none LC industry professionals). This is designed to enable students to talk through and demonstrate their ideas and passions in a supportive environment.
9/12/22 Projects identified to receive support and informed Successful candidates will be notified, and brief plans drawn up to commence support in early 2021
Jan 2023 - Jul 2023 Support to commence and run for six month period  
End of July 2023 Review support Define further ways to assist development of project in the future


To Apply

Please make sure you have read all of the supporting documentation prior to applying. Applications that don’t meet the criteria outlined will not be considered for support.

Click here to complete the application form

If you have any questions regarding this support, please feel free to get in touch.

Ahead of graduating @tashadmusouk is making their professional debut in Vernons Girls at @RoyalCourtLiv from 9 June…
UoH-Logo.png (2) QAA logo Conservatoires UK logo Partner_1.png AEC logo Roland logo prs-keychange-logo_red-blue_pantone-c (fine to use).png Luminate_Education_Group_Logo (small).png