Somerset House Exchange Bursaries

Somerset House Exchange is a shared workspace for freelancers, individuals and small businesses (of 10 or less), who:

  • Work in the arts and/or creative industries
  • Incorporate and embrace innovation
  • Have a collaborative approach to their work
  • Strive to increase diversity within their industry.

To ensure Somerset House Exchange is made up of a diverse community of creatives, we are offering bursaries to cover up to 75% of membership rates to people who are underrepresented in the creative and cultural sector, or who have an impactful creative idea that needs a little support to get to the next level. 

Bursary places will be available for a twelve-month period, with potential to renew for a second year. Our bursary places are specifically looking to redress balance in terms of gender, disability, ethnicity, and socio-economic background.

Somerset House Exchange is supported by the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.


  • 01 November 2019Exchange bursary programme open for applications
  • 14 November, 12.00 – 14.00: Drop-in session and tour of Exchange for people thinking of applying for a bursary
  • 28 November, 16.00 – 19.00: Second drop-in session and tour of Exchange to coincide with Creative Job Studio on Future of Work
  • 30 November: Deadline for bursary applications
  • From 09 December: Shortlisted applicants invited in to see space and to meet the Exchange team to discuss how they could benefit from the opportunity
  • From 06 January 2020: Bursary recipients are welcomed into Somerset House Exchange and their memberships commence

This will be the first of several rounds of bursary member recruitment. A further call for applications will be published on the website in the New Year.

How To Apply For A Bursary?

Complete the application form online by Saturday 30 November 2019.

If you would like to attend an application advice session and tour of SH Exchange on 14 or 28 November, please RSVP here.

If you cannot make either of these open events and would like to visit another time or if you would like to discuss the bursary programme, please get in touch with the Exchange team.

Selection Criteria

Working with the Mayor of London, Somerset House has committed to ensure Somerset House Exchange bursaries recipients are:

  • 25% from BAME backgrounds
  • 50% women
  • 38% from lower socio-economic groups

Applications will be assessed according to the following selection criteria:

  • Access and diversity (25%) – in relation to the stated targets
  • Creative potential (25%) – quality of creative thinking and originality of applicant’s work
  • Sustainability and viability (25%) – is the business or project at a stage that would benefit from being part of Somerset House Exchange and does it have the potential to become self-sustaining?
  • Community contribution (25%) – will the bursary recipient play an active role in the Exchange community?