Photo by Sara Kurig

In a landmark move set to redefine the intersection of arts and technology, the United Kingdom has announced a £6 million funding programme aimed at exploring the creative potential of immersive technology within the arts and culture sector. Spearheaded by UK Research and Innovation, this ambitious initiative is part of the XRtists scheme, a three-year project designed to support over 200 UK-based artists and organizations by providing access to training, mentoring, specialist facilities, and vital funds.

The Immersive Arts programme, as it is known, is not just about financial support; it represents a broader movement towards fostering innovation and supporting skills development across the arts sector. By equipping artists and organizations with the necessary tools and knowledge to explore immersive technologies, the programme aims to catalyze a new wave of creative expression and experiences. A significant portion of the funding, £3.6 million, has been allocated as grant funding to help turn creative ideas into reality.

The execution of the programme is a collaborative effort, led by the University of the West of England, with regional hubs established in Bristol, Belfast and Derry~Londonderry, Cardiff, and Glasgow. These hubs are pivotal in creating inclusive and accessible opportunities for artists from all backgrounds, ensuring that the benefits of immersive technologies are widely distributed.

Funding for the XRtists scheme comes from an ambitious partnership between the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Arts Council of Wales. This partnership underscores the collective vision of leveraging immersive technologies to enrich the UK’s arts and culture landscape.


Immersive technologies, including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, offer artists unprecedented avenues for creativity. From transforming how audiences experience art to enabling new forms of storytelling, these technologies are redefining the boundaries of artistic expression. The Immersive Arts programme is poised to be a catalyst for this transformation, providing artists with the resources to explore and innovate within this emerging field.

The UK government’s support for the Immersive Arts programme is part of a broader strategy to foster innovation within the country’s creative industries. With a significant investment already made to build a network of R&D labs across the UK, the government aims to position the nation at the forefront of advancements in creative technologies. This initiative aligns with the broader goal of growing the creative industries by £50 billion by 2030, highlighting the economic and cultural importance of this sector.

The £6 million investment in the Immersive Arts programme represents a significant step forward in the integration of technology and arts within the UK. By supporting artists and organizations in exploring the creative potential of immersive technologies, the initiative not only aims to foster innovation but also to democratize access to these cutting-edge tools. As the programme unfolds, it will undoubtedly contribute to the vibrant tapestry of the UK’s arts and culture sector, pushing the boundaries of what is artistically possible and creating new experiences for audiences nationwide.

In this evolving landscape, artists and organizations keen on exploring further opportunities within the arts sector can turn to platforms like the ArtsCapy Art Community. As a hub for connecting, discovering, and engaging with the wider arts community, Artscapy embodies the spirit of innovation and collaboration that the Immersive Arts programme seeks to promote, offering a valuable resource for those looking to navigate the intersection of art and technology.