Arts Council England presentation for Funder Tuesdays

We were delighted to be joined by Arts Council England for our online Funder Tuesdays session with Funding For All in 2021. Thank you to Lorna Palmer, Relationship Manager for Combined Arts, and Kevin Grist, Relationship Manager for Children, Young People & Learning, from Arts Council England in the South East.

Click here to download a nine-slide summary of Arts Council England’s presentation. For general advice for organisations in the South East email:

Further Arts Council England References

Comprehensive session notes with lots of top tips from Funding For All.

SKC notes from the session and Q&A:

Project Grants are £1,000 – £100,000 and there are no deadlines.

Project grants are divided into:

  • £15,000 or less
  • more than £15,000

The timeline for a decision is usually 6 weeks for £15,000 or less or 10 weeks for more than £15,000. This is currently 10 weeks and 16 weeks respectively, so bear this in mind with your project start date. Grant applications are more successful if you have a track record with the funder, so if you are a first-time applicant, it’s best to apply for £15,000 or less. If you want to apply for more than £15,000 first time round, then arrange a conversation with a relationship manager to talk through your proposal. Arts Council England look for quality artistic outcomes – this could mean you have a quality creative process in place for your participants rather than any ‘quality’ artistic performances resulting from your project. So, if you are proposing therapeutic creative work with hard-to-reach young people, then you could show you have quality trainers supporting your project with a track record reaching and engaging this group of people with quality outcomes. These might be youth workers, care workers as well as artists. You need to show your beneficiaries will have a quality experience. If you don’t have a track record of artistic outcomes, then work with people who do. Accessibility is extremely important i.e. Arts Council will provide a support worker to help you through the application process. They can provide information in braille, BSL, large print etc Equality is extremely important to Arts Council England, and they expect your project to address some of their below objectives:

  • Improving access for workers, audiences and participants with disabilities
  • Improving meaningful participation for workers, audiences and participants who are Black and Minority Ethnic  (BAME)
  • Improving access to people from lower socio-economic backgrounds
  • Addressing specific challenges facing young people and older people as a result of COVID 19
  • Challenging racism and promoting anti-racism

On average, 50% of applicants are successful. Failing to get funding in the first round does not mean you shouldn’t apply again – it’s just part of the process. A project doesn’t have to be new, but it can’t have already started. If you want funding for a reoccurring event i.e. a festival, that is fine. Core costs are only funded as part of the project. You need to show you have looked at risk and have contingency plans in place. Match funding is preferable, but not essential. This could be match funding in kind i.e. a free venue. Film is not funded unless has an artistic element i.e. it is a film about dance. Film projects are generally funded by The National Lottery through the British Film Institute. Your project must have public benefit and can’t be ‘for profit.’ Many applications are rejected because they are underdeveloped/incomplete!

These are our notes from the session on 4 May 2021. Please go to the Arts Council England website using the links above for up-to-date and comprehensive information.