May 2021: Top Tips from Arts Council England

Funder Tuesdays, in partnership with Stronger Kent Communities, is your opportunity to hear from a fantastic line up of local and national funders followed by the chance to ask your questions. 

If you missed our sessions, do not worry! Our guest speakers have kindly allowed their presentations and top tips to be shared with you…

Arts Council England

On Tuesday 4 May 2021, we were joined by Arts Council England Relationship Managers, Lorna Palmer and Kevin Grist. Not only did Lorna and Kevin share some great top tips on applying to the Arts Council, but they also shared some useful links which you can find below:

  • Arts Council England – ten year strategy ‘Let’s Create
  • New to the Arts Council? First time applicant guidance
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants overview (organisations and individuals)
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants guidance for applications under £15,000
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants guidance for application over £15,000
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants supplementary note until August 2021
  • Information Sheets covering all 29 specific project types e.g. touring, international, music, dance etc.
  • Is my project ready? Pre application quiz for National Lottery Project Grants
  • Developing your Creative Practice fund (individuals only)

Things to remember when applying to Arts Council England:

  • Read the Arts Council’s ten year strategy, Let’s Create, and think about how your project will fit in to this – in particular their three outcomes and principles (see pages 28-29).
  • Currently focussing on smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners until 31 August 2021.
  • They are looking for projects that enable communities to access arts and culture that may not normally. Bringing the arts to non-typically spaces such as shopping centre or civic centres are also of interest.
  • Think about the social impact your project will have.
  • They are looking for audiences to have an active involvement in your project rather than a passive one e.g. just watching an end performance. Get your beneficiaries involved with the creative process.
  • If a project has health and wellbeing benefits consider partnering or involving other organisations/health professionals that specialise in this field.
  • Do not assume they know about your artform so avoid jargon and explain terminology.
  • It is rare for a first time applicant to be funded over £15,000 most are under. If you would like to apply for over £15,000 with your first application they advise a pre application enquiry is made (contact details below).
  • During this period of change, funding guidelines have slightly altered – see Supplementary Note link above. Key points include: 10% match funding is no longer essential however still desirable and they keen to support research and organisational development activity.
  • Take application lead times into consideration when planning your project’s start date. Registering for the Arts Council’s application portal, Grantium, takes up to ten days and current response times are longer due to Covid-19 – for applications £15,000 and under allow up to ten weeks and for applications over £15,000 allow up to 16 weeks.

If you’d like to discuss your Kent or Medway project in more detail before applying, you can contact the Arts Council England South East team via:

SEProjectGrants@artscouncil.org.uk

See Lorna and Kevin’s presentation here.

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