news category General News created 31 July 2020

Arts Council England Funding

Throughout this crisis, the MPG, along with UK Music have been working relentlessly to persuade the Government to throw a financial lifeline to our industry. Our campaign work for extra support for studios has been covered here and here, it has been tough, and at times frustrating, however thanks to your support with filling out our surveys, it has helped us convince the Government to set broad eligibility criteria that appears to include studios in the support package announced at the beginning of the month.  We’re aware that at times the surveys may appear pointless and annoying, but this information really does make a difference.

The Government and the Arts Council have announced further details on how organisations can apply for the £880m being made available for grants, under the recently announced £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund.

Here are some of the key features from the announcement:

• The fund is intended to support significant organisations, which were financially sustainable before Covid-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options. It is expected that the investment will ensure that, by 31st March 2021, successful applicants are either: a) fully or partially reopened, or b) operating on a sustainable, cost-efficient basis, so that they can open at a later date if, for example, reopening under social distancing is not permissible or does not represent value for money approach.

• Grants range from £50k up to £3 million.

• £622 million will be distributed in the first round with Arts Council overseeing £500 million across the arts and cultural sector.

• Applications open on 10th August to 4th September (first round from 10th August to 21st August – second round runs from 21st August to 4th September).

• The allocation includes the previously announced £2.25 million in targeted support for grassroots music venues.• A remaining allocation of £258 million will be reserved for later in the financial year.

• For applications to be successful, applicants will need to have an innovative plan for how they will operate and be sustainable for the remainder of this financial year, as well as demonstrate their international, national or local significance.

• Smaller organisations must show how they benefit their local communities.

• Separately £270m loans will be available for £3 million plus and open to both charitable and commercial organisations. Organisations can apply for loans or grants but not both – more detail in due course.

The eligibility for the fund has been set pretty broad with no significant exclusions, and therefore a lot of our members and studios should be eligible. There is, however, one major exception, the fund is only available to organisations, not individuals. Here are some key points of the eligibility criteria:

• Applications sought from cultural organisations (both profit and not for profit) based in England that are properly constituted, and are registered at Companies House and/or Charity Commission, and can produce at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statements.

• Local Authorities, Universities and other Public Sector bodies who run or maintain cultural services can also apply.

• Individuals are explicitly excluded from applying for funds.

• Applicants do not have to have had public funding in the past to be eligible.

For any members who can only apply as individuals, the Arts Council have announced a further fund of £18 million called Developing Your Creative Practice, which offers grants from £2,000 to £10,000.

Applications will be made through Grantium. It’s highly advisable that if you do not have an account, and which to apply to do it now, as it takes a few days for the account to be varied.

As usual, we will be keeping a close eye on how this funding is allocated. Please let us know when / if you apply, and how you get on with your application. This will allow us to flag any issues or problems as soon as they occur.

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