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Q&A: Pilot Premium Payments Programme

Friday 14th February 2020 at 10am 0 Comments

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Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts and Education at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland talks about the Pilot Premium Payments Programme and how to apply…

Can you tell us about the Pilot Premium Payments Programme?

This pilot programme seeks to facilitate the engagement and inclusion of all Section 75 groups in funded arts activity.  We want to support organisations diversify audiences / participants and respond to project level need in a timely and systematic way, enabling engagement with existing or planned arts activity.

Section 75 requires public authorities to have due regard for the need to promote equality of opportunity between: persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation. Men and women generally. Persons with a disability and persons without.

We know that the realisation of genuine diversity and inclusion is a long process that requires real effort. There are no quick fixes. In our 5-year strategic framework, Inspire, Connect, Lead, we set out a range of longer terms actions to help address these issues, a lot of which are interrelated, socio-economic, educational and geographic.  This programme is intended to support the smaller things that might help to make a real difference, perhaps by changing attitudes towards the arts or tweaking access to engagement.

This is a short-term, pilot programme and it will be evaluated in order to generate evidence for a larger scale roll-out. 

We know that most small to medium sized arts organisations don’t have a dedicated capacity or resource to facilitate the engagement of Section 75 categories and therefore this pilot programme aims to address those needs and gaps.

Who can apply for the award?

The Premium Payment scheme provides funding of up to £5,000 to organisations in receipt of exchequer or lottery funding. Organisations are eligible for funding if their total income is less than £500,000 per annum.

How can the funding be used?

The funding can be used to support section 75 groups’ access arts programmes. For example, if an organisation has an existing arts programme that it is delivering, yet there are access issues for Section 75 groups to participate or attend these programmes, the organisation can apply to the Pilot Premium Payments Programme. Costs might include translation expenditure, Sign language interpretation (BSL and ISL) or costs to support transport to enable Section 75 participants to attend and/or participate in the programme.

Funding is not for the development of a programme or the artistic costs of delivering a programme. Look at it more to do with helping people from Section 75 groups attend or participate in your arts activity.

When is the deadline?

This is a rolling programme and expressions of interests can be submitted any time up until 4pm on Friday 13th March 2020. Organisations must ensure that they are able to complete the project(s) by 31 March 2020.

When will decisions be made?

We are able to make decisions very quickly, within two weeks. Therefore, if you have a programme that you are delivering in a couple of weeks time, we might be able to support the access costs for your participants/attendees.

Why would you encourage organisations to apply?

We have developed this pilot programme, after consultation with the sector and if this pilot proves successful, it helps ACNI in securing further funds to deliver an ongoing programme beyond this initial pilot.

We know that the sector has asked for a responsive, quick turnaround programme that meets immediate needs, this pilot programme is exactly that.

Visit to read the full guidance notes and to apply. 


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