Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Funding for Organisations
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Annual Funding Programme

Sorry, this scheme is closed. If you need help please contact us

The over-riding aim of the Arts Council’s Annual Funding Programme is to support Northern Ireland’s arts infrastructure through grants to organisations in all artforms and practices for their core and programming costs.

The arts sector is, once again, facing a financially challenging year so please download and read the guidance notes carefully before filling in the application form. There are significant changes to this year’s programme application and assessment process.  Only one application is required; this will cover both your Core and Programming request. 

It should be noted that all grants made under this programme are only guaranteed on the basis that the Arts Council continues to receive sufficient Exchequer funds from the Department for Communities and, in the case of Lottery funding, from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.

For organisations not previously in receipt of an Annual Funding Programme award.

If you are considering applying to the Annual Funding Programme you will be required, as part of the process, to upload a set of documents to the Government Funding Database.  This can take some time. Note applicants based outside Northern Ireland are not required to upload documents to the Database but are required to submit the documents with the application form.

  • Constitution and/or Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Most recent set of Audited/Certified/adopted accounts.
  • Organisation Chart
  • Rental Agreement/Lease of Evidence of ownership

If you are not currently on the Database you will be required to register at

Full instructions for uploading documents are available here.

Failure to upload documents to the Government Funding Database will mean your application will not be assessed.

Who can apply?

Organisations receiving support must demonstrate that they require a year-round resource and should apply for their complete programme for the year.  All applications should fit within the objectives stated in the Council’s draft 5 year strategic framework and must make a contribution to the draft Programme for Government outcomes .

This programme is not designed for organisations planning short term or fixed term projects, or single or one-off annual events.

How to apply?

You must make a single application to the programme using our online system.  The link to application forms can be found below.  Use “Apply Online Now” to start a brand new application.  Use “Edit an Application Form Online” to go back into an application that you’ve already started and saved.

Guidance Notes
Instructions on uploading documents to GFD

You may only apply online. We will not accept applications in hard copy or by email.

Online applications may be edited, saved and returned up to the closing date. You MUST upload all mandatory enclosures to your application prior to submission, in order that we receive them with your application, before the deadline.

All documents must be in Word, Excel or pdf format.  We cannot accept documents in other formats.   Total size of documents should not exceed 25 Mb.

Please ensure that you leave sufficient time to upload all documents to the system as there can be long delays as the closing deadline approaches and the system will shut down at 4.00 pm on the closing date.   If your complete application is not uploaded when the system closes your application will not be accepted.

It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive the application form and mandatory enclosures by the closing time and date.

All of the information you provide will be held on computer.  This information will be used for the administration of applications and grants, for producing statistics and information on successful applicants