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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Local Government Challenge Fund

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Friday 31st March 2017 at 4pm

The Local Government Challenge Fund has been devised to underpin and strengthen arts provision in a community setting and to stimulate long-term change. Historically, local authority funding for the arts has been variable across Northern Ireland. There is an opportunity to change this through the development of Community Plans and their emerging themes, such as economic regeneration, community relations and social cohesion, tourism and health. The Arts Council believes that the Challenge Fund has the greatest chance of success if arts policy and programmes are embedded in Community Plans.

Who can apply?

The Arts Council is making £1.5m available within this Fund which is open to the 10 council areas outside Belfast.  The Arts Council will match each council’s contribution, up to a maximum of £150,000. 

How to apply?

Each council area is working to different timescales within an overall deadline of delivering community plans by April l2017. To facilitate this, Councils may submit their application at any point up to 31 March 2017.   Applications will be considered by the Arts Council within a maximum turnaround period of 3 months.   Please note that the Arts Council funds cannot be used for any contracts entered into before it makes its decision.

Applications must be discussed with an officer of the Arts Council prior to submission.

Online completion of the application is encouraged, however the Arts Council will accept hard-copy submissions for this programme



Please consult the programme guidance notes before completing and submitting an application


Challenge Fund Application Form
Challenge Fund Guidance Notes

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is Friday 31st March 2017 at 4pm
Decisions will be made by Friday 30th June 2017