Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555 info@artscouncil-ni.org

Funding for Individuals
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Travel Awards

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Ongoing

The Travel Awards Scheme is a rolling programme. Applications must be received 4 weeks before the intended date of travel. 

These awards enable individual artists and established music groups (up to 4 members) to travel from Northern Ireland to develop their skills and expertise. Applicants must provide evidence that they have been invited by a host organisation in the country to which they intend to travel. 

All applications must be for travel which will be completed by 31 March 2020. If your application relates to travel to an international showcasing festival or conference in North America or Europe, should apply to the International Showcase Fund 

Who can apply?

Individual artists, established music groups (up to 4 members) and arts administrators. Employees of statutory bodies are eligible to apply but they must prove that the funds which they are seeking are for work/costs which are not properly the concern of their employer and do not form part of their professional employment.

Established music groups applying to the scheme should submit a single application. Within the contact details section of the form, they should state the name of the group as well as the name of the primary contact to whom all correspondence will be addressed. Names of all band members should be stated in The History of Artistic Practice submitted with the application, which should be the history of artistic practice for the group as a whole. 

 

How to apply?

Please consult the programme guidance notes before submitting an application. 
Travel Awards Guidance Notes

Deadline for Applications

This is a rolling programme.

Funding for Organisations
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Small Grants Programme

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Ongoing
Please note that due to the current demand for Small Grants funding, the maximum grant is unlikely to exceed £5,000

A sample application form and set of guidance notes for the Small Grants Programme is available below.  All applicants should read and familiarize themselves with the guidance notes before starting an online application. 

The Arts Council has designed this programme to encourage you to develop and deliver your ideas, linked to your artistic needs and to your future plans. 

The aim of this programme is to assist organisations to deliver arts projects which contribute to the growth of arts in the community for new and existing audiences and which reflect the diversity of Northern Ireland’s society and culture.

We want to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work. All applications should fit within the objectives stated in the Council’s five year plan and within its artform policies. 

Note: It is the case that the Council’s programmes, priorities and criteria can change. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are using the most up to date guidance notes and application forms. If you are thinking of making an application please check the Council’s website to make sure that you are using the current guidance notes.

 

Before making an application it is essential that you read the Guidance Notes

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from the widest possible range of organisations. You will be required to provide proof that you have a legal constitution.

  • Registered charities and other organisations which cannot distribute profits
  • Groups of organisations working together to deliver specific projects
  • Organisations currently in receipt of an Arts Council Annual funding Programme award may apply for:
  • new commissions
  • equipment
  • projects of an exceptional nature which were not anticipated at the time of their AFP application
  • formally constituted parent-teacher associations
     

How to apply?

You MUST apply online. We will not accept applications in hard copy, by email or by fax.

Online applications may be edited, saved and returned to at any time until you submit.  You MUST submit ALL mandatory enclosures associated with the application at the same time, ie. at the point at which you submit your online application.   These enclosures are listed within the online application and also in the sample application document (available for download on our website). 

The online application allows you to upload and attach the necessary enclosures to your application. All such 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.

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.  Remember to keep a copy of the completed form and enclosures for your own records.
 

Sample Application Form
Guidance Notes and FAQs
Sample Equal Opportunities Policy
End of Project Report Form
Event confirmation template
Equality of Opportunity and Good Relations Form

Deadline for Applications

This is a rolling programme.

Funding for Organisations
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Musical Instruments for professional and non-professional performing groups

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

The Arts Council has designed this programme to provide support for the purchase of musical instruments by groups involved in the professional and non-professional performance of music and to respond to a broad range of capital needs within the music sector in Northern Ireland.

Funding is intended to increase the quality of music-making in the community by helping eligible groups purchase new instruments.

Particular priority will be given to applications which can clearly demonstrate

  • a commitment to training / tuition / education and performance
  • a commitment to artistic development
  • an ability to increase access to music provision in rural areas

 

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes applications from the widest possible range of organisations and in particular from applicants whose projects benefit individuals categorised under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.  In addition, in order to be eligible to apply to this programme, please note the following:

  • This scheme is open to professional and non-professional performing groups, involved in regular performance in any genre, who are based in and will make regular use of the instruments in Northern Ireland.
  • Community, youth, resource organisations and schools who regularly oversee / are regularly involved in music performance in the non-professional sector.
  • All applicant groups must be formally constituted and must operate as not-for-profit, a voluntary organisation or a charitable body.  Purchased instruments will then be owned by the constituted group (as opposed to any individual within the group).  The organisation/group must have its own separate bank account ie a non-personal account.  (Personal bank accounts will not be accepted in relation to payment of an award.)
  • The following types of groups are eligible for this scheme:

               • Amateur / Youth Orchestras and Ensembles
               • Choirs and Orchestras
               • Classical Ensembles
               • Community Music Groups
               • Musical Societies
               • Percussion / Samba Bands
               • Pop / Rock Ensembles
               • Traditional Ensembles

In addition, the following organisations, if they regularly oversee / are regularly involved in music performance by groups in the non-professional sector, are eligible to apply:

  • Community organisations
  • Music schools
  • Resource organisations
  • Venues
  • Youth groups
  • Primary / post-primary schools*

*Please see important points below re applicant schools.

PRIMARY / POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Please note the following if you are a school who is considering applying to this scheme:

  • Applications from schools are only eligible in relation to non-core curriculum activities.
  • We will give priority to eligible applications from schools which can clearly demonstrate

            • A commitment to training / tuition / education and performance;
            • A commitment to artistic development; and
            • Are based in a rural community

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 for Uploading Documents to the Govern
Funding for Individuals
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Musical Instruments for Individuals

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Monday 9th December 2019 at 4pm

The Arts Council has designed this programme to provide funding for highly-skilled performing musicians working at a professional level who seek support for the purchase of high quality instruments that are central to their performing career. This award is open to musicians working as a high-level performer in a solo capacity or as part of a small group / chamber ensemble in any musical genre. This scheme is aimed at providing instruments for rehearsal and performance.

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes applications from the widest possible range of individuals and in particular from applicants categorised under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. 

In addition, in order to be eligible to apply to this programme, you must be a professional musician

  • who is from or currently resides in Northern Ireland who is based in, and makes regular use of the instruments in, Northern Ireland;

AND

  • who is working as a high-level performer in a solo capacity or as part of a small group / chamber ensemble in any musical genre.

Who Cannot Apply? 

• Non-professional musicians
• Individuals under the age of 18
• Applicants who have broken the conditions of any previous ACNI award.

 

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

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is Monday 9th December 2019 at 4pm
Decisions will be made by Friday 17th January 2020

Funding for Organisations
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Musical Instruments for Bands

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Monday 9th December 2019 at 4pm

The Arts Council has designed this programme to increase the quality of music-making in the community by helping bands to replace worn-out instruments and purchase new instruments.

Particular priority will be given to applications which can demonstrate

  • high quality musicianship;
  • a commitment to training and musical education, particularly of young people; and,
  • a commitment to repertoire and technique development in relation to the band’s existing repertoire and technical standards.

 

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes applications from the widest possible range of organisations and in particular from applicants whose projects benefit individuals categorised under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.  In addition, in order to be eligible to apply to this programme, please note the following:

This scheme is open to bands based in Northern Ireland, which are formally constituted.

The following types of bands are eligible for this scheme:

  • Accordion Orchestra/Band (part, melody or marching)
  • Brass Band
  • Concert Band
  • Flute Band (part, melody or marching)
  • Pipe Band
  • Wind Band

Who Cannot Apply?

• Bands who have received a Musical Instruments for Bands Programme award between January 2014 and March 2019
• Individuals
• Organisations who are in breach of the terms of any previous ACNI grant awards.
• Bands who are not of the types listed above*.

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 for Uploading Documents to the Govern

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is Monday 9th December 2019 at 4pm
Decisions will be made by Friday 17th January 2020

Funding for Individuals
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International Showcase Fund

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Ongoing

Grants of up to £5000 for artists, bands and managers who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference, to contribute to travel, visas, accommodation and expenses.  Delivered by the PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.

These awards enable individual artists, bands and managers to travel from Northern Ireland to develop their skills and expertise. Applicants must provide evidence that they have been invited by a host organisation in the country to which they intend to travel.

Who can apply?

Artists, bands, songwriters, producers and managers who have been invited to perform/attend at industry facing showcase festivals such as:

  • SXSW
  • WOMEX
  • Folk Alliance International
  • Classical: Next
  • Jazz Ahead

How to apply?

To apply, please visit prsfoundation.com/funding-support/funding-music-creators/international/international-showcase-fund

The International Showcase Fund has rolling deadlines due to varying event organiser schedules.

We recommend you apply for funding soon after being invited to showcase. Applications must be received 10-12 weeks before the intended date of travel.

Deadline for Applications

This is a rolling programme.

Funding for Organisations
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International Programme for Organisations

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

All applications to the programmes below must be for projects that will take place between 5 October 2019 and 31 October 2020.

There are two funding streams included within this programme:

  • Artists' International Development Fund (Organisations)
  • Professional Arts Abroad
Please consult the programme guidance notes before completing and submitting an application

Who can apply?

Professional Arts Abroad

  • Professional arts organisations based in Northern Ireland, which can show both a credible track record of contributing to artistic activities here and a commitment to a continued artistic programme in Northern Ireland in the future.


Artists International Development Fund (organisations)
The programme is open to organisations in any artform

  • who have received recognition for their work in Northern Ireland;
  • who do not have extensive international experience;
  • whose work will benefit from launching better international networks - either artistically; or in terms of developing an audience for their work; and
  • who can demonstrate an interest in their work from an overseas partner/host

 

Who cannot apply?

  • Applicants who have already received an award, within the previous 12 months, under the scheme to which they are applying.  This 12 month period runs from the date of the previous award letter.
  • Applicants who have broken the conditions of previous grant awards within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer).

How to apply?

Applications for this programme must be submitted online. Hard-copy applications will not be accepted. 

International Programme Guidance Notes
International Programme Sample Application
Funding for Individuals
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British School at Rome

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

This residency offers visual artists the opportunity to work in Rome for a period of 6 months between the start of January and the end of June 2020 on a project of their choosing.  Rather than experimenting on new techniques, scholars are encouraged to use their time to work on developing ideas for a new body of work or exploring themes that will advance their practice.    The Fellow is encouraged to be self-reliant and adaptable.

Who can apply?

Visual artists working in any discipline, who have made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.

Who cannot apply?

  • Applicants who have held a British School in Rome Fellowship in the last ten years.
  • Students currently in full-time or part-time educational courses.  Established artists currently undertaking recognised academic courses may be considered only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Applicants who have broken the conditions of previous grant awards within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer).

 

Online applications only. Please consult the programme guidance notes before completing and submitting an application
British School at Rome Guidance Notes
British School at Rome Sample Application Form
Funding for Individuals
View All Programmes

Support for the Individual Artist Programme

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

All applications to the programmes below must be for projects that will take place between 1st November 2019 and 31st October 2020.

  • General Arts Awards
  • Artists' Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES)
  • Major Individual Awards (MIA)
  • Artists' International Development Fund (Individuals)
  • Self-arranged residencies
  • Mike Moloney Award
  • Anne O'Donoghue Award

 
Artists may apply to more than one scheme but you will only be awarded one grant in any funding round.  If you choose to apply to more than one scheme:

  • You must complete a separate application form for each scheme.
  • The projects within each application must be significantly distinct.

 

Who can apply?

Artists of all disciplines and in all types of working practice, who have made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.

In a limited number of cases, individual technical staff/administrators of professional artistic companies may also be eligible.

Employees of statutory bodies, undergraduates and postgraduates are eligible to apply but they must prove that the funds which they are seeking are for work/costs which are not properly the concern of their employer and/or are not related to their academic study. Employees of statutory bodies, undergraduates and postgraduates must submit evidence of this in the form of a letter on headed paper from their Head of Department (see Section 5.4 on the application form).  In the case of post-graduate students, the letter must clearly state the title of the student’s PhD thesis and include a declaration by the Head of Department that “The project for which funds are being sought does not form part of any academic work undertaken in relation to the above-titled PhD nor will it be assessed as part of any academic course”.  Please note that the Arts Council may use its own judgement in determining this matter.  Applicants undertaking a Masters or a PhD must also include a separate statement which provides information on how the project applied for differs from their Masters or PhD work.  This is listed as a mandatory enclosure in Section 5 of the application form.

Who cannot apply?

Applicants who have already received an award, within the previous 12 months, under the scheme to which they are applying.  This 12 month period runs from the date of the previous award letter

Applicants who have broken the conditions of any previous award within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer).

How to apply?

Please consult the programme guidance notes before making an application. All applications must be completed online.

SIAP Guidance Notes
Sample Application
SIAP Evaluation Report
Funding for Organisations
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Lottery Project Funding 2019-20

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

The aim of this programme is to assist organisations to deliver arts projects which contribute to the growth of arts in the community for new and existing audiences and which reflect the diversity of Northern Ireland’s society and culture.

We want to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work. 

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from the widest possible range of organisations and in particular from applicants whose projects benefit individuals categorised under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.  You will be required to provide proof that you have a legal constitution. 

  • Registered charities and other organisations which cannot distribute profits may apply for funds.
  • Local Authorities are eligible to apply but they are a low priority.
  • Commercial organisations can only apply for support if the project is primarily for the benefit of the public rather than their own commercial interests.
  • You do not have to be primarily an arts organisation, although the focus of the project must be on arts activities.
  • If your organisation has a limited membership, or is a school, college or university, you must show that the project will benefit the wider public.
  • Public sector agencies can apply for projects which are outside their statutory remit.
  • Groups of organisations (consortia) working together to deliver specific projects.
  • In most cases we expect the activity to take place in Northern Ireland.  However, organisations based outside Northern Ireland can apply where they can demonstrate significant benefit to the people of Northern Ireland.

How to apply?

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

Online Applications are open now.

Online applications may be edited, saved and returned up to the closing date. You MUST submit ALL mandatory enclosures associated with the application at the same time, ie. at the point at which you submit your online application.   These enclosures are listed within the online application.

The online application allows you to upload and attach the necessary enclosures to your application. All such 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 documents 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.  Remember to keep a copy of the completed form and enclosures for your own records.

Please consult the programme Guidance Notes before completing and submitting an application to this programme.
LPF Guidance Notes
Lottery Project Funding Indicators
Instructions for uploading documents
Funding for Individuals
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Open Submission Scheme

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

Arts Council of Northern Ireland recognises the importance of purchasing contemporary work as a vital support mechanism for artists.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s specific objectives with respect to acquisitions are to

  • support individual artists;
  • contribute to the development of visual arts practice in Northern Ireland;
  • develop a culture in which visual art is respected and appreciated;
  • foster knowledge and research;
  • ensure that contemporary visual arts are showcased; and,
  • stimulate the art market in Northern Ireland.

 

Who can apply?

Artists of all disciplines and in all types of working practice, who have made a contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland for a minimum period of one year within the last five years.

Artists from Northern Ireland who are living elsewhere will also be considered. In exceptional circumstances, artists who are not from Northern Ireland but who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Northern Ireland may be considered.

Who Cannot Apply?

Applicants who have had an artwork purchased or commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland within the previous 12 months.

Applicants who have broken the conditions of previous grant awards within the previous 4 years (taken from the date of the letter of offer).

How to apply?

The submission process will consist of an initial online application stage where artists can submit an application form and details of their work, including images or a digital video clip sample of the work to be considered. No original artworks should be submitted at the application stage.

An application can only be made via the online application system - www.GrantRequest.com/SID_486?SA=SNA&FID=35097

No applications will be accepted by post or by email. In addition to completing the online application form, applicants will be required to upload and attach a History of Artistic Practice document, an Artist Statement document, and images or a video clip of the artwork, prior to submission of the online application.

Only one artwork from each artist will be considered for acquisition, and artists should only submit details of one artwork. The Acquisition Panel will select works for follow up that meet the acquisition criteria based upon the information submitted. However, please note that no commitment to purchase will be made without the original artwork having been viewed in person by a member of the Acquisition Panel.

Guidance notes
Sample application
Funding for Individuals
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Young Musicians’ Platform Award

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

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, in collaboration with BBC Northern Ireland, offers awards for young, exceptionally talented solo musicians/singers in Classical, Jazz and Traditional Music who are ready to enter the professional world as artists. The financial award associated with this scheme will allow applicants to spend a sizeable amount of time learning from a master musician/ teacher/composer etc. abroad. The BBC will facilitate this scheme by offering two professional broadcast performances to 5 successful applicants, in the period January – December 2019.

Who can apply?

  • Individual classical, jazz and traditional musicians who reside in or originate from Northern Ireland;
  • Lower age limit of 18 and up to an age limit of 26 for instrumental players, and 29 for singers;
  • Classical, jazz and traditional musicians who have made a meaningful contribution to artistic activities in Northern Ireland;
  • Applicants must have reached a high standard of public performance as indicated within the references and as demonstrated with a solo recording of 2 contrasting works of no more than 8 minutes each

The following are not eligible:

  • Applications for prolonged study at centres of further or higher education. However, applications involving short-term attendance at centres of further education will be considered if the proposed master/artist is accessible only through this route.
  • Applications from previous recipients of a Young Musicians’ Platform award.
  • Materials/equipment
Please consult the programme guidance notes before making an application
Young Musicians' Platform Reference Form
Young Musicians' Platform Sample Application Form
Young Musicians' Platform Guidance Notes

Final selection will be by audition lasting no longer than 10 minutes. Auditions will be held in Belfast from 19 to 21 November 2018. An Audition Panel consisting of representatives of the BBC, ACNI and independent adjudicators will select extracts from the applicant’s programme to include 3 contrasting pieces in style and period, one of which will be contemporary. Reasonable expenses will be paid for return travel to and from Belfast.

Additional support material required
All applicants must submit two references from professional musicians/teachers/promoters on the Reference Forms included within the application form and a recording of 2 contrasting works of no more than 8 minutes each.

Funding for Organisations
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Annual Funding Programme

This scheme is open. Deadline for applications: Thursday 12th December 2019 at 4pm

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 http://govfundingpublic.nics.gov.uk

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

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is Thursday 12th December 2019 at 4pm
Decisions will be made by Wednesday 1st April 2020

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