Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Latest News
Browse Archive

Useful Funding Sources

Monday 30th March 2020 at 11am 0 Comments

Useful Funding Sources Image: Useful Funding Sources

Updated: 26 July 2021

Community Ownership Fund

The UK government has launched a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help ensure that communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can support and continue benefiting from the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them.

Voluntary and community groups will be able to bid for match funding to support the purchase/and or renovation costs of community assets and amenities. For example, projects may include cinemas and theatres, music venues, museums and galleries.

The fund will run until 2024/25 and there will be at least 8 bidding rounds in total. The deadline for submitting applications to the first bidding round is 13 August 2021.

Other key dates

  • December 2021 – round 2 will open
  • May 2022 – round 3 will open

Find out more:


i-Portunus – international mobility funding opportunities - calls open to UK artists

Creative Europe is the EU's programme to support the cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors.
i-Portunus is co-funded by the Creative Europe program and a consortium headed by Goethe-Institut with Institut français and IzolyatsiaMobility. 

i-Portunus funding supports artist mobility and international collaborations. This second phase of the i-Portunus mobility scheme will focus on artists, creators and cultural professionals in Music, Literary Translation, Architecture and Cultural Heritage.

UK based artists remain eligible for this opportunity.


Funding will support short term mobility that focuses on international collaboration, professional development and production oriented residencies. This can be physical mobility but also virtual or blended mobility variations where needed.

You will need formalised plans in place with an international host/organisation/partner to undertake a project.
The project can take place over 7-60 days.  Depending on Covid19 restrictions, projects are will take place between 1 June and 30 November 2021.

There are 4 separate calls for funding, with a focus on the following sectors

• OPEN NOW - Music (composers, musicians and singers, preferably in classical music, jazz and traditional music genres) – deadline 28 February
• OPEN NOW - Literary Translators – deadline 28 February
• OPEN NOW - Architecture – deadline 15 March
Cultural heritage – call anticipated 15 February with a deadline expected 2 months later.  Please keep an eye on i-Portunus website.

Up to €3,000 per person

For further information, and to apply, visit the i-Portunus website.  If you would like to discuss a proposal, please get in touch with Rosie Le Garsmeur at the Creative Europe Desk UK – Northern Ireland:  

The UK Creative Europe Desk closes on the 31st March.


Minority Ethnic Development Fund (MEDF)

Please see below details of funding opportunities for support for voluntary and community organisations working with minority ethnic people and groups.  The aim of the Fund is to assist minority ethnic and local community organisations to promote good relations between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

TEO fund has opened for applications now with closing date 25th January 2021.

There will be a funding seminar on 11th January to  provide further information. This is particularly useful to new applicants. Attendance is optional but those wishing to apply  are recommended to participate. Those  wishing to attend  need to confirm by e-mail to: in order to receive joining instructions.   Further information, including the guidance notes and application form can be found at:


Future Screens NI Future Creatives Call

Applications must be submitted by 12pm 16th of December to

Future Screens NI is seeking to offer 20 Future Creatives the opportunity to advance their research and development programmes, advance their career ambitions and develop cutting edge technical solutions in their work. The call is open to PhD researchers, early career researchers, early career industry applicants, start ups, individuals and free-lancers. Successful applicants will be awarded £5,000 which can be set against enhancing existing research plans as part of a PhD, independent research, product development, innovation or professional development. Projects should be advanced with either an academic or industry mentor, depending on the applicant setting. It is preferred that those operating in University seek out an industry mentor and vice versa.

The Future Creatives scheme has been designed to enable participants to make a step change in their research and innovation by enhanced leadership and collaboration skills and developing new practices in the field of creativity and technology.


Western Area Outcomes Group 2020/21 Small Grants Scheme

The Western Area Outcomes Group has an amount of slippage funding available.  The group has agreed to run a small grants scheme, which will have to be spent in-year (i.e. before 31 March 2021).  This funding will be used to increase delivery and capacity for services working with children, young people or families for the priority:

Supporting families (with children aged 0-18) impacted by socio-economic disadvantage

Grants up to a maximum value of £2,000 will be considered.

Please return the attached application form before 12 noon on Tuesday 15 December 2020 to




European Investment Bank Institute 2021 Artists Development Programme

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute is looking for emerging European artists and collectives to join the 2020 edition of its Artists Development Programme (ADP), a 6-8 weeks long residency programme in Luxembourg, under the mentorship of renowned Finnish photographer Jorma Puranen.

The EIB launched two calls for applications targeting visual artists (EU nationals, aged less than 35) with a thematic focus on:

The deadline for applying is 10 January 2021 at midnight (GMT+1).
For more information about the programme visit


Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund
For artists and freelancers in Northern Ireland in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company. The Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund is supported by the Freelands Foundation, as part of a landmark commitment of £3m towards emergency funds for artists and freelance creative practitioners across the UK affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Funds will be available for Northern Ireland based practitioners. Applications opened on Friday 25th September 2020.

Who can apply: Freelance creative practitioners based in Northern Ireland who work in the visual arts and are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What: Grants of £1,500 – £2,500
Deadline for applications: Applications are accepted from 2:00pm on Friday 25th September 2020 and decisions will be made on a monthly basis. You can apply at any time. Applicants will be informed of decisions within approximately 5-6 weeks of submitting an application. We encourage applicants to make a submission early due to the limited funds available.



The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund

The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with Arts & Business Northern Ireland, was launched today, 21 September. The Fund will distribute a total of £840,000 between 2020 and 2022, and is designed to support artists and arts projects across the island of Ireland.  Today’s announcement brings the Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together community investment to €3million.

The Arts Fund will support or commission artists and arts organisations to develop arts projects, enhancing the wellbeing of the participants, audiences and communities involved. All art forms are eligible and the aim is for the projects to benefit a range of audiences. The Fund will also support arts projects that have been adapted due to COVID-19, or are inspired by / respond to COVID-19.

Applicants can request funds between c. £2,500 – £8,400, and average grants will be £4,200, with maximum grants of £8,400. Arts projects with larger budgets that have secured funds elsewhere are encouraged to apply. With each grant round, the Fund aims to provide funding to an arts project in each county on the island of Ireland.

Closing date for the first round of applications is Wednesday, 4 November at 5pm. The second round will open in April 2021. Go to for information on the application process and to complete the online application form.


£25 million Weston Culture Fund

The Garfield Weston Foundation is finalising details of a one-off Weston Culture Fund, to launch on 5th October. This £25 million fund will support mid- to large-scale cultural organisations in the UK to restart work, re-engage with audiences, adapt to changed circumstances and generate revenue. The fund is specifically for charitable organisations with a pre-Covid regular annual income of £500,000 or greater; smaller organisations will be able to apply for the Foundation's regular grants programme via its website as usual. Closing date for applications will be 9th November and decisions will be announced by the end of January 2021.

Further details:


Health and Safety Capital Programme

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today (Thursday 10th September 2020) opened the Health and Safety Capital Programme, a new fund, worth £500,000, designed to support arts and culture organisations as they prepare to re-open after the Covid-19 lockdown.

This programme will fund necessary adjustments and protective equipment required by venues and organisations to ensure that social distancing is maintained and that audiences, performers and staff are kept safe.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 1st October 2020 at 4pm.


Organisations Emergency Programme

Arts Council of Northern Ireland (3 September 2020) opened the Organisations Emergency Programme (OEP) in a second call to arts and cultural organisations across Northern Ireland.

The fund allows those organisations which did not receive support in the first call made in June, to apply for grants of up to £25,000 each. It is hoped this support may help alleviate the significant financial pressures they are facing as result of Covid-19, while preparing to re-open safely and contribute successfully to the economy.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 17th September 2020 at 4pm.






Coronavirus and Claiming Benefits

Department for Communities - claiming benefits:

Department for Economy Small Business Rate Relief Scheme

UK Government Self-employment Income Support Scheme

UK Government Business Support Scheme

NI Executive Small Business Support Grant Scheme

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
NICVA is curating information of use to charities and freelancers and includes some new funds set up specifically to help in this time.


Creative Europe Desk UK
Remains open (remotely) to advise UK applicants

Trusts and Foundations:

Charities Aid Foundation
CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund
Grants of up-to £10,000 to help smaller UK charitable organisations

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Closing to new applications on 3rd April, reopening new funding strategy in May.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Arts Access and Participation Fund - applications on a rolling basis

Clore Duffield Foundation
Main Grants Programme - applications on an ongoing basis, although grants can only be awarded at meetings of the Trustees in June and December.

Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland
Small to large community grants

Other funding sources:

PRS Foundation in partnership with Jerwood Arts - Composers' Fund

Up-to £10,000 available to composers who are already making a significant cultural contribution in the UK.
Next deadline for applications will be 2 November 2020.

Heritage Fund
£50 million Heritage Emergency Fund

Help Musicians hardship fund

PRS Emergency Relief Fund

Bread and Butter Emergency Fund for NI Artists, set up by Abbie Spallen and Finn Kennedy - CLOSED

Tinderbox Solo Art - a solo art fund to help freelancers by Tinderbox Theatre Company

Actors' Children's Trust Fund

Equity Children's Fund

Evelyn Norris Trust

Safety Curtain

The Ralph & Meriel Richardson Foundation

The Royal Theatrical Fund

The Theatrical Fund

Women's Resilience Fund

The Ralph & Meriel Richardson Foundation

The Royal Theatrical Fund

The Theatrical Fund

Women's Resilience Fund

Disability Arts Online
Special £8k commissions pot for disabled artists in UK
Application deadline: Monday 6th April

British Council
Funding and other resources for the music industry


Comments (0)

Add Your Comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.