The aim of the Annual Funding Programme (AFP) is to support Northern Ireland’s arts infrastructure through grants to organisations in all artforms and practices for their core and programming costs.
AFP organisations will be key to helping us achieve the objectives set out in our 5-year strategic framework for developing the arts, Inspire / Connect / Lead, and we expect all awardees to support us in delivering these objectives.
Who can apply?
- Non-profit distributing organisations which can demonstrate they require a year-round resource to deliver arts programming.
- Commercial organisations can only apply for support if the proposed programme is primarily for the benefit of the public and where there are plans to re-invest any surplus into a similar programme.
- New applicants to the Annual Funding Programme must have been in receipt of a single award of at least £10,001 from ACNI since 1 April 2021 in order to be eligible for the scheme and must contact the appropriate ACNI arts officer to discuss their application prior to submission and by 5pm on 27 November 2023 at the latest. Failure to make prior contact with the Arts Council before submitting an application will render your application ineligible.
Who Cannot Apply?
- Local Authorities
- Statutory bodies for activities which fall within their statutory remit
- Central Government Departments
- Organisations which have not received at least £10,001 from ACNI since 1 April 2021
- Organisations who have broken the terms of a previous Arts Council letter of offer in the previous 4 years or who remain in breach of previous terms.
What You Can Apply For
You can apply for one year funding only. Eligible costs include the following:
- Administrative salaries
- Rent and Rates
- Light and Heat
- Maintenance, security, etc.
- Telephone and Fax
- Printing, postage, stationery
- Financial costs
- Artists’ costs
- Volunteer expenses
- Audience Development plans
- Publicity/Marketing (excluding catering/merchandising)
- Travel, Accommodation, Subsistence
- Access/Participation Plans
These are additional costs associated with the delivery of programming for people with particular needs as defined under Section 75 of The Northern Ireland Act 1998. Accessibility Costs are paid retrospectively on submission of evidence of demonstrated use of the services. You should also note:
- Requested accessibility costs must be related to the activity covered by your AFP application.
- Accessibility costs must be included in the overall total request; they are not additional to it.
- Applicants may choose to request the full value of accessibility costs, however, keep in mind that there is no guarantee of funding.
How to apply?
You must apply using our online system. We will not accept applications in hard copy or by email.
- If you do not already have one, you will be required to go through a simple process to set up an application account requiring an email address and a password (which you will choose yourself). You can then use this account to view your application for this or any other Arts Council scheme to which you apply.
- If you have not already done so, your organization will need to register on the Government Funding Database (GFD) website (this applies to NI-based orgs only - see page 9 of the guidance notes). Please note that registration can take several days. It is your responsibility to ensure that your organisation’s account is set up and the appropriate documents uploaded by the time you make your application to us. If you are not registered on the GFD by the closing deadline of this programme, your application will not be eligible.
- 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 as your application, i.e.. they must be uploaded to your online application prior to its submission. These enclosures are listed on the Attachments page within the online application and are detailed in the guidance notes.
- 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 12 noon precisely on the closing date, Friday 15 December 2023. If your completed application is not fully uploaded when the system closes, your application will not be accepted.
- If you submit your application by the closing deadline, you will receive an automated email advising that your application has been successfully submitted to the system. If you do not receive this email, your application has not been submitted.
Remember: It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive the application form and uploaded enclosures by the closing time and date.