National Lottery Commissioning Programme

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

All Funding for Organisations

The purpose of the Commissioning Programme is to enable organisations to commission new work.

The finished work should be in a form capable of being presented, exhibited, published, performed and/or disseminated in its entirety at the point of completion in Northern Ireland (if applicable abroad) either live or online.

This programme prioritises applications that:

  • Propose commissions of high artistic quality;
  • Are planned to reach significant audiences primarily in Northern Ireland through live performance, exhibition, publication, broadcast, recording, and/or other audience channels;
  • Provide for an extended life and/or extended public reach and impact for the work or project that has been created;
  • Demonstrate a strong collaborative-engagement process between the commissioner, performers and the commissioned artist(s) in the development of the new work; and
  • Demonstrate innovation and deepen the experience and understanding of the artform.

All awards and programmes are informed by the Arts Council’s 5-year strategic framework (2019–24), Inspire, Connect & Lead (see here).

Commissions may be applied for across all artform areas supported by the Arts Council. Proposals may also be cross-artform.

Who can apply?

  • The Arts Council welcomes applications from the widest possible range of organisations. You will be required to provide proof that you have a legal constitution.

Who Cannot Apply?

  • Individual artists or sole traders applying to commission themselves
  • Commercial trading companies
  • Companies that exist to distribute a profit
  • Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
  • Central Government Departments
  • Organisations applying to commission an artist who is a serving Board member or Trustee of that organisation.
  • Organisations who are in breach of any previously issued ACNI award grant conditions

What You Can Apply For

The Commissions Award only supports fees paid to the artist(s) by the commissioner.  All other costs relating to the rehearsal, production, presentation, exhibition or dissemination of the commissioned work must be borne by the commissioner.

PLEASE NOTE: For visual art commissions, commissioning fees can include the creation of new work for exhibition.

How to apply?

You must apply using our online system. 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 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, 1 November 2023. If your complete 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.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that we receive the application form and uploaded enclosures by the closing time and date.