Musical Instruments for professional and non-professional performing groups

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All Funding for Organisations

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 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
  • Parent teacher associations
  • Primary / post-primary schools*

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who received a grant in 2020 are still eligible to apply but may be deemed less of a priority for funding.

*Please see important points below re applicant 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 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 within 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 12noon precisely on the closing date, Monday 2 October 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.