Organisations Emergency Programme - First Round

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

All Funding for Organisations

The Arts Council has co-designed this emergency support programme which reflects the Minister’s priorities with financial support from the Department for Communities to support the wider cultural sector as described above.

The primary objective of the programme is to support the continuance of creative work AND assist operational costs where necessary.  The programme seeks to assist small to medium scale organisations to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. It will also aim to assist organisations most in need due to loss of income or operational capacity up to 31 March 2021, enabling them to continue to develop and/or deliver activities.

Given the pressures across the cultural sector we would urge you to apply ONLY if your existing income or grant from public and other sources is not sufficient to ensure your stabilisation during the crisis.

This programme prioritises applications that:

  • Can demonstrate loss of income as a direct result of COVID-19 through records or estimates of loss (evidence will be required so please keep a record).
  • Can demonstrate urgent operational costs not met by existing income, grant aid or other forms of assistance; these could include overheads and the cost of being operational until 31 March 2021.
  • Seek to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. This could include a period of research, development and/or delivery of creative activity / project by 31 March 2021.

Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes applications from Arts or Cultural organisations whose primary work is in the following art form or cultural areas. Arts Organisation need to have a proven track record of quality work and public engagement supported by public funding in one of the last three financial years:

  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Literature
  • Music and Opera
  • Traditional Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Festivals
  • Participatory Arts
  • Cross Art form
  • Venues

Applications from Accredited Museums and Independent Libraries whose work focuses on delivering greater access to culture and heritage, including enhancing understanding and interpretation. In particular, we welcome applications from organisations which deliver work in relation to:

  • Public engagement activities
  • Audience development programmes (events, exhibitions, workshops, talks and online initiatives).

Who Cannot Apply?

  • Individuals including sole traders
  • Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
  • Central Government Departments
  • Local authorities
  • Unaccredited Museums
  • Libraries within Libraries NI
  • Arts Organisations who cannot evidence some form of public funding in the past three years.
  • Proposals which, before the end of Social Distancing, entail public gathering or conventional audience situations; or otherwise breach social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines.

How to apply?

Interested eligible organisations must submit the following evidence by email to by the closing date of 4pm on Friday 12 June 2020.

  • Completed application form
  • Constitution and/or Memorandum and Articles of Association (if not uploaded to the Government Funders Database)
  • Most recent set of accounts (if not uploaded to the Government Funders Database)
  • CVs or information on artist/s, groups, technical staff and other personnel proposed to employ as part of the proposal
  • A financial budget and cash flow for the financial year end 2020/21 (normally year ending 31 March 2021)
  • A breakdown of costs over £1,000 (if applicable)
  • Evidence of loss of income from COVID-19, examples may include reduced ticket sales due to prior planned activity having to be cancelled due to COVID-19, loss of sponsorship etc
  • Equality Monitoring Information – a template for your completion is available below.

When submitting your application by email, please clearly identify in the subject line, the programme to which the application relates – Organisations Emergency Programme.