Small Capital Programme

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

All Funding for Organisations

The Arts Council has designed this programme to enable organisations to purchase equipment and/or carry out minor works to their premises which will enhance their artistic services.

We want to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work.  Particular priority will be given to equipment and minor works which:

  • address Covid-19 requirements in working remotely;
  • improves the accessibility of the arts;
  • improves the direct delivery of arts provision;
  • enhances or broadens the audience/participants’ experience of arts programming; or
  • raises the quality of the artistic work produced.

You should only apply to this programme if you will be able to complete the procurement, purchase and receipt of your requested items of equipment from notification of award and 5 March 2021.  Similarly, if you are applying for minor works costs, all work must take place and be completed from notification of award and 5 March 2021.  Eligible expenditure can only be incurred within these dates. If you are unable to meet these conditions, you should NOT apply to this scheme as the Arts Council will not meet any costs incurred outside this period.

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:

  • You do not have to be primarily an arts organisation, (for example, community groups may apply to the scheme), however, the purpose of the requested equipment or minor works must be clearly focussed on the arts.
  • Local authorities are eligible to apply but they are a low priority.
  • Registered charities and other fully constituted organisations which cannot distribute a profit are eligible to apply.
  • Commercial organisations can only apply for support if the equipment / minor works is primarily for the benefit of the public rather than their own commercial interests.
  • If your organisation has a limited membership you must show that the equipment/minor works will benefit the wider public.
  • Groups of organisations (consortia) working together to deliver specific projects may apply.

Who Cannot Apply?

  • Individuals
  • Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters)
  • Central Government Departments
  • Bands seeking musical instruments (the Arts Council has a separate Musical Instruments for Bands programme)
  • Schools, Colleges and Universities
  • Organisations who are in breach of the terms of previous ACNI grant awards.

What you can apply for

You can apply for any minor work or item of equipment for an arts-related activity such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Lighting equipment
  • Stage equipment
  • Sound equipment
  • Accessibility equipment
  • Captioning equipment
  • Video equipment
  • Minor works
  • Transport
  • IT equipment
  • Office equipment

What you cannot apply for

  • Second-hand equipment without a warranty / guarantee
  • Software (other than pre-loaded operating systems and packages)
  • Equipment service costs
  • Musical instruments
  • Sheet music
  • Mobile phones
  • Consumables

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If you have any queries about the eligibility of a proposal, you should contact and speak with the relevant art form officer before submitting an application.

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, ie. 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 below.

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 4.00 pm precisely on the closing date, Thursday 15 October 2020. 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.