Need help with Small Grants Programme?

If you have specific questions about the Small Grants Programme, please visit the link below where you can find further help and advice and further information about this programme.

Small Grants Programme Information

What are the steps in making an online application?

The process for applying online is as follows:

  1. Choose the funding programme to which you wish to apply and select the button ‘Start A New Application Now’.
  2. You will be asked to log into your application account.
  3. If you have not already created an application account, you will need to do so at this point. To set up an account you will need an email address and a password which you will choose yourself.
  4. When you ‘Start A New Application Now’ and log in you will access the relevant programme online application form immediately.
  5. Please ensure you answer all questions even if to state the question is not applicable.
  6. The online application form will time out if inactive for a period of 60 minutes and you will lose any changes you have made to the form. It is therefore advisable to routinely click ‘Save and Finish Later’ within a 60 minute timeframe or to click between pages.
  7. Online applications may be edited, saved and returned to for further editing up to the published closing date and time.
  8. Each time you enter, amend and exit your application form you will receive an automated email confirming this.
  9. To edit an online application form log into your application account and select the application form you wish to edit.
  10. You will be able to access the form you wish to edit by showing ‘In Progress Applications’ from the drop-down box available in your account.
  11. To add mandatory enclosures to your application form, go to the Attachments page and browse for and upload relevant documentation. You must submit all documents (as uploaded attachments) at the same time as the application form.
  12. Prior to submitting your application form online, review your application form for completeness and accuracy. Applications cannot be amended or added to once submitted.
  13. Hit the Submit button (we will not receive your application until you press submit).
  14. Once your application has been successfully submitted you will receive an automated email confirming its submission. If you do not receive an automated email confirmation successful submission, then your application has not been submitted.

What if I forget my password?

If you have created an account and you forget your password, click on the ‘Forgot Password?’ link on the log-in page. Enter the email address you provided when you created your account. You will receive an email with a new temporary password. You will be prompted to change your password to one of your own choosing once you are logged in.

You can also contact us requesting that we reset your password. If you choose to contact us, requesting that we reset your password you will receive an automated email with a new temporary password. You will be prompted to change your password to one of your own choosing once you are logged in.

Please note that we do not keep records of existing passwords. You must request and use a temporary password to log in.

How do I submit supporting material for my online application?

All supporting material must be uploaded and submitted electronically through your online application account.

How much supporting material can I submit online?

You can submit up to 25MB of material online.

This is an overall limit so you should check the size of each file you intend to upload to ensure that altogether the files do not total more than 25MB.

What types of supporting material can I submit online?

The type of supporting material will depend on the programme to which you are applying and will be specified within the guidance notes.

For most funding programmes all mandatory enclosures must be in Word, Excel or pdf format.

However we operate other funding programmes where we will require image, video and sound files. The acceptable types of supporting material for each programme will be specified within relevant guidance notes.

The file types that can be accepted are listed below. The file extension (letters after the dot in the filename) indicates the file type.

  • Image files - (.jpeg/.gif/.tiff/.png)
  • Sound files - (.mp3/.wma)
  • Video files - (QuickTime/.avi/.mov/.mp4/.wmv)
  • Text files - (.doc/.docx)
  • Adobe Reader files – (.pdf)
  • Spreadsheet files (.xls/.xlsx)

How do I know you have received my application?

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.

Note that the confirmation emails are automated, so they may be directed to your spam/junk folders. Please check these folders if you have not received them.

Will I receive a copy of my submitted application?

A copy of the application form will be available on the automated email you receive confirming the successful submission of your application form.

You can also view submitted applications by logging into your application account and selecting ‘Submitted Applications’ from the drop-down menu.

We have updated our bank account details. What do we need to do now?

You must inform us by providing a new BACS form with new bank account details. The BACS form must be signed and returned to us with a copy of the minutes of the Board/Committee meeting at which the change of bank account was authorised. We will be unable to make payments to any new bank account without full documentation.

Why does Arts Council collect monitoring information and why is it collected after an application is submitted?

We have a statutory duty under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to promote equality of opportunity between:

  • persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation
  • men and women generally
  • persons with a disability and persons without; and
  • persons with dependants and persons without.

The information provided does not form any part of the assessment process; however we use this data for statistical gathering purposes.

Requesting this information in a form distinct from and after submission of the main application allows us to manage this special category data more easily; whilst also reducing the number of elements of the main application form which needs to be completed by the application deadline.

After submitting an application, we will issue an email notifying you that the monitoring form has been published to your application account, ie the account you used to submit your application. We will also issue a reminder email ensuring you have an opportunity to complete and submit the Monitoring Form.

Is Arts Council funding classed as ‘de minimis state aid’?

State aid can be present whenever state resources are used to provide assistance giving organisations that are engaged in economic activity an advantage over others. After Brexit, from 1 January 2021 the EU State aid rules only apply in respect of measures which affect trade in goods and electricity between NI and the EU when aid is within the scope of Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The State aid provisions of Article 10 will, in practice, primarily apply to aid for manufacturers and sellers of goods located in NI that trade with the EU. Further, to qualify as state aid, the support has to affect trade between member states.

Few Arts Council programmes are considered state aid. This will be determined by what the funded organisation does and how it operates, ie does the funded organisation ‘manufacturer and sell goods located in NI trade with the EU’. If your organisation does not engage in that activity then Arts Council funding will not be considered state aid.

Arts Council programmes for which it -and the de minimis rule – are a consideration are Arts Council’s Creative Industries schemes which can fund innovative technologies/new software etc, which could potentially give NI companies a competitive advantage in a wider European market.

Some awards from the Arts Council’s Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations (2020/21) may have been considered de minimis; however this will be determined by what the funded organisation does and how it operates as described above.

Will ACNI accept Credit Union accounts for the payment of grants?

ACNI will accept Credit Union accounts for the payment of grans, provided that applicants can meet the following conditions:

  • The Credit Union has the facility to accept payment by BACs
  • The CU account must be in the name of the applicant organisation as per the name on their constitution document
  • The CU account must have the facility for statements to be produced that show Credit Union details, Account holder name, Account number, Sort code – and importantly,transactions, dates, payees etc as we’d expect to see on a bank statement.
  • The CU account must be covered by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme and be regulated within the UK – the following websites will assist the group to determine that issue and

It is the responsibility of the applicant themselves to ensure that their Credit Union account meets all the above criteria, and that there are no restrictions on the account that might prohibit payment by ACNI. ACNI can only make payments by electronic BACs transfer and will not be held responsible if for any reason BACs transfers cannot be made to the Credit Union account.

It is important to note that in the event that a group receives an award, has confirmed to ACNI that the account conditions above are met and is then unable to receive a BACs transfer or produce appropriate statements as described above, awarded funds would be decommitted and no costs paid – in addition, ACNI would seek repayment of any funds already paid where these could not be vouched via the requested statements.

In what format will Arts Council accept signed letters of offer?

If, after reading the letter of offer and enclosed conditions and you decide to accept the Arts Council’s offer, we will accept electronic signatures on MS Word or PDF letter of offer documentation or scanned copies of signed letters of offer. We will not accept photographs of signed letters of offer.