Who can apply for funding?

Please read the information below which details individuals and the types of organisations eligible to apply for funding.

Who can apply?

Your eligibility to apply will vary depending on the programme, please check the programme guidance notes. The following are general guidelines only.

  • Registered Charities: Registered charities and other non-profit making organisations based in Northern Ireland delivering arts activities and activity relevant to the creative industries.
  • Artists Groups: As long as you already have an appropriate management structure in place, a written constitution that clearly demonstrates that you are a not-for-profit organisation, and have dedicated UK banking arrangements.
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee: You should clearly demonstrate that your programme of work will promote the public good and will not be solely for private or commercial gain
  • Consortia, joint organisations or groups of organisations applying together: One of the organisations must take the lead and assume responsibility for managing the application and any funding award made from start to completion of the funding, delivery and evaluation of the project. All consortia must provide a legally binding partnership agreement.
  • Cultural and Leisure Trusts and Local Authorities: Organisations that manage venues or deliver services in the arts or creative industries in Northern Ireland on behalf of Local Authorities. Cultural and Leisure Trusts, and Local Authorities, must demonstrate that the funding they are applying for is additional and not a substitution for their own arts and cultural resources.
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC): CICs must be registered at Companies House and we would expect to see provisions in the articles or memorandum of association that prohibits the distribution of profits or other assets.
  • Other Public Sector agencies: Bodies working in other sectors such as health, education, leisure or tourism in Northern Ireland who are undertaking activity related to the arts and creative industries.
  • Private Companies Limited by Shares: Companies Limited by Shares can apply to the fund but they must demonstrate in their budget that the activity that will not generate a profit in the period between the start date and end date in the application.
  • Artists and Creative Practitioners: Individuals based in or from Northern Ireland who are working at a professional level in the arts and creative industries.
  • Creative Groups: Bands, groups, ensembles. Partnerships where two or more people always work together on projects as one collaborative unit.
  • Professional Collaborations: Individuals can apply jointly, however ACNI can only accept one lead name who will be responsible for making and managing the application and any funding awarded. The funding will be in the person's name, unless you operate your joint practice under a group name. Individuals working collaboratively will need to provide evidence of a partnership agreement.

Who cannot apply?

Always check the relevant programme guidelines first. In general, all our funding programmes cannot support:

  • Individuals who are not based in Northern Ireland.
  • Students in full-time education.
  • Individuals working in sectors outside the arts and seeking funding for non-artistic or non-creative activity.
  • Individuals working in the museums, screen or heritage sectors, unless you can demonstrate that the main benefit of the project is relevant to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s strategic interests.
  • Individuals under 18 years old.

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