Privacy Policy

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy both as a matter of ethics and legality.

This privacy notice outlines our collection, use and processing of the personal information that you may provide to us, in compliance with UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). The Arts Council is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as “Arts Council of Northern Ireland”.

What are you rights?

Under GDPR as a data subject, you have the following rights:

  • You have the right to be Informed about the collection and use of your data
  • You have the right to access your personal data
  • You have the right to request rectification of inaccurate or incomplete data
  • You have the right to request erasure of your personal data
  • You have the right to restrict processing of your data
  • You have the right to demand data portability
  • You have the right to object to the processing of your data
  • You have the right to dispute automatic decision making in certain circumstances

Your rights, with regard to how we handle and process your information, are clearly defined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You may find more information about GDPR, our obligations and the rights provided to you by it and advice on how to exercise them on the ICO website

What personal information do we collect?

Any information you provide will be carefully protected and stored within a secure system. We will keep your information confidential, in accordance with the UK GDPR, except where disclosure is required and permitted by law.

When you contact us, whether by phone, email, letter or some other means we may collect some or all of the below information to assist in and resolve the matter you have contacted us about.

  • Information including your name, address, email address, telephone number, fax number, and similar contact or otherwise identifying details.
  • A record of our contact with you through all mediums and the additional personal information it may or may not contain.

Our legal basis for collecting this information is based on your Consent.

When you make an application for funding, we will collect the below information from you, based on the stage of your application.

  • Information including your name, address, email address, telephone number, fax number, and similar contact or otherwise identifying details.
  • Information that you provide voluntarily on our website (, or through our grant application website hosted by a third party (
  • The necessary financial and banking information required to distribute grant monies and make general payments.
  • Information on your visits to our sites and the resources that you access.
    Information collected as part of programme or project level evaluations to establish the public benefit gained.

During the application stage our legal basis for collecting this information is by Consent. If your application for funding is successful our legal basis for collecting and holding information becomes Contractual.

As we are based in Northern Ireland we are obliged to comply with Section 75 Equality Monitoring and request data from you, in certain circumstances, that GDPR defines as Special Category.

  • Special Category Data

Our legal basis for collecting this information is Legal Obligation.

When you appear in ACNI media we may collect some or all of the following information about you.

  • Information including your name and other identifying details to form a record of consent to recording.
  • Images, video and sound recordings. ACNI may take photographs/video/sound recordings for use in printed and electronic media for promotional and evidencing purposes. Some images or recordings may be selected for permanent preservation and may be used for research, publication, education, displays and exhibitions.

Our legal basis for collecting this information is by Consent.

Cookies and analytics

We collect information about your visits to our sites in order to monitor and improve our web presence. The data cannot be used to identify any individual. To help us gather this information we use cookies; small files stored on the hard drive of your computer. Cookies allow us to improve our site and deliver a better service.

A detailed list of the cookies we use can be found here (Cookies)

If you do not wish to accept cookies you can activate the appropriate settings on your web browser or opt-out through the management links on the cookies page of our website linked above, however, you may be unable to access some parts of our site as a result.

How do we use your information?

We will use your information to:

  • Provide you with information and services that you request from us or that we feel may be of interest to you, where you have given permission to be contacted in this regard.
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, such as fraud checks and S75 equality monitoring.
  • Process and assess grant applications and associated requests.
  • Process grant payments and discharge any associated financial obligations.
  • Provide appropriate online content and improve our websites.
  • Assist with ACNI’s organisational planning, performance of business functions and comply with auditing responsibilities
  • ACNI may share selected information with third parties as part of certain business operations. ACNI will only share information with third parties confirmed to have appropriate data safeguards in line with the standards required by GDPR and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
  • Send you our e-newsletter, if you have requested it, which will include latest news, funding announcements, events and other arts related information (you can unsubscribe at any time if you no longer wish to receive this information).

The lawful basis for ACNI’s use of your information

We use the following lawful basis for processing your information:

  • Consent. Where you have provided explicit consent for ACNI to process your information for the purpose expressed at the time of consent i.e. signing up to our email newsletter or consenting to appear in a video recording.
  • Contractual. ACNI will process your information to meet our contractual obligations with you i.e. in the release of grant funds.
  • Legitimate interests. ACNI will process your data where we have a legitimate interest to do so. Such as the performance of normal business functions and auditing.
  • Public Task. ACNI will process data where the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions, such as providing awards and grants.
  • Legal Obligation. ACNI will process your data where we have a legal obligation to do so i.e. cooperating with law enforcement officials in a fraud investigation.

How do we keep your personal information secure?

The data that we collect from you will be stored at our premises, the ACNI offices, secure off-site document storage or on secure servers provided by third party organisations that have been vetted for compliance with UK GDPR and ICO guidelines. All electronic data is backed up on external devices stored within regions compliant with UK law regarding the protection and storage of data. All reasonable steps have been made to ensure the secure storage of your data. Our security practices are kept under regular review.

How long will we keep your personal information?

ACNI will not retain your data for longer than required by the purpose for which it was collected, unless legally obliged to do so. How long we hold your information will vary depending on its purpose. Once the purpose for holding your personal data has expired, it will be destroyed in accordance with our retention schedule. You may ask for your data to be erased prematurely, a right provided by UK GDPR. In some cases an erasure request may be declined under certain specific circumstances e.g. A legal requirement to hold the data for a specific time period or the data has become relevant to the prosecution or defence of legal proceedings involving yourself, the Arts Council or another relevant party.

We keep mailing list personal information for as long as you wish to continue to receive information from us. If you no longer wish to receive information from us you can unsubscribe from communications at any time.

Refusal to provide Information and Withdrawal of Consent

As a Data subject you have the legal right to refuse to provide any information we request during the course of fulfilling the Arts Council’s functions. However refusal may result in ACNI being unable to proceed with providing these functions to you, or otherwise impair or limit the services we can offer to you. You also have the right to withdraw consent for processing this may similarly affect provision and operation of Art’s Council functions and services with regards to you.

The involvement of third party data processors

ACNI in the course of normal business operations may engage with third party organisations, some of these organisations may be involved in the collection, processing or storage of your data. The ACNI Data Controller or Data Protection Officer will examine the involvement of any Third Party Data Processors for compliance with UK GDPR and will only share your data with them if we have a lawful basis to do so and it is necessary for the execution of the purpose for which the data was collected and we are satisfied with their data protection safeguards.

Current third parties involved in the collection, processing or storage of personal data on a long term basis are:

  • Danske Bank
  • Buzzacott
  • Newszapp
  • Vuelio

Following on from Brexit and the removal of the UK from the European Union it is a requirement of the UK Data Protection Act 2018 (UK GDPR) that any international transfer of data must by supported by an appropriate safeguard in order for that transfer to be made. Any international data transfer made by Arts Council will be subject to a Transfer Risk Assessment (TIA) and the signing of an International Data Transfer Agreement (IDTA).

Automated Decisions: We will not be using any information to make any automated decisions about any individual.

Links to third party websites

This privacy notice only applies to ACNI’s collection and use of information. If you follow a link to any third party from our website please ensure you familiarise yourself with their privacy policy before sharing your personal information. We have no control over, and are not responsible for, the policies and practices of third party sites.

Changes to our privacy notice

We keep our privacy policy under review and any updates will be made available on this webpage. This privacy policy was last updated 10th March 2023.

Contact us

For more information on our privacy policy or to exercise your rights as a data subject please contact us by:

Emailing with the subject heading “FAO: Data Controller”.

Writing to the Data Controller, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Linen Hill House, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn, BT28 1FJ

If you need to talk to someone we’ll do our best to help