Share Arts Council reopens National Lottery Project Grants after Covid-19 suspension

  • Locality:National
  • Date added:about 1 month ago
First published by Arts Council England, 1 July 2020

The Arts Council has today, 1 July 2020, announced that its rolling funding programme National Lottery Project Grants (NLPG), which supports a broad range of creative and cultural projects benefiting the public, will reopen on 22 July 2020 with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021.

Recognising the needs of independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers at this time, the Arts Council has prioritised the reopening of NLPG and will work to distribute awards as quickly and efficiently as possible.

While grants can be used to fund those directly creating and delivering cultural activity, NLPG also supports work that has longer term positive impact – such as Research and Development for individuals and organisations, a need highlighted by practitioners as we emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown. Before the portal reopens for applications, the Arts Council will publish new advice outlining how applicants can make the most of these opportunities under our current circumstances.

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, and to release funds for the Arts Council’s £160 million Emergency Response Package, NLPG was one of several programmes that were suspended. Part of its budget was repurposed as emergency funding and £64.8 million of that has already been distributed to nearly 10,000 individuals and independent organisations across the country.

Over a two-phased approach, we will improve NLPG to make it more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners.  A number of improvements are announced today:

  • The 10% match funding condition will be relaxed.
  • Libraries will now be able to apply for activity that aligns with any of the four Universal Library Offers.
  • An external advice-giving programme is being planned to ensure that the fund reaches a wider and more diverse applicant pool (more details to be announced soon).
  • We will aim for at least equal success rates for individual and organisations, to make sure that individuals are well supported while other programmes, like Developing your Creative Practice, are unavailable.

Given the timescales involved in redesigning the fund, more significant changes will be the subject of consultation and are planned for Spring 2021.  These will reflect our new ten-year strategy, Let’s Create, and take into account feedback on the Emergency Response Funds.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen how much of a positive difference creative people and organisations make to communities across England. Thanks to National Lottery players, we’ve been able to support our nation’s creativity over the past few months through our Emergency Response Funds. Now, we’re turning our attention to rebuilding cultural and artistic life in our villages, towns and cities through this £59.8 million National Lottery Project Grants investment in artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries.”

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