Essex Arts and Cultural Fund

The Essex County Council Arts and Cultural Fund supports organisations and creative practitioners to deliver a broad and exciting range of work and activity to engage with and bring communities in Essex together.

Applications for the previous round of the Arts and Cultural Fund are now closed. Applicants will be informed of an outcome in early February 2024. To keep updated on future rounds of the fund or opportunities in Essex, sign-up to our newsletter. You can find a list of recipients to the Arts and Cultural fund here.

The creative and cultural sector is widely recognised as being at the forefront of economic and social regeneration and the Arts and Cultural Fund aims to boost this sector by offering project grants from between £2,500 to £30,000.

We welcome applications from a broad range of disciplines across arts, culture and heritage in Essex. The various projects previously supported include festivals, exhibitions, photography, film and digital projects, crafting, playwriting workshops, museum development, music therapy, choir and dance projects as well as junior development programmes, all of which align with Essex County Council's wider objectives as set out in Everyone’s Essex.

Applicants will be notified of an outcome in February 2024. Successful applicants will be expected to deliver their projects over the following year from April 2024.

For general enquiries relating to the fund please contact us at

Before submitting your application, please ensure you read the guidance notes and FAQs.
Applications must be submitted by 11.59pm, Monday 11 December 2023.

Photo: Fresh Air Festival. Credit: Lucy Toms Photography
Photo: Fresh Air Festival. Credit: Lucy Toms Photography

Successful Projects

Over 74 projects have been awarded funding so far, many of which have focused on the health and well-being of Essex residents and through those projects, creative arts have been taken into schools, residential care homes, country parks, universities, childcare settings as well as into the wider community.

A list of previous recipients of the Arts and Cultural Fund can be found here.

In addition to this, you also can read two case studies of previously supported projects here, including the Colchester Film Festival and We Are Music.

An interactive map of where these projects have taken place can also be found here.

In 2023, Essex County Council's Arts and Cultural Fund supported 'Wildcrafting', a programme of free skill sharing walks, workshops, and events by Wyrd Flora about gathering and processing natural materials. Participants were encouraged to observe, journal, gather and process plants and other organic materials from the natural world.

Who is eligible?

The Arts and Cultural Fund will support revenue programmes only, not capital.

A full list of what the Fund cannot support can be found in the guidance notes.

Examples of eligible organisations include:

• Individual artists or artistic cooperatives

• Community groups

• Charities or trusts

• Community interest companies

• Social enterprises

• Public sector organisations (not local authorities)

• Private sector organisations

• Organisations that are part of a local authority’s direct provision will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Project Spotlights

The Deepenings is an expansive land-based project in response to the unique landscape of Cudmore Grove, Mersea Island. Led by artist Gemma Garwood, the project takes on many forms including a new walking trail designed to take you around a re-enchanted version of the landscape, exploring history, mythology and climate emergency; as well as a series of temporary monuments, workshops and events.

ARKADE is a creative project in Jaywick Sands, Essex, which took place between November 2022 and July 2023 by artist duo INSTAR. Taking inspiration from the array of lights, colours and sounds found in seafront amusements, ARKADE sought to ignite an imagination for the environment and coastal life, exploring the use of visual art and graphic print, resulting in a range of illuminating workshops, events, public artwork and exhibitions. In this short video, the launch of the project was marked with an exhibition at Jaywick Martello Tower. One of these events, depicted below, included a free boat trip at Brightlingsea to learn more about species identification, as well as the opportunity to find out more what natural efforts are talking place to help restore the seabed and ecosystems.

Culture Essex
Arts and Cultural Fund

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