Arts and Cultural Fund FAQs

Find answers to commonly asked questions below before applying.

When do grants open and close for applications?

Applications open at 10.00am on Monday 30 October and must be received by the final deadline of 11.59pm on Monday 11 December 2023.

Applicants will be advised of outcomes by the end of February 2024 with a view to supported projects being delivered from April 2024 onwards.

How do I apply?

Please complete an online application form when its made available on the dedicated Arts and Cultural Fund page and submit when ready no later than 11.59pm on Monday 11 December 2023. Receipt of your application will be confirmed by the Culture Team.

Where can I go to for advice?

If you require advice specific to your project which is not addressed in either the Guidance Notes or FAQs, the Culture Team can be contacted at

Please ensure you submit your enquiry well in advance of the application deadline.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Fund is open to individual artists and organisations, community groups, charities, trusts, and public and private sector organisations wanting to deliver arts and cultural projects in Essex (excluding Southend and Thurrock). Local authorities cannot apply; however, they are welcome partners on applications. Organisations which are part of a local authority’s direct provision (e.g., museums, galleries, theatres) will be considered on a case-by-case basis should the application be for work outside of their usual core activity.

What do you class as arts and culture?

The Arts and Cultural Fund will broadly reflect the disciplines supported via Arts Council England’s project grants, including Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts, Literature, Combined Arts (including festivals and carnivals) and Museums projects.

How much can I apply for?

The minimum amount which can be applied for via the Fund will be £2,500, the maximum £30,000 per annum. Organisations can apply to the Fund over consecutive years but cannot have multiple projects running at the same time and would therefore need to ensure any work supported by the Fund has been completed before applying again.

If applying for the upper amount your project will need to outline why it requires a larger budgetary ask.

What can the Fund support?

The Fund is a revenue only fund aimed at enabling cultural activity to benefit Essex residents. The Fund will not support:

  • 100% of project costs – Each application will need to demonstrate a cash or in-kind contribution of at least 10% of the grant amount.
  • Fundraising events where there is private gain.
  • Applications from students unless the project is separate from or does not form part of their studies.
  • Applications for support towards the cost of attending courses in Further or Higher Education.
  • Support for international touring.
  • Capital applications will not be supported by the scheme. Reasonable and proportionate materials and equipment can be supported and will need to be justified in the application.
  • Projects in deficit.
  • Projects which have taken place.
  • Projects whose benefits fall outside of the administrative County of Essex.
  • Projects for commercial gain.
  • Applications directly from another Local Authority. Local Authorities can be a partner but cannot apply as a lead applicant.
  • Schools’ projects that are part of the school’s curriculum activity. Any schools work will need to be extra-curricular.
  • Organisations such as museums, theatres or arts centres that are part of a local authority’s direct provision will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

When do I find out if I’ve been successful?

ECC’s elected Members and Officers will assess applications with a view to responding to people with outcomes by the end of February 2024.

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