Arts and Cultural Fund FAQs

We’re excited to announce that Essex County Council have launched a new £1 million fund to provide support to the arts and cultural sector over the next five years.

Find answers to commonly asked questions below before applying.

When do grants open and close for applications?

Expressions of Interest for the second round of funding (2023) open on 1 October closing 31 October 2022, to check basic eligibility and suitability to the scheme.

Submissions for full applications will be open from 1 to 30 November. Applicants will be advised of outcomes by the end of January 2023 with a view to supported projects being delivered from April 2022 onwards.


How do I apply?

Expressions of Interest for the second round of funding are now closed.

Full applications can now be made using our form here and must be emailed to culture@essex.gov.uk by Wednesday 30 November 2022.


Where can I go to for advice?

We encourage people to discuss their application with us before applying.

In the first instance please email culture@essex.gov.uk whereby you will be contacted by a member of the team in due course.

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 January 2023.

Complete your full application now here.

Email your completed application (by Wednesday 30 November) to: culture@essex.gov.uk

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