Changes to Arts Council Grants From Autumn 2023
Posted in Industry
Arts Council England created the National Lottery Project Grants (NLPG) as an open-access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects and to help deliver the Arts Council’s strategy. The programme was last relaunched in 2021 to align with the 2020-2030 strategy ‘Let’s Create’.
Based on recent feedback from a wide range of applicants about how the NLPG can be more accessible to everyone who wants to apply for funding, Arts Council England has announced that it is making the following changes to NLPG starting in Autumn 2023:
- New guidance notes available in September 2023.
- New application forms and new online resources available from November 2023
- Moving from one application form (currently grants of £1,000 to £100,000) to three application forms determined by the grant amount being requested:
- £30,000 or under.
- £30,001 to £100,000.
- £100,001 or over.
- The website will be changed to make finding relevant information and guidance more straightforward.
Two strands within the NLPG (Nationally Significant Projects and Touring Projects) are being refocused.
- Nationally Significant Projects will provide grants of £100,001 and over and thus will become Major Projects. It will focus on supporting cultural projects of scale and ambition that will help ACE to deliver the Let’s Create Outcome, A Creative and Cultural Country. It will support projects that help build a cultural sector that is innovative, collaborative and international.
- Expressions of Interest for Nationally Significant Projects will close on 30 October 2023.
- Expressions of Interest for Major Projects will open on 1 December 2023.
- Touring Projects (Regional, National and International) will be refocused on the Outcome, Cultural Communities, and international aspects of A Creative and Cultural Country. It will support projects that help to re-establish and evolve touring ecologies at all scales and disciplines so that organisations and individuals are better able to manage post pandemic and other ongoing economic challenges.
- New guidance notes will be published in September 2023.
The current version of the National Lottery Projects Grants programme remains open for applications until the end of October 2023.
National Lottery Heritage Fund Announces Details of Transition to New Strategy
The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), the UK’s largest funder of UK heritage has published the details of its first delivery plan (2023-2026) for its new 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033 with an anticipated £3.6 billion to be awarded to good causes over the next decade.
Of immediate interest to organisations applying, or planning to apply, to the National Lottery Grants for Heritage programme are details of how the new strategy will be implemented over the next year.
- In the next three years, £870 million will be invested through National Lottery Grants for Heritage and a further £140 million in strategic initiatives.
- The National Lottery Grants for Heritage application process will be simplified, making it more proportionate to the amount of money being requested.
- Recognition of rising costs. The upper grant limit has been raised from £5 million to £10 million, and the lower grant threshold will be raised from £3,000 to £10,000 in January 2024.
NLHF also announced that:
- In partnership with departments in England and Wales, it will distribute more than £43 million in government funding in 2023-24.
- In Autumn 2023, an announcement is expected of the first nine of 20 location across the UK where NLHF will invest through its Place initiative.
- In Winter 2023, it is expected that details of the partnership to deliver urban nature recovery through Nature Cities and Towns initiative will be announced.
- In 2024-25 grants will be available to support the development of projects through the Integrated Landscapes initiative.
- In 2024-25, grants will be available for the development and delivery of projects under the Heritage in Need initiative.
- The funding plans amount to a total of £1 billion between now and 2026.
Organisations that are planning to apply for a National Lottery Heritage Grant should note the following changes to the application schedule:
Changes to applications for grants between £3,000 and £10,000.
- Applications will close in December 2023. From January 2024, the lower threshold will rise to £10,000. There will be no further grants below £10,000. The funder is ‘exploring options’ to deliver grants under £10,000 through other organisations and initiatives.
Changes to applications for grants between £10,000 and £250,000
- Applications will temporarily close in November 2023 and reopen in January 2024 with new Heritage 2033 guidance and application forms.
Changes to applications for grants of between £250,000 and £10 million:
- Expressions of Interest will temporarily close in September 2023.
- Development applications will temporarily close in November 2023 (delivery round applications are not affected).
- Applications for grants from £250,000 and £10 million will reopen in January 2024 under new Heritage 2033 guidance and application forms.
Until the changes take place, the current guidance and outcomes are to be used.
Full details of the Heritage 2033 delivery plan (2023-2026) can be found on the National Lottery Heritage Fund website.