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Top Tips for securing ACE funding now

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

With five months left to apply to Arts Council England’s revised National Lottery Project Grants, what are the changes and how do they affect submissions?

In the summer of 2020, Arts Council announced that, until April 2021, they were prioritising independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers for their £77.9 million funding package. Anecdotal evidence suggests that individual artists/freelancers could be funded at around the same percentage as companies and organisations. R&D submissions also appear to have more success than an application for a full production at the moment (but could change!).

One of the most interesting revisions is around the public engagement sections. Given that venues can’t confirm when they are reopening, Arts Council have said that, while this section still exists, they understand that the public engagement may happen in the long term outside the boundaries of your project. As long as you can clearly state who your future audience will be and how you’ll reach them, you can still meet these criteria.

In a reflection of current times and the industry’s conversations in recent months, my suggestion is to do all you can to prove that you are looking at how to make your project accessible. This includes during your marketing campaign by ensuring the use of subtitles for example, to ensuring your website or ticket selling page is designed properly and can be used by a wide section of the audience. During the production, can you hire a sign language interpreter or use closed captions? The costs of this can be included in your application and, for me, ensuring accessibility for the audience should be a high priority as we reopen.

Management is another section which requires some further thought. Included in this section should be confirmation that you are up to date with the latest government guidelines, have a suitable risk assessment in place or can access one easily and that you have considered the safety of everyone involved in the project. This can include assessing any travel which is required or even your working from home situation if you are an artist applying for yourself.

If you feel that you are ready to submit a fundingapplication to Arts Council or any other funder, have a look at my recently reduced rates on the fundraising page and let me know if you’d like to talk further. My email is

Don’t forget that, if you need support with writing your Arts Council application due to access needs, I can write the application for you with the permission of ACE who would also fund me directly to write the bid – so no cost for you!

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