The Arts Council has designed a programme to assist organisations to deliver arts projects which contribute to the growth of arts in the community for new and existing audiences and which reflect the diversity of Northern Ireland’s society and culture. This aims to support activities which benefit the people of Northern Ireland or that help arts organisations in Northern Ireland carry out their work.

In addition, the Council wishes to support programmes which

  • Encourage the involvement of under-represented groups including those from black and ethnic minority (BAME) communities;
  • Encourage the involvement of children and young people, older people, or people with disabilities with organisations and artists of the very highest professional standards across the disciplines;
  • Promote innovative, original work by Northern Ireland artists, especially in drama and dance, which tours outside the company’s administrative base; and
  • Advance collaborative audience development projects.

What you can apply for

Applicants should give careful consideration to the feasibility and timing of touring work, public presentations, large scale projects and conferences in light of potential ongoing or re-occurring issues due to Covid-19.

You can apply for arts activities that last up to one year. These can include the following:

  • Projects, events and programmes of activity together with related overhead costs associated with the delivery of the project/event or programme
  • Projects which promote under-represented groups including those from black and ethnic minority (BAME) communities
  • Continuation of salaries of existing administrative and/or arts posts. except for staff who have taken up the offer of the Governments furlough scheme
  • Commissions and Productions*
  • Research and Development
  • Audience Development – to meet the needs of audiences and to help arts organisations develop ongoing relationships with audiences
  • Touring (in more than one local authority area)
  • One-off, large-scale national arts events, such as conferences, which take place in Northern Ireland and benefit people and artists from across Northern Ireland and beyond
  • Presentations or exhibitions (in more than one local authority area) of work by international artists and arts organisations
  • Organisational/skills development to ensure you are fit for purpose after COVID-19.
  • Specialist skills for on-line presentation of existing or new work
  • Projects which are planned to reach significant audiences through ‘live’, ‘as live’ or recorded digital performance, publication, broadcast, reading, recording, and/or other audience channels
  • Modest requests for capital equipment, website design and upkeep costs and digital platform development will be assessed on a case by case basis and these must be integral to project design and/or delivery and/or specific project costs.
  • Who can apply?

The Arts Council welcomes applications from the widest possible range of organisations and in particular from applicants whose projects benefit individuals categorised under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. You will be required to provide proof that you have a legal constitution.

  • You do not have to be primarily an arts organisation, although the focus of the project must be on arts activities.
  • Registered charities and other organisations which cannot distribute profits may apply for funds.
  • Local Authorities are eligible to apply but they are a low priority.
  • Commercial organisations can only apply for support if the project is primarily for the benefit of the public rather than their own commercial interests.
  • If your organisation has a limited membership, or is a school, college or university, you must show that the project will benefit the wider public.
  • Public sector agencies can apply for projects which are outside their statutory remit.
  • Groups of organisations (consortia) working together to deliver specific project are eligible to apply.
  • In most cases we expect the activity to take place in Northern Ireland. However, organisations based outside Northern Ireland can apply where they can demonstrate significant benefit to the people of Northern Ireland.

Application Deadline: Mon 5th Jun, 2023, 12:00PM