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Arts Projects: What we can and can’t fund

June 6, 2016

When it comes to the arts, it can sometimes be confusing as to what we can and can’t fund and who the alternative art funders are.

Our focus at the Big Lottery FundArts

At the Big Lottery Fund we fund projects that develop people’s skills, promote
community involvement and encourage healthier lifestyles. Our focus is on projects that cover health, education, environment and the community. Unfortunately our remit doesn’t cover projects where the main purpose is to promote or develop the arts, heritage or sport.

What we can fund

We do however recognise that important role art can play in some projects use the arts as a tool to support community activity, increase participation and tackle more complex issues. 

These could include projects that use arts to reduce isolation, create awareness on an issue or increase people’s resilience through community activity.   For example, we recently funded Arts Care Gofal Celf to deliver creative writing and publishing workshops in South Wales for people who have experienced mental health problems, you can read more about this project by clicking here.

Sherman Theatre received a grant of £211,395 to deliver creative and theatrical activities to young people in disadvantaged areas with the aim of increasing confidence and encouraging integration.

And Tenovus have previously received a grant to deliver Sing for Life Choirs to support those experiencing or affected by Cancer.

What we can’t fund

Unfortunately we are unable to fund projects whose focus is the general promotion of art or to increase skills in art i.e. general dance classes, painting classes, practice sessions for professional choirs or entry fees to competitions

We are also unable to fund:

  • The purchase or replacement of new musical instruments for individuals
  • Ongoing or repeat projects (even if they do meet with our programme aims)
  • Projects that do not meet our programme aims

Other art funders

For art focused projects, Tŷ Cerdd have grants of up to £2,000. Their mission is to support, develop and promote the creation, performance and empowering experience of music, both in and of Wales.

For larger, more professional arts related projects, you may want to contact the Arts Council of Wales who have a number of funding programmes ranging from grants for professional individuals to grants for arts festivals. More information can be found by clicking here or by calling the Arts Council of Wales on 0845 8734 900.

There are a range of other Art funders and you can check out Welsh Governments Art funding guide by clicking here or contact your local voluntary council for help with finding funding.

Still not sure?

Give us a ring on Big Lottery Fund’s Advice Line 0300 123 0735 or drop us an email at enquiries.wales@biglotteryfund.org.uk for further information.

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