Culture Recovery Fund – Grants

August 5, 2020

* The deadline to apply for Round One of funding is 21st August *

Arts Council England have launched their Culture Recovery Fund: Grants Programme. This fund offers financial support for cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but are now at imminent risk of failure.

Visit their website for full information and how to apply:

What is this funding for?

This grants programme is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19. This fund will support cultural organisations

This fund is to enable cultural organisations that have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis to stay afloat, providing them with support over a 6-month period to ensure that by 31 March 2021 they can reopen, either fully or partially, or operating on a sustainable, cost-efficient basis until they are able to reopen at a later date.

Who is eligible for Recovery Grants?

This programme is open to arts and cultural organisations, including charitable and non-profit organisations as well as private organisations and commercial for-profit ventures. Local Authorities, Universities and other Public Sector bodies who run or maintain cultural services can also apply.

Organisations must have been financially sustainable before Covid-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience.
They must be properly constituted, registered at Companies House and/or Charity Commission and able to produce at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statements.

What is the budget for this fund?

The budget for Recovery Grants is up to £500 million – it comes directly from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and is part of the £1.57 billion package they announced to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

As part of the Culture Recovery Fund, £2.25 million has already been allocated to provide immediate emergency support for grassroots music venues through a separate fund.

How much can I apply for?

Organisations can apply for grants between £50,000 and £3 million.

What if I need more than £3 million?

Another element of support through the Culture Recovery Fund administered by the Arts Council is repayable finance. Details of this programme will be announced at a later date. An additional £270 million will be available through this programme, any organisation that requires £3 million or above should apply to this programme only (there is no upper limit on the amount that can be applied for).

Loan terms are expected to include an up to 20-year repayment, an initial repayment holiday of up to four years, and a 2% interest rate per annum.

You cannot apply to both grants and repayable finance, we will publish guidance on repayable finance as soon as possible to enable potential applicants to make decisions on which scheme to choose.

When can I apply for the Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme?

There will be two consecutive rounds of this fund. For Round One, the portal will open for applications at 12pm (midday) on Monday 10 August and close at 12pm (midday) on Friday 21 August. Round two will open at 4pm on Friday 21 August and close on Friday 4 September at 12pm (midday).  

Are the deadlines to apply for over £1 million the same as if I apply for under £1 million?

Yes, the deadlines are the same across both rounds regardless of how much you apply for.

Can I apply to both Round One and Round Two?

No, you can only submit one application to one round for Culture Recovery Fund: Grants.

I missed the deadline for Round One. Will I need to start a new application for Round Two?

No, the application you started for Round One will still be on our system, so you can complete and submit it ahead of the deadline for Round Two applications.

Can I use a third party bid writer to write my application?

Although you are in your right to use a third party to fill out your application on your behalf, it could be costly for you, and everything you need to know to make a successful application, from our application process to the fund criteria, are already clearly explained on our website here.

If I am successful, when would I receive the funding?

Round One applicants requesting up to £1 million will be notified from the end of September and no later than 5pm, Monday 5 October 2020. Applicants requesting over £1 million will be notified by 5pm, Friday 23 October.

Round Two applicants requesting up to £1 million will be notified by 5pm, Friday 16 October. For those requesting over £1 million, you will be notified by 5pm, Friday 6 November.

What will the success rate be?

In these unprecedented circumstances, we can’t pre-empt success rates as we do not know how many organisations will apply.

However, we expect to allocate at least 75% of the overall budget in Round One of this fund and would strongly encourage applicants to apply to this round if possible.

How are decisions being made?

Applications for under £250k will progress to a decision meeting in the Area in which you are based – this meeting will review and decide on your application.

Applications for over £250k will be assessed against the criteria set out in guidance, we will recommend if an application is suitable for funding based on the ratings of these assessments and this will be considered at a decision meeting (please see page 23 of the guidance for more details).

Applications for over £1m will be treated similarly to over 250k however they will also be shared with the Culture Recovery Board appointed by DCMS and ask them for comment before a final decision is made.

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