Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has today announced a new £2 million fund for community based culture, arts and heritage projects in response to Covid-19.
The Community Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund will be distributed by the Community Foundation NI and will prioritise projects which support people with disabilities and those who are vulnerable.
This forms part of the overall £29m Executive funding for the Department for Communities’ Covid-19 Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme.
It means more than £20m has been issued by the Department to delivery partners including the Arts Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund, which recently opened emergency funds to help stabilise those sectors and prevent job losses.
This new £2m Community Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund is open to all community organisations which can deliver new projects as part of the programme’s renewal strand. Any constituted organisation can apply and their primary purpose need not be related to arts or heritage. So for example, a local community group or a PTA in a school can apply to deliver a creative project and have that project fully funded with no requirement for match funding.
Groups can apply for awards from £2,000 to £20,000 for expenditure up to 31 March 2021 for a wide range of projects related to culture, arts, creativity and heritage.
The Minister said:
“I am delighted to be able to release a further £2m funding today to support the culture, arts and heritage and sectors.
“I know how creative our communities are and I know that they will come up with innovative ideas to harness the power of the arts and heritage to improve people’s lives for the better.
The Minister added:
“This fund is designed to support new ideas and projects. Projects might include creating and performing music, commissioning artists to create public art, starting up a new local drama project, hosting activities to build skills, purchasing small items of equipment, reanimating our spaces or using local heritage assets to engage people and tackle isolation, and many other ideas.
“I know groups will have lots of ideas and I look forward to seeing how this money can be used to enhance people’s lives.”
Andrew McCracken, CEO of the Community Foundation said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Department to deliver this exciting new fund which builds on our previous support in response to Covid-19. We look forward to receiving applications which we will start assessing straight away to get money out to groups as quickly as possible and enable them to plan for the months ahead. We will be prioritising projects which can make a difference to vulnerable and disabled people.”
For information and application details visit https://communityfoundationni.org/grants/the-arts-culture-and-heritage-challenge-fund/
Notes to editors:
1. Further details on the Covid-19 Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme can be found on the Department’s website - www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/funding-arts-culture-and-heritage-sectors
2. CFNI will work in partnership with the Rural Community Network who will facilitate groups whose constitution includes promotion of religion.
3. The Executive funding for arts, culture, heritage and languages was announced on 24 September 2020.
4. To date £3m has been available to Arts Council Northern Ireland (ACNI) for individual artists, £7.75m to ACNI for arts organisations, £5.5m to National Lottery Heritage Fund. A further £2.5m has been announced for Ulster Scots, Irish and Sign Languages and those funds will open on November 4.
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