In an unprecedented year for us all, our Trustees and Advisory Council have been closely monitoring the severe impact the pandemic has had on cultural organisations in our geographic area of benefit, the North West of England.
Our decision to cancel our competitive bid process back in May 2020 was a difficult one but we believe the right one to take in such uncertain times. We considered carefully how best to offer our support to the region. We did this by taking a flexible approach with those organisations already in receipt of a grant but who were unable to deliver their project due to the restrictions imposed upon them. We also felt it important to give what financial support we could to some long-standing grant recipients and we distributed a pot of ‘emergency funding’ to those we believed were most in need during the first lockdown. It is never enough but we hope it demonstrated our strong support for the work that they do.
Thankfully, some meaningful funds have now been allocated from Arts Council England, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and others, and we hope this is the start of some form of recovery.
We feel it is now time to look ahead and we are delighted to announce today we are re-opening our full application programme and will accept applications from arts and science organisations who are planning projects for delivery this year.
We will meet to consider applications on Thursday, 18th February 2021. The deadline for submission of full applications for this round is Wednesday, 10th February 2021.
We appreciate so many have had to adapt to new ways of working to deliver their projects and the creative new platforms that have been found to engage with audiences and communities has been inspiring. We have always welcomed innovative new projects and we intend to continue this tradition to encourage forward thinking applications and support successful applicants however they envisage delivery. We will positively encourage bids from organisations whose projects will not only help to culturally support communities in our region but also support creative talent so badly impacted by the necessary restrictions.
Our moratorium on capital bid applications will remain in place during 2021. We believe our limited funds will be of most benefit directed towards project support until such times as restrictions are lifted to allow audience levels and community participation to return to sustainable levels.
We understand that many development staff/fundraisers will be working from home and we aim to make it easier for applicants to make their approach to us. For further details please visit our How To Apply Page.
We are looking forward with confidence to continuing to work with and support the cultural life our region enjoys due to the creativity and talent of organisations old and new.