Funding for cultural organisations working in Newcastle

  • Grant Range: £1,000 - £10,000
  • Closing Date: Monday 18 November 9am
  • Apply Online

About the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund

The Newcastle Culture Investment Fund is a grant programme for independent cultural organisations working in the Newcastle City Council area.

The Fund will support cultural activities that fulfil the Newcastle Vision for Culture as well as the Council’s aims for the city. Specifically, the fund will enable the development of a rich, diverse and accessible independent cultural sector in Newcastle that reflects the creative needs and aspirations of all residents and visitors, and gives them the opportunity to participate in the creative activity of their choice. The Fund will therefore support a wide portfolio of art forms and types of work within the constraints of the funding available. Grants from the Fund will help increase participation in creative activity and grow the contribution of cultural activity to the social, educational and economic well-being in the city.

The core resources for the Fund are provided through the Community Foundation by Newcastle City Council. The Foundation holds and manages the Fund and award grants in line with the criteria and processes agreed with the Council. The Foundation has appointed an independent Fund panel, which includes two Newcastle City Councillors as well as other independent members who are in the majority. The Chair is one of the independent members.  The Foundation will award grants from the Fund on the basis of the panel’s recommendations.

The Fund is now open to applications for projects that will take place between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021.

The maximum sum available for each project is £10,000.

The deadline for applications is 9.00am on Monday 18 November 2019.

No awards will be made for core costs in this application round.

This fund does not replace the Newcastle Fund which will be continuing to give grants, including to the arts, for work that fulfils the aims of the Council and the Newcastle Fund.

Application Criteria

  • The fund is only open to applications from cultural organisations based and delivering activity in the Newcastle City Council area. Project grants may be made to individual artists in exceptional cases only. We would recommend artists working with an organisation to deliver a joint application.
  • Previous applicants and current grantees can apply but priority may be given to new applicants. Previous applicants and current grantees must be up to date with any monitoring and reporting due.
  • Consortia of organisations and artists can apply with one organisation taking the lead and taking responsibility for managing the application and the grant. Consortia can include organisations from outside the Newcastle City Council area but the lead organisation must be from the area.
  • Organisations can only apply once, either as a sole applicant OR as part of a consortium.
  • Organisations are not required to be registered charities, but must be formally constituted, have their own bank account and operate on a not-for-profit basis.
  • CIC’s or other social enterprises with a good business plan can apply for help with expansion but will not be eligible for running costs or existing projects.
  • Applicant organisations must be run independently of local and national government.
  • Applicant organisations must have been established and operating for at least two years and have at least one set of audited or independently examined accounts.
  • Applicant organisations must fulfil the standard criteria required by the Community Foundation.

We will not support:

  • Organisations that are for profit or activities solely for private benefit.
  • Organisations or projects that are run as part of local or national government.
  • Activities outside the Newcastle City Council area.
  • Activities that do not benefit Newcastle residents or visitors.
  • Activities that do not meet the aims of the fund.
  • Activities that are already financed through other funders or via earned income.

How will my application be assessed?

Once your application has been received it will be checked to make sure it includes all the information we need. If there is any information missing we will contact you. Applications will not be assessed unless all the required information has been provided.

Eligible applications will then be assessed by The Community Foundation. Assessments may be done over the phone or through a visit depending on the proposal and whether the organisation is well known to the Foundation.

Reports on assessed applications will be presented by Foundation staff to our independent panel. Reports will include an appraisal of how well each application meets the Fund criteria and whether it should be considered a high, medium or low priority, or be rejected.

The panel will then agree its recommendations on which applications to support from the Fund. The Foundation will then award grants on the basis of these recommendations following ratification by its Board of trustees.

Guidelines on what we need you to tell us

About your organisation

  • Your current programme of work and your ambitions for the term of your Newcastle Culture Investment Fund application.
  • The people you engage through your activities (i.e. audiences or people taking part) and how you reach them
  • The involvement of and support from other partners (both artistic and non-artistic), and their role, including providing funding
  • Your past experience of successfully managing similar activity

Questions we may consider during assessment:

  • Has the organisation been effective in achieving its stated ambitions?
  • How well does the organisation’s work compare to best practice in their area?
  • How does the organisation’s work and audience differ from others in their field in the city?
  • Does the organisation’s work innovate, stretch boundaries or question assumptions for the artists who participate or the audiences that engage with it?
  • Does the organisation have the marketing capability and innovative ideas to reach audiences and/or participants not normally engaging with arts and culture? As part of this has it considered diversity, access and equality?
  • Is the management structure appropriate and is it effective in planning, delivery, risk management, monitoring and evaluation?
  • Does the board (or equivalent) have a strong skills set and is it properly fulfilling its governance role, including in strategy, performance and finance?

How you will meet the aims of the fund

All applications to the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund must show how their proposed activity will support the Newcastle Vision for Culture. In addition, it must address the Newcastle City Council Health and Social Care aim for the city plus at least one other from the list. Full details on the priority area themes can be found on the city council’s website,

they are;

  • Health and Social Care: a healthy, caring city.
  • Employment: creating more and better jobs.
  • Education and Skills: the best learning opportunities for all.
  • Environment: a clean, green and safe Newcastle.
  • Housing: building more and better homes

Questions we may consider during assessment, whilst recognising that an applicant does not have to address all of the above aims:

  • Has the applicant considered the social impact of their activities for example the effect on social inclusion and community cohesion with particular regard for the disadvantaged, the disenfranchised and the vulnerable?
  • Has the applicant addressed how they may engage the most vulnerable though outreach in communities or communities of interest?
  • To what extent has the quality of the product and user experience been considered?
  • Is there a good balance between the short, medium and long-term impact of the organisation/activities?
  • Has the applicant considered how the funds may help stimulate/support greater independence and self-sufficiency
  • Has the applicant considered the benefits of greater collaboration between them, local people and the public, private and third sectors to create and deliver projects that fulfil the aims of all those parties?
  • Has the applicant considered how their activities contribute to raising the profile and reputation of the city, graduate retention and attracting visitors and businesses?

The following document may be of use when compiling this information but are only suggested to help your thinking.


The budgets and audited accounts provided elsewhere by applicants will give us most of the information we need to carry out our financial assessment, however applicants must also tell us the following.

  • How the applicant worked out the figures in their budget and showing the areas which this award will be used to support. If they are not currently in receipt of Newcastle City Council funding they should explicitly show the additionality an award will support in your budget, over and above your continuing programme.
  • The applicant’s approach to raising as much money as they can from other sources to support their activity and their track record of success in securing earned income, sponsorship and other funding such as from donations and trusts and foundations.
  • The affect an award will have on the applicant’s long term financial position.

Questions we will consider during assessment:

  • Is the organisation in a healthy financial position and will it continue to be for the period in question?
  • Is the project budget appropriate and suitable for the scale and type of the activity?
  • Do the most recent audited or independently examined accounts confirm the financial assumptions the project budget is based on?

Other issues that will be taken into account

In order to ensure that Newcastle City Council is able to support as wide a range of cultural activity as possible, the Fund panel will be asked to take into account the availability and effect of other Council sources of support and funding for applicant organisations, including Ward Committee funds, the Newcastle Fund, and capital investment/loans facilitated or provided by the authority.

If applicants are in receipt of, or planning on applying for, support from any of these funds, they will be required to declare them on the application form. The Community Foundation will then take views from Council staff and include the information in the assessment. However, the panel is independent and free to reach its own conclusions on which grants to recommend whether or not such other support is in place.

Payment and monitoring arrangements

Payments are made once grants have been ratified by the Community Foundation’s Board and the relevant paperwork has been returned to the Foundation by the grantee. Payments will be made at the beginning of the financial year once monies for the Fund have been received by the Community Foundation from Newcastle City Council.

Grant payments may be split into instalments depending on the proposed budget.

Progress reports every 6 months and an end of grant monitoring are mandatory.  

How to apply

This is an online application process available via the "Apply online" button above.

Before applying you must speak to the Community Foundation to discuss your application. Applications received where there has been no preliminary discussion may be rejected regardless of the eligibility and quality of the application.

As well as a completed application applicants will need to provide:

  • Their governing document.
  • Their most recent audited or independently audited accounts.
  • Management accounts for the current year as reported to their Board or equivalent, including the budget for the year, expenditure to date, variance and any changes to the forecast outturn.
  • Projected project budget for the period of the application
  • Any policies relevant to the application
  • Your safeguarding policy.

You may be asked to supply further supporting documents as part of the assessment process, but you should not include any other material in your application other than that set out above.

Other funding

As with all applications to the Community Foundation, there may be an opportunity for an application to be presented to other funds held at the Community Foundation if applicable. We will inform you if other funds are interested in supporting your work

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