Newcastle Culture Investment Fund - Stabilisation 2021-2022

  • Grant Range: Up to £50,000
  • Closing Date: 5pm, Thursday 1 October 2020
  • Apply Online

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 has been in existence since 2015, delivering two rounds of three year core funding as well as project grants and a bespoke crowdfunder platform.  By the end of this current round (March 2021), the fund will have allocated £3.6 million of funding to 65 organisations through this mixed funding offer.

We recognise that this is an unsettling time for the cultural sector and the ongoing Covid 19 crisis has meant that plans are changing and adapting regularly.  We already know that organisations across the breadth of the sector have shown incredible resilience and strength, whilst also placing their beneficiaries at the centre of their decision making. 

We are therefore utilising this fund to seek applications for one year of stabilisation funding for 2021-2022

The next round of applications for three year core funding will be postponed to summer 2021 and will be for 2022-2025.  Organisations in receipt of this stabilising funding will be eligible to apply but will need to go through the application process again.

About the grants

Grants are intended to support core revenue costs and/or project activity from April 2021 to March 2022.  Organisations can bid for a maximum of £50,000.

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

If you are applying to us for the first time since January 2020 you will need to register for our new portal.  Please take the time to read the guidance notes thoroughly.  They can be found here.  In addition, there are some specific instructions on where to include certain information below.

Eligibility Criteria

• The fund is only open to applications from cultural organisations based and delivering activity in the Newcastle City Council area.
• Organisations can only apply once.
• 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. If organisations are not a registered charity then grants awarded must be for a specific, restricted purpose.
• 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 (including those within the education sector)
• 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.
• Organisations based outside the Newcastle City Council area.
• Individuals and freelancers, although we encourage organisations to think about the added value that they bring and include them within their applications.
• 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 or core costs that are already financed through other funders or via earned income.

Application Criteria

In this round we want to understand from your application how you will continue to offer cultural activities to beneficiaries in Newcastle in light of Covid-19.  As in previous years we want to see how your organisation contributes to the Health and Wellbeing agenda, a brief overview of which can be found here. Consideration of the council’s other priority areas is also encouraged.  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

More information on the council’s three year plan can be found here:

Within the online form, use Questions 7 and 11 to reference the above in the context of your organisations work.

Use the space in Questions 23-27 for further detail about the how this funding will enable your specific activities and engage/support beneficiaries.

Questions we may consider during assessment:

  • Has the organisation got an effective track record in achieving its stated ambitions?
  • Does the organisation provide credible evidence that it has an appropriate business model and a viable future.
  • How has the organisation adapted to still deliver cultural activity since Covid-19?
  • Does the organisation detail their approach to engaging freelancers?
  • How does the organisation’s work and audience differ from others in their field in the city?
  • How have inclusion, diversity, access and equality been considered?
  • 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 skill-set and is it properly fulfilling its governance role, including in strategy, performance and finance?

The budgets and audited accounts provided by applicants will give us some of the information we need to carry out our financial assessment. We want you to demonstrate that you expect to be a viable organisation in the long term. NCIF funding will only be awarded to organisations that were in a strong financial position pre Covid-19. We require an itemised budget of where the money will be spent.  In addition, we would also like you to include information on:

  • How the financial forecast of the organisation has changed due to Covid 19. This could include details with regards to the loss of earned income and/or use of reserves and the impact it has had on future earning potential.
  • The effect an award will have on the applicant’s long term financial position.

How to apply

This is an online application process available via our website. Please click 'apply online' 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.

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