Arts Council of Wales | Help Notes for the Music Industry Development strand of Arts Grants for Creative Professionals

Help Notes for the Music Industry Development strand of Arts Grants for Creative Professionals

Contents

Section 1: About You

Section 2: Your Project Proposal

Section 3: Project Details

Section 4: Declaration

Section 5: Attachments

Section 6: Review


Introduction

Welcome to the Help Notes for the Music Industry Development strand of Arts Grants for Creative Professionals.

The aim of these notes is to help you complete your application form online.

We’ll explain how to start using our online system as well as provide you with a guide to the information you must tell us about your project. We’ll also tell you why we’re asking for certain information and how we use the information you give us.

How to use these Help Notes

These Help Notes can be read as a "stand-alone" document or you can follow the hyperlinks to look at specific sections of the Notes as you fill in your application form online. They should be read alongside our Getting Started guide, and our further guidance about the Music Industry Development strand of Arts Grants for Creative Professionals.

Demand for Funding

A large number of people apply for funding through Arts Grants for Creative Professionals and sadly there are many good applications that we aren’t able to support because there isn’t enough money available. We make our decisions based on the information you provide in your application, as well as our strategic priorities, and our knowledge about you and your previous activities. And we use our professional judgement to make the difficult choices between the many projects seeking funding. We’ll always try and fund the applications which present the most persuasive case for support.

We can’t support everything, so when planning your project, you should think about what you’d do if your application is unsuccessful, or you’re offered less money than you applied for.

Alternative and Accessible Formats

Sometimes there are particular reasons why people find it difficult to apply for a grant or access our services. If you experience or anticipate any barriers with our application process, require help to make an application, or accessing our services and information, please contact the Information Team to discuss the type of support we can provide. You can find our contact details here.

Keeping in Touch

The number of opportunities to apply and the amount of money that you can apply for in any one year may change. This will depend on the amount of National Lottery money made available to us for distribution. Any changes will be publicised on our website.

By registering at www.artscouncilofwales.org.uk you’ll receive automatic updates about our Lottery funding, as well as news about consultations and other initiatives. Register now for our Newsletter or subscribe to our News feed. Or follow us on Twitter @Arts_Wales_

Applying Online

You can access our online application system by visiting our website, www.artscouncilofwales.org.uk and by following the links. Or, you can click here. [hyperlink].

Once you’ve clicked the Start an application button you’ll need to complete a simple questionnaire that checks if you’re eligible to apply. If you’re eligible you’ll be asked to choose an application form.

If this is your first application you’ll need to create an account. Click on the Cyfrif Newydd / New Account link to register your email address and password. These will be your login details, and you’ll need them every time you use our online application system.

When you’re working on your application online it’s useful to remember:

  • You can fill in your application in one go, or work on it at different times
  • You can fill in the sections of the form in whichever order your prefer, but you’ll only be able to submit your application when all of the sections are complete
  • If you have your application form open on your computer, but do not work on it for 2 hours, you will automatically be logged out of our online system. Any work that you haven’t saved by then will be lost

FAQ: I started filling in an application form online but now it’s gone. What do I do?

Periodically we need to update our online application forms, and this involves switching them off for a short time. To make sure that we always receive applications on the most up to date forms, any unfinished applications are removed at this time. To continue making your application you’ll need to start a new form.

You’ll be able to paste information into your new form from the most recent email we sent you containing your saved application.


Getting Started Checklist

Make sure you’ve read our Getting Started document and the Music Industry Development strand document before you start to fill in your application form.

Have you get everything you need to complete your application form?

  • Your contact details (unless you’ve applied to us before using our online system)
  • Your written project proposal
  • The key facts about your project, including its start and end dates
  • Your Artist CV
  • Your Project Budget (this must be on the downloaded template)
  • Your Marketing Plan
  • Your letters of support endorsing your project (you must provide at least two letters)
  • Your Other Supporting Information (this is optional, but could include examples of your creative work, audio or video files, images, other creative professionals’ CVs, case studies, testimonials, endorsements from organisations who’ll be working with you and other letters of support.

Section 1: About You

In this section we’re asking you to tell us some basic information about you.

Contact Details

Please give us your contact details, including your home address.

We’ll only ask you to provide this information the first time you apply to us online. If you decide to make another application to us, these details will already be filled in on the online application form for you to review and update if you need to.

We’ll use these contact details to get in touch with you regarding all aspects of your application. It’s your responsibility to sign and approve documents and answer any queries we may have. We’ll write to you with our decision and, if we offer you a grant, it’ll be your (written or electronic) signature on the grant acceptance. You’ll be responsible for sending us progress reports when we ask for them and for sending us the completion report at the end of the project.

Section 2: Your Project Proposal

In this section we’re asking you to tell us in detail about your project. Instead of asking you to answer lots of questions, we’d like you to write a proposal.

The information we need from you must be broken down into the following sections:

  • Describing your project
  • Delivering artistic quality
  • Benefiting the public
  • Planning and managing a successful project
  • Funding a successful project

It’s important that you follow this structure and the guidelines on the information you need to provide. This helps us compare like with like as part of our assessment process.

In each part of your proposal you’ll need to tell us certain key facts about your project. You’ll also need to show us the extent to which your project meets our expectations for each of these sections.

Wherever you can, please provide us with evidence to support your proposal, for example testimonials, website links and examples of your creative work. We’ll tell you more about how to do this, and about the supporting documents you must provide, in section 5.

We’ll tell you below the information you must give us.

Word limit

You can write 450 words for each section of the proposal. As a guide, one side of typed A4 paper is about 500 words.

Tips on Writing Your Project Proposal
  • Write in clear, simple language, avoiding jargon, acronyms and abbreviations
  • Write about facts, not generalities
  • Back up what you say by providing evidence or hyperlinks to external sources
  • Remember that each section has a word limit, so focus on telling us key information

Describing your Project

Tell us about your project, why it’s needed and why you want to do it

Tell us the key facts about your project. We’ll ask you for more detailed information later on, but here we want you to summarise what you want to do and what it will achieve, why you want to do it and why it’s important to you.

The starting point of any good project is identifying a need, so we also want to know why you think your project’s needed. We use the term "need" to mean an issue or situation where something could be changed to make things better. We want to know that this is the right opportunity for you, and that you have everything in place to make the most of it. Where appropriate to the project, we’ll also want to see the evidence of demand for your project.

FAQ: How can I show you that there’s a demand for my project?

Evidence of demand comes in many different forms and depends on the type of project you want to deliver and the people it’s aimed at. Here are a few examples that can all be used to show demand for a project:

  • The outcomes of a previous research and development phase
  • The outcomes and evaluation findings of a previous project
  • High quality research and evidence produced by other people, including from peer review
  • Letters of support from people you’ve talked to about your project, such as:
    • Music industry professionals (such as a label, manager, live agent, PR or plugger or publisher) who are backing your work
    • Music Industry and other creative professionals and organisations that know your work well and can vouch for your seriousness of purpose
    • Local authority officers or other key stakeholders for whom your project would help meet a strategic gap in provision
  • An official invitation from a UK-based showcase organisation

In your project proposal you should:

  • Tell us about your project:
    • Who is it for and who’s involved?
    • What arts activity will take place?
    • Where will the activity take place?
    • When will the activity take place?
  • Show us how you know your project is needed:
    • What evidence of demand do you have?
    • Who have you talked to about your project and what did you find out?
  • Tell us why you think your project meets the need you have identified

There may be existing strategies or initiatives that have helped you shape your project. These could be on a national, regional or local level, from the Welsh Government, from local authorities, or our own documents such as our strategy for Creativity and the Arts, called Inspire. If this is the case, tell us how these strategies or initiatives are relevant to your project.

Attachment: Letters of Support

You’ll need to upload at least two letters of support endorsing your project. These must come from independent third parties (who aren’t being paid as part of your project), such as other creative professionals and arts organisations. They are important as they validate your standing as a creative professional and your proposed project.

The letter writers will need to demonstrate an understanding of what your project is trying to achieve and will need to explain why they’re supporting it. They will need to comment on the quality of your work and on your seriousness of purpose as a creative professional. If they’re offering financial or in-kind support they should tell us clearly what that is and confirm the value.

Submitting these letters of support is mandatory as they form an essential part of the assessment. We won’t be able to accept your application without them.

Click here to find out how to upload your letters of support.

You can also submit other documents, such as letters that support your view that your project is needed, and that endorse you and your previous work. You can read more in section 5.

In this section we’re looking for:

  • A clear and persuasive description of a well-researched project
  • The extent to which you demonstrate the need and demand for your project
  • The extent to which your project meets the need you have identified
  • The extent to which your letters of support provide meaningful endorsement of you and your project
  • The extent to which you demonstrate a fit with our strategy for Creativity and the Arts, called Inspire, and with other relevant national, regional or local strategies or initiatives
Delivering artistic quality

Tell us about your creative idea. What do you want to achieve? How does your project draw on your previous artistic work? How will you ensure you deliver a high quality project?

We’re ambitious for the arts in Wales and want Arts Grants for Creative Professionals to support quality work. We want to invest in projects that represent the best of the arts in Wales. We’ll need to see that you’ve reached the right level of your career for us to support you, so you’ll need to show us that you’re at a "tipping point" and that our funding will make a difference to your career as an artist.

FAQ: What do you mean by "tipping point" in a career?

By "tipping point" we mean being ready to break through to the next level of career development. It can be demonstrated by:

  • Recent radio airplay and national / music press and social media presence
  • Performing live regularly at recognised venues and festivals beyond your local area
  • A strong fan base evidenced by social media statistics
  • Investment of backing from music industry professionals

Defining "quality" can be difficult. It depends on many factors, including the artistic concept, its development and execution, the creative professionals and other arts organisations that you’ll work with, and partnerships with other stakeholders. It can also depend on the resources available to you, although money doesn’t guarantee a quality outcome.

FAQ: How can I show you that I’ll deliver a high quality project?

We know that you cannot guarantee what the outcomes of a project will be. But there are things that we look for that help us make a judgement on the likelihood of you delivering a high quality project. These include:

  • Your track record: previous experience and artistic achievements, and the calibre of the work you usually do
  • The quality and outcomes of any previous projects that we’ve funded
  • Endorsement and support from music industry professionals with a relevant track record
  • Reviews and critical appraisals of your previous work
  • Evidence of thorough planning and clear aims and objectives
  • The quality of the creative professionals and other arts organisations who will work with you on the project
  • The appropriateness and strength of the partnerships in place to support the delivery of your project

This section has three parts. We want to know about the creative idea or vision for your project, and the reasons behind the creative decisions you’ve taken so far.

We also want you to tell us about your usual artistic work. Understanding more about your track record helps us judge whether the project you’d like to do is in keeping with your experience and achievements to date.

Your Creative Idea

In your project proposal you should:

  • Tell us about the creative idea or vision that’s at the heart of your project
  • Tell us why you want to do this project and what you want to achieve
  • Tell us what, or who, is the artistic inspiration for your project
  • Show us how your project will stand out from the crowd. What makes it distinctive, relevant, imaginative and compelling?

Your Creative Approach

In your project proposal you should:

  • Tell us what research and development you’ve completed to develop your project this far
  • If you’ve chosen particular music industry or other creative professionals, or arts organisations to work with you, tell us how project is strengthening existing creative partnerships. If this is a new collaboration, tell us how this has come about
  • Tell us how you’ll make sure you deliver a high quality project:
    • Are you working with a critical friend or creative mentor? (This could be a creative professional or an arts organisation) How will this help develop your practice?
    • Does peer review play a part in your project’s development and delivery?

If you’ve already chosen the creative professionals who’ll be working with you, you should submit their CVs. You’ll need to tell us how they’ve been selected. Any project staff (including creative professionals) being paid more than £5,000 must be recruited by open selection, unless there is a specific and pressing artistic reason to do otherwise.

You can read more about attachments in section 5.

Your Artistic Track Record

FAQ: How do I demonstrate my track record?

We know that demonstrating a successful track record can be a difficult thing to do. It may be helpful here to think about your career achievements to date, as well as when and how your work has received endorsement from the music industry sector. This could be from other creative professionals or arts organisations too.

When we consider your track record we’ll be looking at your experience to date and consider if the project you would like us to support is in keeping with this. So, we’ll look at the scale of your proposed project, the partners and mentors involved and if it’s the right stage of your career to be embarking on a project like this. It’s not necessarily about the length of your CV. We’re interested in your creative journey and how this project will help you get to where you want to be.

In your project proposal you should:

  • Tell us briefly about your recent, relevant artistic work and achievements
    • Tell us how you’re at a career tipping point
  • Show us how this project draws from or complements your previous artistic work
  • Tell us if this project takes you in a new creative direction. If it does, what’s the creative rationale for this?

Attachment: CV

We want to know about your artistic career, so you must submit an up to date copy of your artist CV. It should include information about your artistic work, for example exhibitions, performances, commissions, teaching experience, awards and testimonials. It should also include links to any websites that show your work or provide evidence of your track record.

Submitting your CV is mandatory as it forms an essential part of the assessment. We won’t be able to accept your application without it.

Click here to find out how to upload your CV.

In this section we’re looking for:

  • A compelling creative idea or vision that’s at the heart of your project and is reflected throughout its planning and delivery
  • The calibre of your creative practice and the calibre, track record and appropriateness of the other creative professionals and arts organisations that will be working with you
  • The appropriateness of your project to your artistic track record and your experience and achievements to date
Benefiting the Public

Tell us about the impact of your project (the project outcomes). Tell us how it will benefit you and any other people in Wales, and how it will contribute to the arts in Wales

Public benefit is a cornerstone of Lottery funding. The arts are one of the "good causes" which receive money from the National Lottery and that money comes from members of the public buying their Lottery tickets. As the Arts Council of Wales we are required to use our funding for projects which benefit artists and other creative professionals, audiences, participants and the wider public in Wales. We take that responsibility seriously and we expect you to do that too.

We want to see how your project will contribute to the arts in Wales. As a creative professional who’s building a practice and a career here, you’re an important part of our arts ecology. So when we talk about contributing to the arts in Wales, this includes how the project is benefiting you. It’s important that you tell us about this because as the public body responsible for developing the arts in Wales we want to support projects that help develop the arts sector here.

We know that with many development projects there’s often no immediate opportunity to benefit the people of Wales. But if any aspect of your project does engage with the public, for example showcasing new work to an audience, we’ll ask you to tell us about this engagement in more detail. We’ll want to know that you’ve considered reaching out to people in order to minimising barriers to attendance. If you’re able, at this stage, to identify the potential of your activity to impact on the public in the future, then tell us about this too.

FAQ: I don’t understand what is meant by "contribute to the arts in Wales"?

Each project is unique in the way it makes a contribution to the arts in Wales. Here are some examples to think about:

  • Will your project help develop your creative practice, or the creative practice of others, or develop the music sector in Wales?
  • Will your project create artistic work or services that will benefit creative professionals – including you – and arts organisations?
  • Will your project fill a strategic gap in provision?
  • Will your project help raise the quality of artistic work in Wales?
  • Will your project provide employment opportunities for creative professionals?
  • Will your project develop new and innovative partnerships and creative collaborations?
  • Will your project involve opportunities for knowledge transfer, skills development, mentoring or networking opportunities?

In your project proposal you should:

  • Tell us about your project’s outcomes
    • Tell us how your project will make a difference to your career
  • Tell us how your project will contribute to the development of the music sector in Wales:
    • Show us how your project is relevant and important to your artform
    • Tell us how your project will raise standards and / or sustain artistic excellence in your artform
  • If your project involves presenting work tell us how you’ll reach and attract people to attend or take part in your project. (You must submit a marketing plan which will help you demonstrate this)
    • Tell us how your project will tackle barriers to engagement and reach out as far as possible to audiences and participants
  • Tell us if you’re able to identify at this stage any ways in which the people of Wales will benefit from your research and development project either now or in the future

If you intend to buy a project-specific item of capital equipment, you’ll need to tell us how the equipment will be used during and after the project. (You’ll also need to submit three quotations for any single item costing more than £500).

Attachment: Marketing Plan

You’ll need to submit a marketing plan for your project. Developing your marketing plan will help you focus on who you want to reach and how you’re going to reach them.

We need to know how you’re going to reach and attract the people that will take part in or attend your project. You’ll need to demonstrate that you understand your target groups and have carried out some analysis of potential audiences and participants (you may find some of the audience Research data on our website helpful). We’ll also expect you to have considered the best ways to communicate with different types of people, as well as how you will use the media (including social media) to promote your project.

We’ll expect your marketing plan to contain a timetable setting out when different kinds of marketing activity will be carried out. We’ll also review the marketing costs that you include in your project budget to make sure they are appropriate for what you plan to do.

We need to be confident that your marketing plan is practical and realistic. We’ll expect it to be appropriate to the scale of your project, and the level of detail you need to include will reflect its scope and its aims and objectives.

On our website you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a Marketing Plan. It includes a template which you can use for all types of projects and when applying for our funding.

Submitting a marketing plan is mandatory as it forms an essential part of the assessment. We won’t be able to accept your application without it.

Click here to find out how to upload your marketing plan.

In this section we’re looking for:

  • A clear and detailed description of the proposed outcomes of your project and its impact on you and any other beneficiaries you’ve identified
  • The extent to which your project will contribute to the development of the music sector in Wales
  • The extent to which the project outcomes you aim to deliver are realistic and achievable
  • The extent to which your plans to reach out and attract people to your project, are appropriate to the scale and type of activity you plan to deliver, and are achievable
Planning and Managing a Successful Project

Tell us about your approach to your project. Tell us how you’ll keep your project on track, and how you’ll know that it’s been successful

We know that a well-planned project with effective management is more likely to lead to a successful end result. So we want to know about your capacity to deliver, and how you’ve approached planning and managing your project. We want you to demonstrate that you’re ready to manage and deliver your project effectively, alongside your usual work, whether you manage it yourself or bring someone in to help you.

We also want you to tell us how you’ll monitor your project’s progress and keep things on track, and how you’ll evaluate your project’s impact on its completion. By taking a structured approach to monitoring your project, you can respond quickly to any issues as they arise and change your project plan accordingly.

Evaluation is a crucial part of any project, and it’s more straightforward if you think about it at the outset. Put simply, evaluation is a structured way of thinking about what has happened.

In difficult financial times when there is greater pressure on the funding available, good evaluation can be a great tool in helping you become more financially viable and resilient, as it demonstrates to other funders and stakeholders the quality and impact of what you can deliver.

Remember that we will ask you to fill in a Completion Report once your project has ended, so all the monitoring and evaluation you carry out during and after the project will make filling this in easier.

Planning your Project

In your proposal you should:

  • Tell us your project’s aims and objectives
    • Tell us how your project is additional to your creative practice. This means how your project is over and above what you usually do
    • Tell us how your project fits with your own personal or career development plan
  • Tell us about your project plan:
    • How have you developed the project plan, and why do you think it’s achievable?
    • What are the key stages of activity?
    • How have you ensured that the timescales are realistic?
  • If you’re working in partnership with any other creative professionals or arts organisations, such as a label, manager, live agent, PR or plugger or publisher:
    • Tell us about their role and how the partnership came about
    • Tell us what practical or financial support they will provide
  • If you’re employing any other creative professionals or temporary staff to deliver your project, tell us how they’ve been selected. Anyone being paid more than £5,000 must be recruited by open selection unless there is a specific and pressing reason to do otherwise. Please tell us if this is the case
  • Show us how you’ve sought to minimise the environmental impact of your project

You may wish to submit a project plan in your own format as one of your supporting documents. Click here for further information on attachments.

Managing your project

In your proposal you should:

  • Tell us who will be responsible for running the project on a daily basis
  • Tell us if you have any experience of delivering similar projects. What did you learn from these that you can apply to this project?
Monitoring and Evaluating your Project

In your proposal you should:

  • Tell us how you’ll monitor progress against your project’s aims and objectives:
    • How will you keep the project on-track and act upon feedback?
  • Tell us what evidence you’ll collect during the life of the project
  • Show us how you’ll evaluate the impact of your project:
    • Tell us what feedback you’ll gather from audience members and other beneficiaries
    • Tell us who’ll carry out the evaluation. If you’ve chosen to work with somebody else on the evaluation, tell us why

In this section we’re looking for:

  • The extent to which you’ve demonstrated that your project is additional, well-planned and achievable
  • The extent to which you’ve shown us that you’re ready to manage and deliver your project successfully
  • The extent to which you’ve considered how you’ll monitor your project effectively while it is running and how you’ll evaluate its impact afterwards
Funding a Successful Project

Tell us about the project budget and the other funding you need to raise to be able to deliver your project

This section goes hand-in-hand with your project budget. Here we want you to tell us about your approach to funding your project.

We’ll want to see that you’ve taken an enterprising approach to funding your project and have maximised the financial contributions from your own funds and from other funding partners.

We’re all operating in difficult financial times, and we want you to be earning a sustainable living from your practice and build a career in Wales. So we want to encourage you to develop more resilient and robust ways of working that mean you are less reliant on public funds.

We’ll expect you to demonstrate a decreasing reliance on our funding and to show that you are financially viable without it. This shows us that our funding is only supporting activity that is over and above your usual creative practice (we call this being "additional").

We’ll also want to see that your project represents good value for money, with the amount you are requesting being appropriate to the scale and type of project you’re planning.

Attachment: Project Budget

You must submit a project budget with your application form. This must be on our project budget template, which you can download from the application form

Submitting a project budget is mandatory as it forms an essential part of the assessment. We won’t be able to accept your application without it.

We’ll give you further advice on how to complete your project budget template here.

In your proposal you should:

  • Tell us about any assumptions you’ve made in formulating your project budget:
    • Show us the evidence you have to back up these assumptions
  • Tell us about the partnership funding you need for your project:
    • Show us where it will come from
    • Tell us if it’s in place
    • If it’s not secured, tell us about your previous and current approach to successful fundraising and show us it will be raised in time
    • If it’s secured, tell us which organisations have confirmed their contribution, and how much they’ve offered towards your project. If possible, you should also submit written evidence of this with your application. You can read more about attachments, here.
    • Tell us if you’re planning to raise money from ticket sales or other earnings. Show us these amounts are realistic and achievable
    • Tell us if you’ve included in-kind support as part of your income projections. Show us that this has been confirmed and its value has been verified in writing
  • If you’re planning to continue your project beyond the period covered by our funding, or repeat it in the future, tell us how you intend to pay for this. (You must most not assume that you will receive further funding from us)

In this section we’re looking for:

  • A project budget that balances, is based on realistic assumptions and provides the level of detail we ask for
  • The amount you are requesting from us to be appropriate to the scale and type of project you want to deliver, and that represents good value for money
  • The extent to which you demonstrate an enterprising approach to, and a successful track record in fundraising or income generation, and how likely it is that you will raise all of the required partnership funding for your project, if you have not already done so
  • The extent to which you demonstrate a decreasing reliance on our funding and show that our funding is not being used to support any of your core costs

How to Fill in Your Project Budget

Remember that your project budget must be on our Project Budget Template, which you can download from the application form. You’ll be able to upload your budget in section 5 of the application form.

Your project budget is a key part of your application. Applicants often ask our advice about completing the project budget template. Here are our answers to some frequently asked questions:

What information makes up a project budget?

Your project budget must include the income for your project (this means all the money that you need to pay for your project), and the expenditure for your project (this means all the items you will be paying for as part of your project). Your budget has to balance, which means your income needs to be the same as your expenditure.

The expenditure section of your project budget should be for the total eligible cost of your project. You’re not able to change your project budget once you’ve submitted it with your application form. So it’s important at this stage that you think about all the different project costs you’ll be paying for.

There are some costs that we’re not able to support, (we call these ineligible costs), so you must also make sure that these aren’t included in your project budget.

What sort of project costs can you support?

We call the project costs that we can support eligible costs. The eligible costs that you’ll include in your project budget will depend on the scale and type of project you’re planning. Here are some examples:

  • Your fee to carry out the project
  • Fees for other creative professionals and project staff that you employ to deliver your project
  • Training costs
  • Production costs including materials, performance and touring costs. However, we won’t support projects that focus solely on national or international touring
  • Public engagement costs such as marketing costs, translation costs and audience development work
  • Costs for making your project more inclusive and accessible such as signed performances
  • Evaluation costs

We know that projects need to be well managed, so we’ll consider up to 20% of the total eligible project cost for administration and overheads relating directly to the delivery of the project and that are additional. We won’t consider more than 20% as we want to see as much money as possible going towards artistic activity.

How do I work out how much to pay myself and the other creative professionals who are working with me on my project?

We are committed to ensuring proper and fair payment to all creative professionals in recognition of their professional status, skills and experience. As a minimum, you need to ensure that industry standard rates of pay are used. You can find out more here.

Can I include the cost of buying equipment in our project budget?

Up to £2,000 of your grant amount can be used as a contribution to a project-specific capital element, such as the purchase of a piece of equipment. You’ll need to tell us in your project proposal how you’ll use this equipment during and after your project. You’ll also need to provide copies of receipts before any payment can be made.

Will you contribute towards the cost of websites?

We’ll consider funding up to £1,000 towards the costs of developing and hosting a website, if it will be used primarily to market and promote your project. If developing a website is central to the creative vision of your project and you’ll be using it as a platform for your artistic practice, then we’ll consider funding more than £1,000 towards the reasonable costs of developing and hosting a website.

You’ll need to show us how you’ll use the website both during and after your project.

What project costs are you not able to support?

We call these ineligible costs. We can’t give you a definitive list as we’ll consider your project budget in detail when we assess your application. But here are some examples:

  • Accountancy and audit fees
  • Ongoing overheads, for example rent and utilities
  • Costs for using your own spaces, facilities or equipment
  • Fees you’re charged for advice on and help with completing your application
  • Food, refreshments or hospitality costs
  • Prizes
  • Fundraising activities
  • Launch costs
  • Promotional t-shirts and other merchandise
  • Gifts such as flowers
  • Fireworks and other pyrotechnics

We also cannot consider retrospective costs. By this we mean activity that has already taken place, or any costs that you have paid or agreed to pay (by signing a contract or placing an order for example), before we have made a decision on your application and you have accepted our offer of grant.

How much can we apply for?

The maximum amount you can apply for is £5,000 or 90% of the total eligible project cost. In rare circumstances we may make exceptions. You can read more about these exceptions in our Getting Started document.

What do you mean by Partnership Funding?

Our funding is offered as a percentage of the total eligible project cost. You’ll need to find the rest that you need from your own funds or other sources, and this is what’s known as partnership funding. (It can also be called match funding).

Partnership funding is a requirement of the National Lottery, but we feel strongly that it also helps demonstrate the strength and potential of your project idea. This shows us that there’s a commitment to your project. It also shows us that other stakeholders agree that your project meets a need, that it will have public benefit, and that they’re prepared to invest money in it. It also means they can help share some of the financial risk.

At least 10% of your project’s income will need to come from a non-Arts Council of Wales source. Remember this is a minimum percentage and we’ll expect you to maximise the contributions to your project from your own funds, from earned income and from other funding partners.

We’re also keen to support projects that are funded collaboratively, rather than those which rely on us to be the major – or sole – funder. The more partnership funding you can secure, the stronger your project becomes. It also allows us to spread our funding more widely, helping us support more projects.

Here are some examples of sources of partnership funding:

  • Your own funds, although these must have come from a non-Lottery and non-Arts Council of Wales source
  • Cash contributions from other partners in the project (such as fees)
  • Earned income (such as performance fees and ticket sales)
  • Grants from other organisations (at least 10% must be from non-Lottery sources)

What is support in-kind?

Support in-kind (sometimes called in-kind contributions) means any items or services given to you by others that you would otherwise have to pay for. It can be included as partnership funding for your project. Here are some examples of support in-kind:

  • donated rehearsal or studio space
  • volunteer time
  • loans of equipment

Support in-kind cannot be from your own resources. Suppliers’ discounts are not eligible. You’ll need to provide written evidence of all support in kind that includes its value. These can be uploaded in section 5 of the application form.

Using the Project Budget Template

We use a budget template to help you present your financial information in a clear and structured way. This also helps us compare project budgets from different applications in a consistent way.

The template will guide you through completing your project budget. It has four pages (or tabs):

  • A summary page that checks your budget balances
  • An income page
  • An expenditure page
  • A checklist

The template will automatically calculate subtotals for you, check that your budget balances and check that you’re applying for an amount within the maximum percentage we’re able to fund. It will also display messages to offer advice, ask questions or to give reminders. We can accept a budget with green or amber messages, but not one with red messages. If you see a red message you’ll need to review your figures before you can upload your budget.

You can fill in the grey boxes in the spreadsheet with text and figures, but the white boxes can’t be changed. Your figures should be rounded to full pounds (£). Some of the boxes will ask you to select from a dropdown menu.

If the template doesn’t give you enough room to tell us about the assumptions you’ve made in arriving at your figures, or you’d like to provide further information about your budget you can upload this as Other information in section 5 of your application form.

Completing your project budget

Page 1: Balance

Please fill in your name, your project’s title and the amount you’re applying for (in full £). Make sure the amount matches the figure you’ve put in your application form. The other figures will update automatically as you fill in the rest of the budget.

Page 2: Income

Please tell us about all the income that you’ll use to pay for your project, under the headings given. If you need additional space please use the lower section of the page, making sure you select the relevant heading from the dropdown menu.

Arts Council of Wales grant request

  • This figure is already filled in for you

Your own funds

  • List any financial contribution you know you’ll make to the project

Earned income

  • List any income you expect to earn from your project activity, for example from ticket sales or catalogue/programme sales. You should be realistic about the amount you’re likely to earn. You should tell us any assumptions you’ve made in reaching these figures.
An example of the level of detail we need would be five performances each with an audience of 210 at £5 per ticket = £5,250.
  • If VAT is charged on your ticket sales or admission price, you shouldn’t include it in your earned income

Local authority funding

  • List all grants from local authorities. Please give us the name of each local authority, the amount they’re giving and whether it’s been confirmed in writing. If you’re waiting to hear, please tell us when you’re expecting a decision.

Other public funding

  • List all grants from any other public organisations, such as the Welsh Government or European Union. Again please give us the name of each funder, the amount they’re giving and whether it’s been confirmed in writing. If you’re waiting to hear, please tell us when you’re expecting a decision

Support in kind

  • Estimate the cost or value of any items or services given to you by other organisations that you would otherwise have to pay for. These count as income for your project but cannot be from your own resources and they cannot be suppliers’ discounts.
An example of the level of detail we need would be hire of a hall for 6 days at £50 per day = an in kind value of £300.
  • List each provider of in kind support, the value of what they’re giving and whether it's been confirmed in writing. (Letters of support from each provider are a good way of showing this and can be uploaded in section 5 of the application form).

You can read more about support in kind in our project budget related frequently asked questions, above.

Additional income sources

  • · Tell us about income from any other source. This might include:
    • sponsorship
    • donations
    • grants from trusts and foundations

Please give us the name of each source, the amount they’re giving, and if possible whether it’s been confirmed in writing. If you’re waiting to hear, please tell us when you’re expecting a decision.

You should submit any relevant letters about your partnership funding with your application form. You can read more about how to upload documents in section 5.

When you’re done, click Finished to go back to the Balance page, where your income total is now showing.

Page 3 – Expenditure

Please tell us about all of the items you’ll be paying for as part of your project, under the headings given.

All of your project costs must be eligible. You can read more about eligible costs in our project budget related frequently asked questions, above.

You must provide a breakdown of any costs that amount to more than 5% of the total eligible project cost. The template will help you identify which costs you need to breakdown.

If you need additional space please use the lower section of the page, making sure you select the relevant heading from the dropdown menu.

A Note about VAT

If you’re registered for VAT, your expenditure figures shouldn’t include VAT that you can claim back (often called recoverable VAT).

If you’re not registered for VAT your costs should include VAT. Any VAT that you expect to incur but can’t claim back (irrecoverable VAT) should be included as a separate category of expenditure and you should explain how you calculated this figure.

Here’s an example of the level of detail we expect you to provide on the expenditure page of your project budget:

Artistic activity costs

3 performers @ £350 per week for 10 weeks, 1 stage manager @ £400 per week for 10 weeks

£14,500

Subsistence for 4 band members @ £50 per day x 20 days

£4,000

Hire of van @ £60 per day x 20 days

£1,200

Hire of rehearsal space at ABC Theatre, 10 sessions @ £150 per session

£1,500

Artistic activity costs

  • List the fees and wages of all artists and other creative professionals who’ll work on your project, including you. As a minimum you need to ensure that industry standard rates of pay are used. You can get advice about this from organisations like Equity, the Musician’s Union, UK Theatre, and the Independent Theatre Council. For visual artists, a-n, the Artists Information Company has a section on its website called the Knowledge Bank which contains useful information for visual arts practice including guidance on rates of pay.
  • List the costs of the rehearsals, studio time, events and productions, along with any materials you need
  • Include all costs that directly support your artistic activity, for example travel, transport, accommodation and daily subsistence (sometimes called per diems)

Marketing and audience development costs

  • List the marketing and promotional costs that directly support your artistic activity and enable you to reach and attract audiences and participants, for example freelancer marketing, press and PR fees, data analysis, mailing lists, postage, translation, design and print costs, social media and electronic mailing costs

Monitoring and evaluation costs

  • List the costs of gathering evidence before, during and after your project, for example participant surveys or post-event audience questionnaires, testimonials, feedback forms or video responses
  • List the costs of any quality assurance measures you’re putting into place, for example peer reviews or input from a critical friend
  • List the costs of providing evidence of the impact of your project, for example fees for external evaluators

Purchase of equipment

  • Our grant can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element such as a piece of equipment that you need to purchase so you can deliver the project.
  • For any single item costing more than £500 you should submit three written quotations from separate suppliers for identical or comparable equipment. The quotation figure you choose to include in your project budget should be the one that represents the best value

Costs of making your activity more accessible

  • We expect you to make your activity accessible to disabled people. There are many things you can do to make your project more accessible that don’t actually cost anything, but you should plan for any necessary access costs and include them here
  • If you’re disabled, you can apply for funding towards access costs you’ll incur in delivering your project. These costs will be considered in addition to the artistic project costs and we’ll consider allowing your application to exceed the maximum level. You should contact us to discuss this before submitting your application.

Additional Expenditure

  • List any other project costs that don’t fit under the other headings and provide details

Project running costs (administration and overheads)

  • We can consider project running costs towards administration and overheads, of up to a maximum 20% of the total eligible project cost.
  • We’ll only consider funding project running costs that are not paid for by other funding and that are clearly additional. You must show us that the costs will incurred for a time-limited period and are directly related to your project. We’ll consider contributing towards:
    • Project administration
    • Payments to additional staff
    • Project specific phone, postage and insurance costs

Value of support in kind

  • If you filled in the Support in Kind section on the Income page of your project budget, then the template will show the same amount for you here.

You can read more about support in kind in our project budget related frequently asked questions, above.

Contingency

  • A contingency is an amount set aside to cover unexpected costs.
  • You should include up to 5% of your total eligible project cost as a contingency.
  • The template will tell you if your figure is too high

When you’re done, click Finished to go back to the Balance page, where your expenditure total is now showing.

Page 4 – Checklist

You can work through this checklist to make sure that you’ve done everything you need to do before saving and uploading your project budget as part of your application.

Section 3: Project Details

In this section we’re asking you to tell us some facts and figures about your project.

Project Dates

Please tell us the start and finish dates for your project. The start date of your project should be when you expect to incur costs. We cannot fund any activity that has already taken place.

You need to make sure that your project start date allows enough time for us to make our assessment and confirm our decision, and for you to finalise your planning, preparation, fundraising, marketing and audience development work.

  • For Small Grant applications (£250 - £5,000) we’ll take up to six working weeks to give you a decision. You’ll normally be able to start your project after we’ve received your signed grant acceptance. So you need to allow a minimum of six working weeks between the date you submit your application and the date you want to start your project. We won’t accept your application if your project’s start date is too soon.

It’s important you tell us these dates, because if we award you a grant, the payments we make and the reports we request from you will be linked to your project’s start and end dates. If you need to change your project’s start or end date, please contact us as soon as possible to tell us why, so we can agree to these changes and update our records.

Total project cost and amount applied for

You should apply for the lowest amount of money that you need to deliver your project. The maximum percentage of total eligible costs that you can apply for is 90%. You must ensure that the amount you’re requesting from us does not exceed this.

You should also make sure that the figure you tell us here is the same as the amount that you’re applying for on your project budget.

Language

Please use the drop-down menu to tell us the language/s you’ll be using to deliver your project. It’s important you tell us as we often get asked to report on it.

Artform

We often get asked about what percentages of our funding goes on different artforms, so it’s important that you tell us as accurately as possible what proportion of your project activity relates to each artform. There’s a link in the application form to our Artform Definition Guide which will help you complete this section.

Section 4: Declaration

In this section we’re asking you to read some important information about our responsibilities around Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

It’s important that you understand how the information you submit will be used and stored by us. And you need to know what to do if you believe that any of your information is commercially sensitive or confidential.

We’re then asking you to confirm a number of statements. And by ticking the box you’re signing the application form electronically.

Section 5: Attachments

It’s in this section that you can upload your supporting documents. Our online system calls these attachments.

We highlighted in section two, your proposal, the attachments that you must submit with your application form. Here’s a reminder for you:

  • Your project budget. This must be on our project budget template, which you can download here
  • Your Marketing Plan
  • At least two meaningful letters of support endorsing your project
  • Your CV

Remember that these are mandatory. They form an essential part of our assessment and we won’t be able to accept your application without them.

How to upload your documents

Use the dropdown menu at the bottom of the screen to upload your documents. Each of the mandatory documents is included in the menu. There is also an "Other" category. You can use all of these categories more than once, but please note that there is a maximum total file size of 60MB for attachments.

If you need help with document formats or want further information on other technical issues, please read our Applying Online Information Sheet, or have a look at our attachments trouble shooting guide.

Other supporting information

You may find that you need to submit additional information with your application, which you can upload using the "Other" category on the drop-down menu. These could include:

  • Testimonials
  • Examples of your creative work
  • CVs of Creative Professionals who will be working with you
  • Three quotations for any single capital item costing £500 or more
  • Your Project Plan
  • Confirmation of partnership funding, including support in-kind

Section 6

This section allows you to review the information you’ve filled in so far, and to make any changes. Our online system will also tell you if you’ve missed any questions.

If you’re happy with your application you can click Submit. This forwards your application to us for consideration.

A copy of your completed application will always be available on our online system for you to see, once you’ve clicked the button to submit it. You’ll find it saved under the "submitted applications" section on our online system, after you’ve logged in. You can also print a copy for your own files.

Once you’ve clicked Submit you’ll receive an automatic acknowledgement by email. If you don’t receive this please check it’s not in your junk mail folder. If you still haven’t received your acknowledgement email, please check your application form and try clicking Submit again.

If your application isn’t finished, click Save and Finish Later. You’ll then receive an email containing a copy of your draft form. Please keep this email for reference.

What happens to your application?

Checking your application

We will confirm that we’ve received your application by sending you an acknowledgement email. This will also ask you to fill in your Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form by clicking the link to a dedicated page on our website. Your application cannot be considered complete unless this form has been filled in and submitted.

We’ll check your application and allocate it to an officer. We can only assess applications that are complete. By this we mean providing all of the information we have asked for in sufficient detail to enable us to carry out a proper assessment.

If we’re not able to assess your application, we’ll tell you the main reasons why.

Assessment and decision making

Assessing Officers will carefully consider your application and the supporting information you have provided. We don’t ask for additional information once the assessment has started, so it’s important that you answer each question as best you can, and that your supporting information is appropriately detailed and accurate.

Your application will be considered comparatively with others at a decision making meeting chaired by a senior member of staff.

How we make a decision

We know that demand for our funding through Arts Grants for Creative Professionals is high, and there are good applications that we have to turn down because there is not enough money available. We will use our strategic priorities, our knowledge about you and your previous activities, and our professional judgement to make these difficult decisions. We will always try and support the applications which have best demonstrated they’ll be of high quality.

If your application is successful

You’ll receive a formal offer of grant by email confirming the level of grant and any additional conditions (for example written confirmation of partnership funding). We’ll also send you our standard conditions of grant, our accreditation and branding requirements and information about your payments.

Payment

Grants are usually paid in a single payment when we’ve received your electronically signed grant acceptance form (or signed and posted if we’ve agreed to this). Once we’ve received your acceptance of our grant offer and you’ve confirmed your project’s start and end dates, you can begin your project.

During and after your project

It’s important that we know how your project is progressing. We may ask you for an Interim Report that tells us about your project’s finances and activity up to a certain point. We may arrange for our officers or advisers to attend activities and events so we can be confident about the quality of the work you’re delivering.

At the end of your project we’ll ask you for a Completion Report. You’ll need to tell us your actual income and expenditure figures, including details about all your partnership funding, activity details and key outcomes as well as an evaluation of your project’s impact, showing how it delivered on its objectives.

Both Interim Reports and Completion Reports can be completed online.

If your application is unsuccessful

If your application is unsuccessful we’ll send you a letter by email explaining the main reasons for our decision. You’ll be able to discuss this with a member of our staff if you wish.

Further Advice

Need Further Information?

You can find a wealth of useful information that at www.artscouncilofwales.org.uk including:

  • our Getting Started Guide to Arts Grants for Creative Professionals, separate guidance notes for each strand of Arts Grants for Creative Professionals and our Information Sheets
  • Information about our other funding programmes
  • our Funding Companion that contains contact details for local authority Arts Services, other potential funders and organisations that may be able to offer help and advice
  • our latest corporate, strategic and information publications
  • research data
  • projects that we’ve funded
  • links to other potential sources of funding
  • the Arts Directory
  • our Newsletter and our News feed
Contact Us

Telephone: 0845 8734 900 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

SMS: 07797 800 504 (messages charged at your standard network rate)

Email: information@artscouncilofwales.org.uk

What to do if you’re unable to accept money from the National Lottery

If you’re unable to accept lottery funding for religious reasons, please upload a letter with your application explaining why this is the case. If your application is successful we will try and fund your project from money we receive from other sources.

Disclaimer

We have tried to make sure the information we give is correct. We do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to anyone for loss or damage caused by mistakes or omissions in the information we provide, whether these mistakes or omissions are caused by negligence, accident or any other reason.

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