Capital funding is available to support cultural organisations in England to adjust buildings and equipment so that they can operate safely post-pandemic, improve access, seize on technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact.
- Funding body:
- Arts Council England
- Maximum value:
- £ 750,000
- Application deadline:
The Capital Investment Programme is provided and administered by Arts Council England.
The programme forms part of the 'Fit for the Future' theme set out in the Let's Create Delivery Plan 2021-2024. Building on investment from the UK Government's Culture Recovery Fund, it aims to strengthen the cultural infrastructure by using the four Investment Principles to support the post pandemic recovery of the cultural sector and to give more people the opportunity to enjoy high-quality cultural experiences.
Objectives of Fund
The purpose of this open access programme is to support cultural organisations to adjust buildings and equipment so that they can operate safely post-pandemic and improve access, seize on technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact.
The longer-term impacts Arts Council England expects to see from this programme are:
- All communities and individuals can actively engage with and enjoy creativity and culture.
- Capital investments are transformational in their impact on the range and reach of collaborations related to creative and cultural activities.
- The business models of cultural organisations can adapt to the changing environment around them and the needs of the communities with whom they work.
- Organisations exhibit dynamic behaviour, developing and increasing the value they create and establishing new business models to enable them to adapt to a challenging environment.
- Organisations demonstrate leadership in environmental responsibility.
- The carbon footprint of the cultural sector is reduced.
- Creative spaces are more inclusive, safe, and accessible for all.
The programme has a total value of £20 million.
Grants are available from £100,000 to a maximum of £750,000.
Activity can start from April 2022 but must start no later than 30 September 2022. The deadline to complete activities is 31 March 2025.
Match Funding Restrictions
Applicants are expected to make the most of other sources of income available to them, and to provide match funding as follows:
- For grants between £100,000 to £250,000 - at least 5% must come from other sources.
- For grants from £250,001 to £750,000 - at least 10% must come from other sources.
Note: Grants awarded by Arts Council England, including from the Cultural Investment Fund, Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund or Cultural Recovery Fund, will not be accepted as partnership funding.
Who Can Apply
Applications will be accepted from not-for-profit cultural organisations based in England. Organisations must be able to clearly demonstrate that their primary aims are around culture and that the activities they are applying for fall within the remit of Arts Council England.
Examples of organisations that are eligible to apply include:
- Charitable trusts.
- Charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) registered with the Charity Commission.
- Charitable companies registered with the Charity Commission.
- Community interest companies (CICs) registered with the CIC regulator.
- Limited companies registered at Companies House who do not distribute profit to their members or shareholders.
- Statutory bodies and other public bodies who run or maintain cultural services.
- Museum applicants, which must be non-national Accredited museums (full and provisional) or museums confirmed by the Arts Council as working towards Accreditation.
The lead organisation (the organisation submitting the application) should be properly constituted with a governing document.
Arts Council England will accept partnership applications between formally constituted cultural organisations. One organisation must act as the lead organisation and submit the application depending on who is most appropriate to meet the programme aims. All partners to the partnership must be not-for-profit organisations.
The following are not eligible for funding:
- Organisations who distribute profit to members or shareholders.
- Organisations who are not properly constituted with a governing document.
- Organisations who do not have a registered address in England.
- Organisations whose primary aims are not cultural.
- Organisations applying for activities that fall outside the remit of Arts Council England.
- Expenditure that will not be capitalised.
- Purchase of a leasehold interest that will not be capitalised as a finance lease.
- Goods, works or services that have been bought or ordered before the date of the funding agreement.
- Costs that are already paid for by any other income.
- Research work.
- Development of architectural drawings up to RIBA Work Stage 3.
- Routine maintenance and minor repairs which should form part of a maintenance and management plan.
- Building projects that do not meet the requirements for ownership of land and buildings set out in Arts Council England's capital requirements.
- Assets that the applicant plans to sell.
- General running costs or overheads such as staffing, rent, storage, insurance, and maintenance costs.
- Goods, works or services that have not been procured in accordance with the requirements set out by Arts Council England.
- Activities which directly generate income by offering goods or services on a market for a commercial fee.
- Activities covered by statutory duties including those for educational purposes necessary by law.
- Costs that are already covered by the Access to Work scheme.
Eligible costs and activities include, but are not limited to, those in the following areas:
Digital infrastructure to enable the use of technology to produce, distribute and exhibit cultural content, reaching homes, cultural venues, and community spaces. This includes purchasing:
- Capability to enhance core areas such as: data and analytics; content strategy; digital accessibility; digital marketing; customer relationship management; e-commerce; and business systems.
- Capability to support content production, dissemination and improving the visitor experience.
Physical infrastructure to address access, reduce environmental impact, support new business models and create an environment to meet the diverse needs of creative practitioners, participants, partners, workforce, volunteers, and audiences. This includes:
- Purchasing movable equipment or low emission vehicles that support sustainable production and touring.
- Purchasing furniture, fixtures, and equipment to enable organisations to operate safely post-pandemic.
- Improving accessibility of physical infrastructure. For example:
- Purchasing equipment, vehicles, or musical instruments to enable choice and participation in cultural activities.
- Undertaking works to cultural buildings to install Changing Places facilities, accessible toilets, ramps, lifts, and signage that meet best practice guidelines.
- Increasing the environmental performance of physical infrastructure such as purchase of LED lighting, installing, or retrofitting sustainable technologies, environmental monitoring systems or upgrading existing building fabric to enhance thermal performance.
- Public realm improvements such as landscaping or pedestrian access to support outdoor cultural events or festivals.
- Adaptive reuse of existing buildings to provide new spaces in areas of low cultural infrastructure as an alternative to new construction and to support a circular economy. Note: development of existing buildings is a more sustainable choice than a new building. If a project includes the development of a new building, the application needs to demonstrate why this is the best option.
- Adaptation, retrofitting or extension of cultural buildings to increase capacity or support business model innovation.
- Purchasing a freehold interest or a finance lease. Such applications will need to include an independent property valuation and condition survey.
- Professional fees directly related to the project.
- Time-limited costs that may be incurred which are directly related to the project.
- VAT that cannot be recovered from HM Revenue and Customs.
How To Apply
The online Expression of Interest form will be available between noon on 5 October 2021 and noon on 26 October 2021.
Applications are made using Arts Council England's Grantium grant management system. Applicants must first create a Grantium account to be able to submit an Expression of Interest and then a full application.
Guidance information and further details are available from the Arts Council England website.
Useful documents & links
Addresses and contacts
For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:
Arts Council England
49 Lever Street
Email: [email protected]