Derry City & Strabane - Funding Opportunities




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Funding Opportunities


 ​Funding Update

Free Access to Grantfinder Community Portal

The Council provides free access to the Grantfinder Community Funding Portal to individuals and organisations within the Council area. Using this tool, you can browse and search for relevant funding opportunities and access funding news items. Go to the “Log-in/Register” box in the web link to start visit Grantfinder Derry and Strabane 4 Community







Free Access to Grantfinder Community Portal


The Council provides free access to the Grantfinder Community Funding Portal to individuals and organisations within the Council area. Using this tool, you can browse and search for relevant funding opportunities and access funding news items. Go to the “Log-in/Register” box in the web link to start.


Grantfinder Derry and Strabane 4 Community




Garfield Weston Foundation’s New £25M Culture Fund

The £25 million fund is designed to support mid to large scale cultural organisations in the UK to help them restart work, re-engage with audiences, adapt to changed circumstances and generate revenue.

The fund is specifically for charitable organisations with a pre-COVID regular annual income of £500,000 or greater; smaller organisations will be able to apply for the regular grants programme via the Foundation’s website as usual.

Full details of the fund will be available when the fund opens. Deadline: 9 November 2020

North West Learning Fund

The North West Learning Fund encourages innovation and collaboration within the Voluntary and Community Sector leading to improved sustainability outcomes. The following organisations can apply:


  • Registered charities
  • Constituted community organisations, and CICs, within Northern Ireland, who are based in the County Derry/Londonderry area only, and which support economically inactive people living in the North West, to find a route to employment, through training and learning initiatives
  • Individuals who are collaborating/partnering with a constituted group within the geographical area. If individuals need support identifying a constituted, community organisation to partner with please e-mail: 


Phase Two of this fund is now open and will encourage innovation in learning leading to employment opportunities for economically inactive people, and will offer grants of between £10,000 and £15,000 The Fund will also provide strategic, organisational support through a bespoke mentorship programme upon completion of a strength checker during the application process.
Deadline: 16 November 2020



Big Society Capital – Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund







This Fund enables social lenders to provide emergency loans to social enterprises and charities that are experiencing disruption as a result of COVID-19. Examples could include:

  • lending until government payments are received (e.g. contracts, furlough etc).
  • lending to cover delays in trade payments (trade debtors).
  • lending to support the rapid scaling up of an existing business model to meet increased demand for services during the crisis.
  • lending to provide a bridge to cover revenue shortfall for proven and profitable trading activity.

The fund is not intended for those substantially pivoting, adapting or redesigning their business model. It is also not available to use for refinancing existing investments.

Loans will not require personal guarantees and there will be no fees or interest for 12 months. Big Society Capital will provide the initial funding, with underlying loans backed by the Government’s existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and issued through SIB working initially with Charity Bank, Social and Sustainable Capital and Big Issue Invest.

Deadline: 13 November 2020

Stability and Renewal Programme (NI) for Arts & Culture Organisations

The Department for Communities (DfC) has co-designed this additional COVID-19 support with the Arts Council (ACNI) for the arts, culture, heritage, languages and the wider creative industries sectors. All organisations may contact ACNI for further advice before applying.


Applications welcomed from:

·         Constituted organisations/companies whose primary purpose relates to the categories below and which carry out the majority of their work in NI

·         Arts, cultural and community venues’ main use must be for one of the categories below & may include arts, cultural & community centres, theatres, galleries, grassroots music venues, comedy venues

·         Arts, culture and community organisations whose primary role is to create, present or support one (or more) of these categories:


Dance, Drama, Literature, Music and Opera, Traditional Arts, Visual Arts, Performing arts & theatre, Festivals & cultural events, Participatory Arts, Comedy, Cross Art form, Community Arts.


Creative Industries in the following segments:

Independent Cinema, Product Design, Fashion Design, and Graphic Design; Crafts;

TV, Video, Photography, Film, and Radio.


Please leave sufficient time to upload all documents to the system as there can be long delays as the closing deadline approaches.


Deadline: 27 November 2020


Heritage Recovery Fund (NI) for organisations and individuals

The National Lottery Heritage Fund will distribute the £5.5.M Heritage Recovery Fund on behalf of the Department for Communities to support the sector through COVID-19.


·         Grants of £3k - £250k are available for non-profit or private heritage organisations

·         Grants of £3k - £5k are available for individuals working in the heritage sector

·         Funding must be spent by 31 March 2021.


There will be two webinars to help explain the scheme and address any queries which take place on Monday 9 November 2020 and: Thursday 12 November 2020: register here


Deadline: 27 November 2020






Individual Disabled/Deaf and Deaf Artists (IDA) Awards 2020/21

The IDA Awards Grant 2020/2021 is open for submissions. It is a dedicated annual arts development programme, delivered through University of Atypical, that enables individual disabled/deaf and disabled artists working across a range of art forms to apply for funding to develop their professional artistic careers. The bursaries provide opportunities for each artist to produce a new high-quality creative work, receive training, or engage with professional mentoring. The IDA Awards scheme is managed by the University of Atypical on behalf of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


You can request a one-to-one advice session with a staff member.

To book this, email or phone 028 9023 9450.

Click on the links: Awards Details and Application Pack 2020/2021


Deadline: 13 November 2020






UK-Canada New Conversatns 2020 (Theatre and Dance)

UK-Canada artistic partners are invited to apply for funding of up to £3,500 GBP / $6,000 CAD to explore how they can develop new creative ideas, exchange knowledge and practice without meeting in person. The fund is open to Canada and UK-based individual artists, collectives, independent companies and organisations of theatre and dance. Cross art form collaborations are also welcomed. 


New Conversations is funded and delivered by the British Council, Farnham Maltings, Canada Council for the Arts and the High Commission of Canada in the UK.


Deadline: 27 November 2020

The Golden Fleece Award (NI and ROI) Arts Prize

There is now an open call for applications to The Golden Fleece Special 20th Anniversary Prize Fund of €50,000. Up to 10 Shortlisted artists will be awarded €10,000 each. The call is open to emerging, mid-career and established visual artists, designers, makers and craftspeople originally from or resident on the island of Ireland.


Deadline: 27 November 2020.



Department for Communities – Sign Language COVID-19 Support Fund

Grants are available for the sign language sector in NI to support the survival, maintenance and sustainability of the local sign language infrastructure impacted by COVID-19 and enable the sector to continue its support for the deaf community and families with deaf children both during COVID-19 and beyond. No maximum or minimum grant size has been specified.


Applications are accepted from:

  • Community and linguistic organisations.
  • Self-employed individuals (eg, tutors, translators, interpreters, technical support staff and sign language researchers).


Applicants will need to demonstrate that a significant part of their income is from sign language practice and that they are currently experiencing difficulties due to work restrictions imposed by COVID-19 protocols. Organisations who have worked to promote BSL/ISL and sign language development can apply for financial support for initiatives which meet the criteria.


Organisations should email to obtain an application form.


Deadline: 1 December 2020

Community Relations and Cultural Diversity Funding

(Community Relations Council NI)

Grants available to help community & voluntary groups develop their capacity to engage in community relations work and to enhance the community relations potential of projects they undertake. All projects in receipt of CR/CD funding must be completed within this financial year. Grants are up to £10K maximum and for project costs only. Average grant is £2K – £5K.

We understand that due to COVID-19 many  traditional delivery methods are not possible. With this in mind CRC has been gathering together some of the current good practice in relation to delivering programmes online and in different formats.  Please check out the examples of work currently taking place:



If you have any questions or would like to discuss a proposal prior to submitting an application please contact a member of the Funding and Development Programme or phone 028 9022 7500.

Deadline: 4 December 2020


Theatre Reopening Fund (UK)

Grants of up to £5,000 to help not-for-profit theatres make Covid-19-related adaptions and prepare for reopening e.g. building improvements and purchasing equipment that will support the theatre to be able to open viably and safely. It will not cover revenue costs. Priority will be given to those which demonstrate how the project will support the theatre’s safe reopening.


To be eligible you must:

·  own or manage theatres with titles or signed leases of more than 5 years

·  demonstrate that they run a regular theatre programme of professional, community and/or amateur work presenting no less than 30 performances a year

·  have a bona-fide UK charitable or not-for-profit legal structure and be able to provide certified or audited accounts for at least two years.


Please get in touch to discuss your proposals. Then send applications as soon as you know the required works and costs using the form below and supporting evidence. E-mail applications to: We aim to make decisions on applications within 4 weeks. The scheme will run on a rolling basis throughout 2020.


D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available for UK registered charities in the areas of advancement of the arts, health and medical welfare, and improvement or protection of the environment. Grants can be used for core costs or for projects and the Trust also considers applications for matched funding. Applicants who have been unsuccessful with an application may not reapply for a period of two years. Projects should be in the following areas:


The Arts

·         The promotion of access, education and excellence in the arts for young people to increase their opportunities to become involved outside school and to build future audiences with special emphasis on choral singing for children and young people to encourage recruitment into choirs.

·         Access to the arts for the elderly and for people who least have access to them.

·         Performance development opportunities in the performing arts for those in the early stages of their careers, encouraging involvement in the community through performances and workshops for the benefit of those with special needs and those who would otherwise have no opportunity to hear or participate in a live performance.

·         Support for charities seeking to engage with young people on the fringes of society through music and drama projects to improve their employability and diminish the risk of social exclusion.

·         Trust favours projects that seek to create a new use for fine buildings of architectural and historic merit to encourage the widest possible cross-section of use. The Trust does not normally support major restorations but may support a specific element if identified as appropriate to the aims of the Trust.

·         Rural crafts and skills in heritage conservation, with emphasis on increasingly rare skills that would otherwise be lost.


Next Deadline: 10 February 2021


Community Foundation NI - Arts, Culture and Heritage Challenge Fund 

Grants of between £2,000 and £20,000 are available for constituted organisations in NI that are working to support marginalised communities and vulnerable people through engagement in community arts, culture and heritage projects and creative industries. The grants can be used for covering project costs, capital costs and core costs, incurred before 31 March 2021. Applications are welcomed for:

  • initiatives that can show short term need and impact
  • initiatives that empower and connect grassroots community based organisations engaging in arts, culture and heritage activities, and which are new and innovative
  • initiatives that have a clear social impact, and that enable those who do not usually have access to arts activities to have this access and opportunities.
Applications also welcomed from organisations seeking match funding for projects supported by other funders; and community projects that are working in partnership with Local Government; and projects that work both within and outside traditional communities.

Projects must support at least one of the following groups:

  • People with disabilities.
  • Children and young people, in particular young women and girls.
  • Older people.
  • People with poor mental health.
  • Black, Asian and ethnic minorities.
  • Rurally isolated people.
  • People in poverty.
  • Persons in institutions such as care homes, rehabilitation centres.
  • LGBTQ+ community.
  • Anyone identified as discriminated and excluded, particularly when it comes to engagement with the arts.
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. 

For more info see:

Film and TV Production Restart Scheme

This Scheme aims to help to get TV and film productions that were halted or delayed by a lack of insurance back up and running and to give productions the confidence that they will be supported if future losses are incurred due to COVID-19. The £500M scheme is designed to fill the gap left by the lack of available insurance and cover coronavirus-related losses for cast member and crew illnesses and filming delays or disruptions caused by the ongoing struggles surrounding the virus.


Eligible productions will receive compensation for costs caused by coronavirus delays up to a value of 20% of the production budget, with abandonment of productions due to coronavirus to be covered up to 70% of the production budget. There will be a total cap of £5 million on claims per production. All UK film and television productions made by companies where at least half of the production budget is spent in the UK and is estimated to cover more than 70% of the film and TV production market are eligible.


Deadline for productions to register for the scheme and restart shooting has been extended from December 2020 until: 

28 February 2021


National Lottery Community Fund – Empowering Young People NI

Grants of between £10,000 and £500,000 available for voluntary & community sector organisations for projects that build the skills and capabilities of young people, aged 8-25 years, to give them the ability to cope with the challenges they face in their lives. Currently applications are prioritised from organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19 or supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19.


Applications not related to COVID-19 (e.g. which address skills, relationships with support networks & communities and improved health & well-being) can still be submitted but may take longer to get a decision.


Partnerships can also apply as long as they are led by a voluntary, community or social enterprise organisation.

Deadline: 31 March 2021


National Lottery – People and Communities Fund

Grants of £10,000 - £500,000 available (for one to five year projects) for voluntary & community organisations working with local people to bring about positive changes that will:

·         improve the quality of life for local communities

·         involve local people and enable them to make changes that improve their lives

·         encourage communities to build on their strengths and share learning

·         be people-led, strengths-based and connected.


This Fund is currently prioritising applications from organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19 and communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19. Applications not related to COVID-19 can still be submitted but it may take longer to get a decision.

Deadline: 31 March 2021



Migrant Centre Ni: BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) Covid-19 Recovery Fund

Small projects working with diverse communities are facing risk of closure due to the impact of COVID-19. The Migrant Centre NI is making grants available to support such community organisations to deliver services at this challenging time.


There are 3 Tiers of support:

Tier 1 -£1,500 -£2,499

Tier 2 -£2,500 -£5,000

Tier 3 -£5,001 -£7,500.


The minimum amount a group can apply for is £1500. Groups may submit a maximum of two funding applications under two separate Tiers. Each application will need  to  demonstrate  a  clear  difference  to  other  proposals submitted  by  the  organisation  and  need  to  be  for  project  activities  or  a  blend  of activities and core costs.


Applications accepted until 15 June 2021 OR until funds are used up. Early application is advised.








Department of Finance - The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (NI)


This scheme provides financial support ONLY to businesses which have been required to close or severely limit operations at their premises under the Health Protection Regulations. Online applications can now be submitted in relation to all NI council areas. Applications already submitted in relation to businesses in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area will automatically be considered for the increased levels of support payment announced on 15 October 2020. Applicants do not need to reapply.


The Scheme will apply to businesses, subject to eligibility criteria, including:


  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants that are required to close or limit their services to a takeaway service instead;
  • Hotels, guesthouses and registered bed & breakfasts that have been required to limit the provision of services for residents only;
  • Close contact services (as detailed in the Health Protection Regulations) occupying commercial premises who have been forced to close such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, day spas, nail bars, tattoo parlours, sports massage therapy, wellbeing and holistic therapies, tanning, dress fitting, tailoring and fashion design, electrolysis and body piercing; and
  • Other businesses which, under the Regulations are required to cease to carry out that business or to provide that service, including campsites and caravan parks for touring caravans, cinemas, museums, galleries, bingo halls, funfairs, indoor amusement arcades, indoor visitor attractions, trampoline parks, inflatable parks, escape rooms, bowling alleys and ice rinks.


The scheme is designed to support the occupying business in a property, not the landlord or managing agent. The level of support is based on the Total Net Annual Value of the property from which the business operates:


Lower rate: £800 for each week that the restrictions apply for:

·         a business that is the sole occupant operating from a property with an NAV of £15,000 or less,

·         a guesthouse or bed & breakfast with a capital value (which means it is valued as a domestic property for rates); or

·         a business that is the occupier of a part of a property which is restricted with any NAV.


Standard rate: £1,200 for each week that the restrictions apply for a business that is the sole occupant of a property with an NAV between £15,001 and £51,000.


Higher rate: £1,600 for each week that restrictions apply for a business that is the sole occupant of a property with an NAV of £51,001 or more.

For info about the NAV of business properties in the Non-Domestic Valuation List, see: Search the Non-Domestic Valuation List.


Applicants should read the scheme guidance (PDF, 916K) to check eligibility before they apply at:  Localised Restrictions Support Scheme application form

It may take up to 3 weeks to verify and process your application. No current deadline


DCSDC – Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Business Grants 2020/21 (Rural Only)


Supported by Government funding, the Council is now providing grants to support businesses working in the areas of Tourism, Hospitality, Retail, Services and Arts and Culture to implement a range of environmental and infrastructural improvements to help adjust to the impact of COVID-19. 


Locally owned, independent businesses will be given priority. Multi-national and national businesses/charities (aside from cultural organisations) are not eligible.

The Scheme can provide funding of up to 100% of costs for capital items up to a maximum of £3,000. The minimum grant awarded will be £500.


There is also an opportunity for businesses to apply as part of a collaborative (minimum of 5) and receive up to £25,000 depending on the number of businesses participating.

Please read the FAQs and Guidance Notes before applying. This is a rolling application until all funding has been consumed. 

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of council staff regarding your application please contact


Note: Due to the high volume of applications received for the urban area, only applications from the rural area can now be considered.

Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund for Visual Artists in NI


Grants of £1,500 - £2,500 are now available for Northern Ireland based practitioners who work in the visual arts and are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You can apply at any time. Decisions will be made on a monthly basis. Applicants will be informed of decisions within approximately 5-6 weeks of submitting an application. We encourage applicants to make a submission early due to the limited funds available.


Please read Further information and Application guidance below before starting your application. We advise you to first write your application offline and to then transfer your answers to the online form. Rolling Programme - no deadline


Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Access and Participation Fund for Arts


PHF is interested in ensuring that a wider and more diverse group of people have access to quality artistic practice. Funding is available to support organisations test, implement and develop ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts. You can apply for between £30,000 and £400,000 for activity lasting between 12 months and 4 years with an option to extend for a further period. We rarely make grants at the upper end of this range, and most grants are in the £60,000 to £250,000 range. There is a two stage application process and, if appropriate you can obtain support with this. See examples of previous applications on the website.


Rolling programme – no deadline







Access and Participation Fund


National Lottery Awards for All - NI

Grant of £300 - £10,000 are available for projects bringing local people together to make positive changes in their communities. Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, schools and statutory bodies.

Priority given to organisations supporting people at high risk and/or supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a result of COVID-19.

The application form requires you to insert a project start date 12 weeks in the future but we know that COVID-19 applications may need to start sooner and so the start date is flexible. Applications not related to COVID-19 will still be accepted but it may take longer to receive a response. This funding is for projects that will run for 12 months or less. No deadline – ongoing.


Garfield Weston Foundation – Regular grants


The Foundation supports a wide range of charitable activity in areas such the arts, community, education, environment, youth, faith, health, welfare, museums and heritage and offers two levels of funding, which can be used towards capital, revenue or project costs:


·         Regular Grants of up to £100,000.

·         Major Grants of £100,000 and above. (When awarding major grants, the Foundation typically expects the project and organisation's overall annual income to be in excess of £1 million.)

Typically grants are made for a single year; however, the Trustees may consider a multi-year request for up to three years. Match funding is required. The Foundation recommends that applicants have around half of their funding identified before applying. A grant is unlikely to be for more than around 10% of the total costs of the budget.


Applications for a Regular Grant are ongoing. It takes around four months to process applications.


Marsh Christian Trust

The Trust aims to support small registered charities, whether religious or not, through long-term core funding, in an attempt to assist these organisations to maintain their current and ongoing activities. Grants range from £300 to £2,000 with new applications at the lower end of this scale.

Applications are considered on the basis of the organisation's financial position, performance against charitable aims and objectives and the ratio of voluntary income against fundraising expenses. Funding is available for long-term, core funding for various running costs, such as volunteer expenses, training days or equipment maintenance for charities working in the following fields: Arts and heritage, Education and training, Environmental causes and animal welfare, Healthcare and Social welfare.


All applications should be made in writing (no standard application form) and sent by post. The application should consist of a cover letter of roughly one to two sides, and a full set of the most recent audited accounts should be enclosed.

There is no deadline for receipt of applications. Applications are taking longer to process currently.


Musician’s Union Corona Virus Hardship Fund for Members


A £1M hardship fund that members with genuine and pressing hardship can apply to for a one-off payment. This is not a fee replacement fund. Initially, individual grants will be to a maximum of £200.


The Musicians' Union: theMU


BFI Film Fund

The BFI supports film culture across the UK. This includes investing Lottery funds in film development and production, and to increase audiences. BFI welcomes applications for film projects in all genres, and is committed to promoting diversity. Rolling programme.


Supporting UK film

Crowd-funder – Free for organisations during COVID-19 crisis




Crowd-funding is a way of raising money through the collective effort of family, friends, customers, individual investors and the public at large via social media and crowd-funding platforms. You can crowd-fund through donations, rewards, community shares and equity. Crowd-funder are waiving their platform and transactional fees to help organisations in this crisis.


Crowdfunder UK - Where Ideas Happen | Crowdfunder UK





DfC Safe Reopening Fund (NI) - upcoming

The NI Executive current advice is to work from home if you can. The nature of many organisations means that they cannot; or as they expand their services, they have to return to work premises. It is anticipated that a Safe Reopening Fund will open in November. It will have £2.5M for PPE-related costs and a further £800k for digital support (changes associated with online delivery of activities). This fund will only make a contribution to costs and individual awards will likely be capped at an upper amount of approximately £2000.


More details will follow once this Fund has been announced by DfC.



The National Archives – Cataloguing Grants –



The next round of the Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants will be opening in Autumn 2020. This strand awards grants of up to £40,000 for archives to create catalogues of archival collections. These grants are designed to:


  • support the transformation of archive services
  • help archives to improve access to collections
  • help archives to increase public engagement with history and the UK's documentary heritage.


They will fund archives with collections that can

  • show clear local, regional, national or international significance, or significance to a specific audience group
  • demonstrate a high level of potential to engage people and communities with archives and heritage

Our goal is to:

  • fund a diverse range of projects representing the depth and breadth of the UK’ s archive holdings
  • support projects that can demonstrate a transformational impact on their archive services, their activities and their ongoing roles in the community.


KD 30-10-20