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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 Business Portal​
In light of COVID-19, Grantfinder are now also providing users in the Council area with free access to their Business Funding Portal until 31 October 2020. Go to the “Log-in/Register” box in the web link to start Grantfinder Derry and Strabane 4 Business







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

Free Access to

Grantfinder Business Portal




In light of COVID-19, Grantfinder are now also providing users in the Council area with free access to their Business Funding Portal until

31 October 2020. Go to the “Log-in/Register” box in the web link to start. 

Grantfinder Derry and Strabane 4 Business





Art Fund Launches Respond and Re-imagine Grants

Grants to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges of COVID-19 and support them to adapt and re-imagine ways of working for the future. Grants can provide practical support and if an organisation is experiencing an immediate crisis, consideration can be given to emergency support. Grants available from £10,000 to £50,000. 100% funding considered.

(Final) Round 3 Deadline: 12 October 2020.



Art Fund Respond and Reimagine Grants

Film & TV Charity COVID-19 Recovery Fund

This Fund will distribute funding to UK film, TV and cinema workers who have been hit hardest by COVID-19, helping to sustain them and their careers through and out of the crisis. This new fund will seek to protect the industry’s diverse talent pipeline by focusing on supporting those at greatest personal and professional risk. It will distribute up to £2 million, using funds donated by Amazon Prime Video, BAFTA, Netflix and the BBC, among others.


Support will be targeted at workers who are the worst hit, the least financially resilient, and those who are the most at risk professionally and personally. Grants of £750 a month for up to six months (to a maximum of £4,500) will be provided, supplemented with a package of financial advice, wellbeing support and industry access.

UK residents who work in film, TV or cinema may be eligible to apply. They must have been in paid industry work for at least 40 days in the last 18 months and currently be in financial difficulty due to COVID-19. Applicants must have earned less than £30,420 in the previous financial year (2019/20). Deadline: 12 October 2020





National Lottery Community Fund – Leaders with Lived Experiences

30 to 40 grants available of between £20,000 and £50,000 for projects that enable organisations to focus either on the immediate response to COVID-19 or on helping communities recover and renew after the impact of COVID-19, or both. Funding available for up to two years.

The following are examples of projects that might apply for this funding:

  • Involving lived experience leaders in designing and delivering services that meet the needs of communities most impacted by COVID-19.
  • Creating time and space for lived experience leaders to think more about strategy, objectives and influencing, or developing strategy in general.
  • Creating time and space for lived experience leaders to influence how communities recover and renew after the impact of COVID-19, in a strategic way. This might be for a specific geographic area or for a particular sector.
  • Developing networks of support and collaboration between lived experience-led organisations, to create strategies that resolve intersections in lived experience. For example, working with BAME care leavers, or disabled people in LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Helping lived experience-led organisations become more resilient and sustainable eg. through training, personal or professional development, planning to hand leadership over to others, improving digital capacity, or support packages to improve wellbeing.
  • Supporting existing projects or creating new projects that help lived experience-led organisations and leaders to meet the needs of the communities they serve
  • Supporting existing work or creating new projects that help to prevent crises like COVID-19 from impacting some communities (such as disabled people and BAME communities) more than others.

The funding can be used for a range of items, including but not limited to office equipment, one-off events, staff costs, training costs, transport, utilities and running costs, and volunteer expenses. Deadline: 13 October 2020




Arts Council of Northern Ireland – Small Capital Programme

This programme will enable organisations to purchase equipment and/or carry out minor works to their premises which will enhance their artistic services. Particular priority will be given to equipment and minor works which:


• address Covid-19 requirements in working remotely;
• improves the accessibility of the arts;
• improves the direct delivery of arts provision;
• enhances or broadens the audience/participants’ experience of arts programming; or
• raises the quality of the artistic work produced.


You should only apply to this programme if you will be able to complete the procurement, purchase and receipt of your requested items of equipment from notification of award and 5 March 2021.  Similarly, if you are applying for minor works costs, all work must take place and be completed from notification of award and 5 March 2021.  Eligible expenditure can only be incurred within these dates. If you are unable to meet these conditions, you should NOT apply to this scheme as the Arts Council will not meet any costs incurred outside this period. Deadline: 15 October 2020




The Fore’s RAFT COVID-19 Transition Fund








The Fore’s RAFT (Rapid Action by The Fore and Trusts) Transitions Fund 2 is providing unrestricted grants of up to £15,000 to help small charities and social enterprises in the UK plan for the longer term in response to COVID-19. Applications are particularly welcome from small organisations working with marginalised groups and led by people in the community that may have found it hard to access foundation funding in the past.

Round 2 registration now closed.

Deadline for registered organisations ONLY:

19 October 2020. Funding decisions by early December 2020.





COVID-19 Social Enterprise Fund (NI)

This Fund will support social enterprises that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The intention is to help social enterprises to stabilise and manage cash flow over this difficult period. The maximum grant available is £75,000 and the amount of funding awarded to successful applicants will depend on the individual circumstances. It is expected that the funding will be adequate to allow the organisation to remain viable for a minimum of six months (to the end of March 2021).

The fund has been co-designed with Social Enterprise NI and is administered by Community Finance Ireland on behalf of the Department for Communities. For more information and FAQ’s see: Social Enterprise NI’s website

If you have questions about your application, please get in touch with Social Enterprise NI on 028 9046 1810.

Deadline: 23 October 2020




Prince’s Countryside Fund

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for up to one year (the average grant is expected to be around £8,000) are now available for locally-focussed, legally-constituted not-for-profit organisations who are working to create resilient rural communities across the UK in the wake of COVID-19. Funding is for projects which protect or boost community assets and enterprises, or otherwise strengthen the sense of community.

Projects must be completed within one year of their start date and no later than 31 March 2022.

Some match funding is expected. Groups should have at least raised some local funding if the project is needed by the local community.

Deadline: 3 November 2020





Bank of Ireland – Begin Together Art Fund (NI and ROI)

This Fund is for artists and arts organisations on the island of Ireland. The Fund aims to support or commission artists or groups of artists to work with a partner organisation on the development of new or existing artwork(s) or arts project(s) which have been adapted due to COVID-19 or are inspired by/respond to COVID-19.

There will be three funding rounds. The first round is now open to applications for projects that meet one of the following two criteria:


·         Projects that have been adapted due to COVID-19. The grant can be used for covering costs related to technology and the distribution of artwork online; adapting venues for socially distant performances; changing the way in which learning and public engagement programmes are delivered; or for adapting projects so that they can be realised in the public realm or outdoors;


·         Projects that are inspired by/respond to COVID-19. The grant can be used to support the creation of new artwork(s)/arts project(s) based on themes, narratives, or ideas which have been prompted due to living through the pandemic and the current environment.


All art forms are eligible and the aim is for the projects to benefit a range of audiences. Organisations can apply for grants of between £2,500 and £8,400 and projects funded during the first round must take place between February 2021 and December 2021. Deadline: 4 November 2020






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: [email protected] 


Phase Two of this fund opens in OCTOBER 2020 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.

Applications will be invited through an online application on the Community Foundation’s website.








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




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.

In these unprecedented times we understand that many of the 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

Grants of up to £5,000 to help not-for-profit theatres across the UK to make Covid-19-related adaptions and prepare for reopening. Can support 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. Applications should be sent by email to [email protected]. We aim to make decisions on applications within 4 weeks. The scheme will run on a rolling basis throughout 2020.






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. Applications accepted until 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. Applications accepted until 31 March 2021.




Migrant Centre Ni: BAME 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 total amount of available funds for distribution is £225,000. 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.






DCSDC – Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Business Grants 2020/21


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. 


Measures might include - minor changes to layout, screen protectors, hand sanitizer stations, COVID awareness signage, modifications including awnings, creation of external collection and delivery points, building works to improve/change use, shop frontage enhancement, infrastructure and equipment to facilitate use of outdoor space, equipment to facilitate digitisation (laptops, i-pads, contactless payment points).


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 [email protected]



Arts Council Northern Ireland - Small Grants Programme

Assistance with delivery of arts projects which contribute to the growth of arts in the community for new and existing audiences and which reflect the diversity of NI culture. The maximum award is £10k. All applications should align with ACNI’s Five Year Strategy 2019-2024 (see: Five-Year Strategy 2019-2024) and its art form policies. This programme opened on 2 June for projects commending 1 September 2020 onwards. This is a rolling programme.




Small Grants funding

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. Please note that you will not be sent a copy of your submitted application, therefore we encourage you to save your own copy offline.














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


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


Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Access and Participation Fund

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.

See examples of previous applications on the website and prepare yours for the next opening date. Applications accepted on a rolling basis – REOPENING OCTOBER 2020.

Access and Participation Fund


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





Department for Communities Arts & Heritage Fund







The Department for Communities Minister has announced a £2 M package which is currently being worked on by officials and will be administered by several organisations.

It is understood that £22M will be focussed on support and stability in arts and heritage and £7M on new activities. This fund will cover Arts, Heritage, Culture and Language. Some elements will be for a Challenge Fund and will be open to bids from arts organisations and community-based organisations.

Further information will be given when the fund opens for applications.





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.