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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
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. 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: 30 April 2021
The Ideas Fund 
(Derry City and Strabane District Council area)
This is a grants programme which enables groups to develop and try out new ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing.  Derry City & Strabane District Council is one of four areas within the UK who will benefit from the programme. 
The scheme will test a new way of funding that connects communities with researchers to access knowledge, research skills and resources. The North West Community Network & Developing Healthy Communities will guide and support potential applicants in the Derry & Strabane area with developing their ideas and facilitate connections between communities and researchers. 
There are two levels of funding available:
grants of up to £25,000 to help develop ideas that are at a very early stage; and
grants in the region of £90,000 to support, adapt and expand ideas that have already been developed and tested.
The Ideas Fund is for you if:
• You have an idea (even at a very early stage) related to mental wellbeing that you want to explore and develop…
• Your idea focuses on a problem that your community wants to solve
• Your community is based in the Derry/Strabane area
• You are keen to collaborate with professional researchers to bring your idea to life.
Pre-application workshops will be held as follows and will be recorded. Sign up for a session on this webpage:
18 Feb 2021 at 1400 – Why the Ideas Fund?
4 March 2021 at 1400 – What does Mental Wellbeing mean to you?
18 March 2021 at 1400 – What does your ideal partnership look like (Building Community-Researcher partnerships).
There will also be a local session for applicants from the Derry and Strabane Council Area on 25 February 2021 at 1400. Contact the local coordinator Roisin McLaughlin (E-mail: [email protected]) to register.
Application forms will be available mid-April.
Deadline: 14 May 2021
Sunny Art Prize 2021 – International Art Competition
Offers an opportunity for both emerging and established artists to showcase their work and gain recognition for their talents on a global level. There is also an opportunity for artists to sell their artwork to international buyers and collectors.
The competition is representative of the global art scenes of London, Beijing and Shanghai, so submitted artwork should reflect the diversity of art and culture, whilst promoting an exchange between Eastern and Western creative cultures.
There is a total cash fund of £6,000 available for successful entrants:
• The first prize winner will be awarded £3,000, a public solo exhibition in London, a one month residency in China and a group show in China.
• The second prize winner will be awarded £2,000, a group exhibition in London, a one month residency in China and a group show in China.
• The third prize winner will be awarded £1,000, a group exhibition in London and a one month residency in China, and a group show in China.
Artists from anywhere in the world may apply. Accepted media may include painting, ceramic, mixed media (both wall-hung and three-dimensional), sculpture, original prints, video art, photography, installation art and drawing.
Deadline: 5 July 2021 
 Community Funding Bulletin 
Follow the link provided to the May 2021 Edition of the Council’s Community Funding Bulletin which is produced by the Strategic Finance and Funding Section. For any queries or to give feedback,
please e-mail:[email protected]
UnLtd – Funding for Social Enterprise Start Ups in NI
Funding awards from £500 to £15,000 available alongside a package of one to one and peer support for social entrepreneurs – people with innovative solutions with the potential to change society for the better. UnLtd supports people to start or grow their business, whether to develop and test an idea or grow a social venture that’s already up and running. The awards on offer include:
• Try it awards to support social entrepreneurs to test their ideas
• Do it awards  to help you get started and create a clear social impact
• Grow it awards to help social entrepreneurs already thriving to grow their impact and build a sustainable financial model.
You need to register online to apply. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Carol Stewart on 07944 060322.
No deadline – ongoing
Dormant Accounts Fund (NI) – VCSE Sector Resilience Funding
Dormant Accounts Fund (NI) – Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector – Resilience Funding
Funding of up to £100k per organisation is available to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in NI to be more resilient and prepared for the future by funding activity that increases capacity and sustainability and helps organisations adapt to challenges and be more financially resilient.
Larger investments will also be supported which enable collaboration and develop new and creative approaches to sustainability. These NI-wide or sector-specific proposals could focus on specific themes such as volunteering, digital capacity or diversity and inclusion. 
It is anticipated that some awards will be made for between 1-3 years in order to have greatest impact for organisations and the communities they serve.
Ongoing – no deadlines.
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. 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.
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
National Lottery Grants for Heritage (Small and Medium) - Open for Phase 1 Applications
The National Lottery Grants for Heritage programme has reopened for applications for small and medium project funding applications. Grants of between £3,000 and £100,000 to support the UK’s heritage sector respond to the impacts of coronavirus/COVID-19 and to adapt and thrive again. This is the first of two phases. Phase two will open in February 2021.There is a total of £10 million for phase one with grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 or £10,000 and £100,000.
Phase one funding is designed to focus on organisational resilience or on projects that deliver inclusion in heritage.
The funding can support two types of projects:
  • Organisations and communities working with heritage to begin to recover and adapt in the continuing COVID-19 crisis.
  • Focused on inclusion and led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage, such as young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
The funding can cover any reasonable costs that help an organisation to recover and become viable. The majority of costs should relate to resilience of inclusion focused work.
Not-for-profit organisations, local authorities, public sector organisations or private owners of heritage can apply. Applications will be assessed within eight weeks and proposals will then be discussed at the next decision meeting.
Architectural Heritage Fund (NI)
The AHF offers Project Development Grants of up to £15,000 and Project Viability Grants of up to £7,500 to not-for-profit organisations, subject to eligibility. To help with assessing the viability of a project please download and read the guidance notes, and the details of the supporting information you will be asked to provide. We strongly encourage you to discuss any potential application with the NI Support Officer before submitting an application.
We generally expect applicants to cover at least 50% of the cost of the work. Applications can be submitted at any time and you will normally get a decision in 6 to 8 weeks. Deadlines for submission of applications to be considered at Grants Panel are: 
• 31 January 2021 for a decision in March 2021
• 30 April 2021 for a decision in June 2021
• 31 July 2021 for a decision in September 2021
• 30 September 2021 for a decision in November 2021.
Ongoing – no deadlines
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. 
National Lottery Fund – 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.
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
Paul Hamlyn Foundation Arts-Based Learning Fund
This Fund supports work which enables pupils in formal education settings, particularly those experiencing systemic inequality or disadvantage, to thrive through engagement with high quality, arts-based learning.
By arts-based learning we mean learning experiences which incorporate arts-based content, and/or use arts-based approaches to secure access to or enhance engagement with the curriculum. We cannot accept applications for this fund directly from schools or other formal education settings. All applicants must be working in partnership with schools or other formal education settings i.e. primary and secondary schools, further education colleges, alternative provision, special schools and early years.
We make grants between £30,000 and £400,000 of which the majority are in the region of £150,000 to £250,000 over two to three years. Applications should relate to at least one of the following:
  • support for pupils who experience systemic disadvantage to access and make progress in their learning
  • creating more opportunities for high quality arts-based teaching and learning in education settings, especially in those which have not had this work in the past
  • exploring the role of arts-based learning in addressing issues of inclusion, especially racism, in education
  • effective practice in digital and blended arts-based teaching and learning
  • enabling arts-based learning to be embedded in curricula and practice for the long-term.
Applying to the Arts-based Learning Fund is a two or three-step process. We can provide pre-application Access Support and a bursary of up to £500 to help you apply. If you would like to, you may book an optional Enquiry Call with the Arts-based Learning team to discuss your proposal. No deadlines – ongoing.
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.
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. Ongoing
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
  • the improvement or protection of the environment. 
Grants can be used for core costs or for projects and the Trust also considers applications for match funding. Applicants who have been unsuccessful with an application may not reapply for a period of two years. 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.
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Project Funding
Applications are now open for projects that improve the natural world, secure a fairer future, and strengthen the bonds in communities in the UK.
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has today launched a new strategy, announcing that it will focus on the following three interdependent aims: Improving our natural world, Tackling injustice to deliver a fairer future, Nurturing creative, confident communities.
The new strategy is underpinned by the need to tackle structural inequality, racism and the causes and impacts of climate change. The Foundation will no longer fund projects outside of the new aims. The Foundation will continue to award unrestricted core and project grants and has announced that under the new strategy it intends to provide larger and longer-term grants, as well as strategic support. This new approach will mean that the Foundation will be making fewer grants but will be giving more support to help grants achieve better, and more lasting, results.
For more details on what kind of projects would be welcomed and the application process, see: https://esmeefairbairn.org.uk/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
Help Musicians Corona Virus Hardship Funding – Phase 3
This charity is supporting musicians who are falling through the gaps in government support. Phase 3 of the Financial Hardship Funding is targeted at self-employed musicians who do not qualify for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and unemployed professional musicians who are unable to make ends meet. For those who are eligible, and to the extent that funds allow, the charity will offer grant payments from the time their application is successful to March 2021 to top-up Universal Credit payments where relevant. Where an applicant does not qualify for Universal Credit but is still experiencing significant financial hardship, an assessment will be made based on individual circumstances. 
See website for details.
No deadline – funding will be awarded until Fund depleted.
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
Community Finance Ireland Loans
Community Finance Ireland seeks to assist local economic development in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, by providing loan finance and support to community enterprises. It has offered loan finance support to projects in areas such as sports, church and faith, environment, housing, community projects, education/training, arts and heritage, childcare, and enterprise. Loans typically range from £25,000 to £500,000.
Community Finance Ireland offers:
  • Long-term loans and short-term bridging finance. Loan terms are tailored to suit each borrower.
  • Competitive interest rates that will depend on the individual circumstances of each borrower.
  • No early repayment penalties.
Applications will be accepted from community organisations, charities and social enterprises (large and small) that are based in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Loans are available for many purposes including: Buildings and equipment, Working capital, Cash shortfalls, Bridging finance against delayed grants or other confirmed income, Restructuring of debt.
Eligible projects might include: Faith-based initiatives, Sports clubs, Training initiatives, Childcare schemes, Housing Associations,  Community transport schemes,  Rural development projects. Ongoing