Arts Council of Wales – Large Grants for Organisations

Arts Council of Wales – Large Grants for Organisations

Grants are available for organisations in Wales seeking support for a wide range of arts projects.

Current Status – Open for Applications

Maximum value: – £ 100,000

Objectives of Fund

Arts Grants for Organisations are designed to achieve the following objective as set out by the new Inspire Strategy for Creativity and the Arts in Wales:

  • To encourage more people in Wales to choose to engage with the arts.
  • To make innovative and imaginative use of digital technologies.
  • To develop the creativity of children and young people.
  • To look at how the arts and culture of Wales connect internationally.
  • To embed the principles of sustainable development into creative and business practices.

ACW sets priorities for the grant schemes it administers to organisations seeking funding for arts projects.  There are three over-arching priorities:

  • High-quality projects delivered in acknowledged deprived communities, especially those areas that have traditionally received lower levels of grant.
  • High-quality projects that promote the work of artists from under-represented groups, including disabled people and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
  • High-quality projects delivered in Welsh or bilingually.

Organisations who are making their first application to the Arts Council Wales must first apply for a Small Grant so ACW can build up its knowledge of the their work and that they can manage the funding effectively.

Large Grant  

Grants of between £5,001 and a maximum of £30,000 are available.

The grant can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element.

Large Grant for Training, Mentoring and Continuing Professional Development

Grants of between £5,001 and a maximum of £30,000 are available to:

  • Develop and provide training and development opportunities for other arts organisations.
  • Access industry recognised training and development opportunities provided by others.

Theatre Production Development

Grants between £10,001 and a maximum of £30,000 to develop new ways of creating and producing script-based theatre productions, including writer and script development, rehearsed readings and presentations of work in progress with testbed audiences.

The maximum grant will be 80% of the total eligible project costs. The grant can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element.

Music Industry Development

Grants between £5,001 and a maximum of £30,000, to develop new ways of presenting music to audiences, or to create new music networks, or to provide music sector skills training.

The maximum grant will be 80% of the total eligible project costs. The grant can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element.


Grants between £5,001 and a maximum of £100,000, to curate and deliver a festival. Only larger-scale festivals of significant importance and impact will be considered for awards above £30,000.

The grant can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element.

National Touring

Grants between £10,001 and a maximum of £100,000 to produce, present and tour a larger-scale production throughout Wales and to at least one venue in each of ACW’s three regions.

Collaborative bids where producers and presenters are working together to develop product and audiences are particularly encouraged. The grant can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element.

In certain circumstances applications for up to £50,000 may be considered where the activity will be delivered pan-regionally or nationally.

In exceptional circumstances applications may be considered for up to 90% of the eligible costs of a project where it will deliver activity and/or target groups of people that ACW sees as a particularly high priority.

Local authorities, local authority-managed venues and school clusters may apply for up to 50% of the eligible costs of a project. In exceptional circumstances ACW may consider an application for up to 75% of the eligible costs of a project where it will deliver activity that ACW sees as a particularly high priority.

Match Funding Restrictions

At least 25% of match funding should be from a non-Arts Council of Wales source. This is a minimum percentage and ACW prefers applicants to raise more. Applicants are also expected to maximise financial contributions from other partners, including any earned income.

Partnership or match funding may include:

  • The organisation’s own funds, although these must be 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 from tickets or exhibition sales).
  • Grants from other organisations (at least 10% must be from non-Lottery sources).

In kind contributions up to 10% of the total eligible project cost (such as donated rehearsal space, volunteer time, or loans of equipment) are also eligible as partnership funding, but these cannot be from the applicant’s own resources. Suppliers’ discounts are not eligible.

Who Can Apply

Eligible organisations must:

  • Be based in Wales, another part of the UK or another European Union country. (Applicants outside Wales cannot apply if they are Capital projects).
  • Be a charitable or not-for-profit organisation with a written constitution that includes provision of artistic activity (or comparable terms). Welsh local authorities are exempt from this requirement.
  • Be able to provide evidence of their track record of delivering arts activity for audiences or participants. This means people who attend galleries, theatres and other arts events, and those who join in workshops or other artistic activities.
  • Have an Equal Opportunities Policy that’s been reviewed by the applicant organisation’s board or management committee within the last three years, and provide evidence that equality and diversity is reflected in both artistic programming and day to day planning and operations.
  • Not be in default on any financial agreement with the Arts Council of Wales.

Eligible organisations can include the following:

  • Companies limited by guarantee.
  • Community interest companies.
  • Registered charities.
  • Charitable incorporated organisations.
  • Constituted not-for-profit community groups, clubs or societies.
  • Local authorities.
  • Local authority consortia.
  • Colleges and universities that clearly benefit the wider community or artists.
  • Single schools, families of schools or high schools and their feeder schools under the Taking Part strand.
  • Art venues, such as a theatre, arts centre or gallery, managed by a local authority or higher education institution.
  • Revenue funded organisations if they have been given prior approval.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • UK Government departments.
  • Welsh Government departments.
  • Departments within the BBC.
  • Organisations based outside the European Union.
  • Organisations that can share out profits to members or shareholders, unless the activity is applying for a self-contained arts project with a clear benefit to the public and not their private interests.
  • Sole traders and individuals trading as a business.
  • Activities that are not related to the arts.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Prizes, merchandise, catering, fireworks, competitive events, and purely promotional events.
  • Organisation’s general running costs and ongoing overheads such as rent, staff salaries and utilities.
  • Food, refreshments or hospitality costs.
  • Launch costs.
  • Gifts such as flowers.

Eligible Expenditure

Arts Council Wales funding supports different types of activity, which the Arts Councils calls ‘strands’.

Funding is intended to support the following strands:

  • Audience development – to support projects which take a clear, targeted and measurable approach to developing audiences.
  • Business and organisational development – to help arts organisations become more resilient and self-sustaining.
  • Festivals – to support high quality and distinctive celebrations of the best in the arts in Wales.
  • Music industry development – to support projects that develop the foundations for a vibrant music industry in Wales and that help music talent in Wales to build a sustainable career.
  • Production – to support the creation of high quality artistic work for presentation to audiences.
  • Programme support for venues and galleries – To support projects that curate and present high quality, distinctive and exciting artistic work that enhances a venue or gallery’s programme.
  • Research and development – to support experimentation and to enable the exploration and development of new ideas, new collaborations and new ways of working.
  • Taking part – to provide more ways for people to take part in high quality arts activity.
  • Training and professional development – to develop the skills, competence and capability of those working in the arts in Wales.

All applications for funding must be for artistic work that is:

  • Of high quality.
  • Delivers public benefit.
  • Fits with ACW’s funding priorities.

Eligible projects will:

  • Take place mainly in Wales. Training or development opportunities outside Wales will be considered if they cannot currently be sourced in Wales.
  • Be additional to the organisation’s usual programme of activity.
  • Be time-limited with definite start and end dates.
  • Have a project start date that allows enough time for a thorough planning and preparation period if funding is awarded. The minimum planning period will depend on the type of project.
  • Consist entirely of activity that hasn’t started yet, so that the funding will not be used retrospectively.
  • Not include prizes, catering, gifts, fireworks, competitive events or purely promotional activity.
  • Have partnership or match funding. The minimum level of match funding will depend on the type of project.

How to Apply

Application deadlines: 11 May 2016; 17 August 2016; 12 October 2016; and 18 January 2017.

Frequency: Quarterly

Applicants should read the ‘Getting Started: Arts Grants for Organisation’ document, complete the online questionnaire in order to gain access to information about each strand.

Applications should be made online at the ACW website.

Applicants may contact ACW’s Information Team for help with their application.

Before contacting the Information Team, applicants should have the following information available:

  • A brief description of the project.
  • An indication of which of ACW’s funding priorities the project will address.
  • An estimated total project cost and how much grant funding is required, along with an indication of confirmed or potential funding partners.
  • An estimated start date and finish date.

To find out what other funding is available in your area please visit TVA’s Funding Portal by clicking here

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