The Fund

As Creative Peterborough announces our second round of grants up to £4000 for groups and organisations this seems a good time to reflect on what happened in the first round.  I hope this will help those applying to the second round.

There were 12 applications, totalling £36,653, with funding of £13K available.  This told us that there is clearly a demand for funding, and ideas for projects.  And that we didn’t have enough to fund everything.

The Creative Peterborough Committee discussed all the applications and in some cases asked for more information to ensure all could be compared fairly.  Information missing included:

Breakdowns in the how the money would be spent.  We don’t need itemised billing but asking for a lump sum means we can’t identify what is being spent on artists (which is very important to us), and how much is being spent on getting the art out there (also important.)

Background information about the group, including track record, connections with the communities they wanted to work with, and how they were going to manage the project.

The applications then went before a panel which included two independent assessors who have experience in funding and arts management.  The applications were discussed in detail and scored on the following criteria (ranked in importance):

  • Is it artist-led? Investment in artists and art-form practice is a major priority.
  • Where is the creativity and innovation? Projects should demonstrate new ways of working, collaboration and / or experimentation.
  • How sustainable is the work? What will its impact be? Projects should be designed to include the potential to continue / have impact beyond the activity funded by the project.  Will the project make a significant difference to the artists themselves, to the wider arts community, or to the standing of the arts in Peterborough?
  • What will be the visibility of this work? Projects should aims for some level of visibility, quality of exposure should be considered as well as quantity.
  • Need? Do the projects address an identifiable need or a gap in provision,  and could not be funded from elsewhere, such as membership fees, sales, statutory or community funding.
  • Credibility? Can the organisation demonstrate realistic budgeting and planning, and the ability to deliver the outline project, by providing a track record proportionate to the funding applied for.

Although not expected to meet all, these criteria were used to rank the applications and the panel then awarded funds to four projects that provided the strongest evidence of:

  • Innovation in art form and practice.
  • Sustainable project models for local professional artists to develop regional and national profiles.
  • The potential to have an impact on “difficult-to-reach” audiences.
  • Being artist / arts–led (rather than social or education) projects that are unlikely to receive funding from elsewhere.

These were:

Snap-Back – A project with young people led by community organisation Step-Up, which used the development of skills in photography to explore issues of image, self-esteem and identity.

St John’s Church – Funding the activities around two artists’ residencies, a poet and a visual artist, over the next two years

Blok Collective – Development funds to move the organisation into a more sustainable business model, paying for fundamental support such as office infrastructure, mentoring, improved online presence and partnership funding for a programme of projects.

View5 – Funding to research and develop their residency with a local countryside trust and exhibition of work to engage communities with the rural landscape, and to use this work to build new relationships across the region.

These projects will be reported on in the blog as they are completed.

As an artist-led group it’s been an interesting, and challenging, process for us to go through the business of soliciting, appraising and variously rejecting and supporting funding applications.  We hope we have done it with the courtesy and within a timescale that is acceptable – and that by writing this overview it will encourage new groups to successfully apply.

The deadline for submission for the second round of The Fund awards is 21st October, and more information is available here.  We are happy to discuss ideas for projects and support the development of applications – just get in touch via

We look forward to hearing from you.

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