News article

Coronavirus: Organisations Emergency Programme for arts activity

12 June 2020

Arts Council emergency programme for small and medium-sized arts organisations.

NOTE: The Organisations Emergency Programme closed for applications at 4 pm on Friday 12 June 2020.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities has created a new financial support programme for small and medium-sized organisations to apply for maximum funding of £25,000 to help them to:

  • develop new projects or programmes
  • re-arrange events which have had to be cancelled during the COVID-19 period

The Organisations Emergency Programme is a rolling programme that will provide £500,000 to support arts organisations with individual grants of up to £25,000.


Who can apply
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland welcomes applications from arts or cultural organisations whose primary work is in the following art form or cultural areas:

  • Dance.
  • Drama.
  • Literature.
  • Music and opera.
  • Traditional arts.
  • Visual arts.
  • Festivals.
  • Participatory arts.
  • Cross art form.
  • Venues.

Arts organisation applicants need to have a proven track record of quality work and public engagement supported by public funding in one of the last three financial years.

Applications are invited from accredited museums and independent libraries whose work focuses on delivering greater access to culture and heritage, including enhancing understanding and interpretation. In particular, applications are welcome from organisations which deliver work that involves:

  • Public engagement activities.
  • Audience development programmes (events, exhibitions, workshops, talks and online initiatives).

Who cannot apply
The following are excluded from applying to the scheme:

  • Individuals including sole traders.
  • Broadcasters (excluding community service broadcasters).
  • Central government departments.
  • Local authorities.
  • Unaccredited museums.
  • Libraries within Libraries NI.
  • Arts organisations who cannot evidence some form of public funding in the past three years.
  • Proposals which, before the end of social distancing, entail public gathering or conventional audience situations; or otherwise breach social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines.

How to apply

Applications for the scheme can be made using the online form or by downloading a copy of the form.  Application forms and guidance notes for the Organisations Emergency Fund are available from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland will aim to inform applicants on the outcome of their application within three months of the closing date.

First published 19 May 2020