This process has now concluded, and the next steps decided upon.

Commenting today, Kath Davies, Director (Arts Funding Services) said:

“Our new Guidelines will be available from 7th October and applications for Large Grants will be open from that date. There are two deadlines for Large Grant applications in the current financial year, on 6th November and 8th January.

“Small Grants for organisations and individuals will continue as a rolling programme, open from 14th October.  

“If you have a project that you think might be eligible for a National Lottery grant, you can start discussing it with one of our Development Officers now, but they won’t be able to release an application form to you before October.

“We’ll also be holding a series of information workshops about the new National Lottery programmes across Wales in October and November.”

The details of the new National Lottery Distribution strategy are as follows:

Programmes of work

Following our consultation, we have reviewed and revised our funding programmes.  We’ve tried our best to reflect what you’ve told us, and we hope that you’ll be able to see where changes have been made.

In particular, you told us that our application process was often confusing and complicated.  We’ve tried to resolve this by reducing the number of different application forms.  We’ve also discontinued our application ‘strands’.

Instead, we’ve developed 8 programmes of work which reflect our Corporate Plan.  These are:

  • Creative Pathways
  • Strategic Equalities
  • Commissioning, Making, Presenting
  • International
  • Children and Young People
  • Business Development
  • Widening Engagement
  • Arts and Health

Meeting the Arts Council’s priorities

We have set out clear priorities for funding support.  (You can find more about these in our corporate plan, “For the Benefit of All”). So, if you’re making an application, you’ll need to tell us how your project will match one or more of these priorities, and how it relates to one of the above programmes of work.

We hope that when you make an application you’ll find our process simpler and more flexible. We also believe that taking a more flexible approach enables us to recognise the broadest range of good ideas, reducing the possibility that an excellent application fails because it doesn’t ‘fit’ neatly a particular funding strand.

Financial thresholds

We’ve listened to what you told us about the amount you can apply for.  Our Small Grant maximum level has now been increased to £10,000, and our Large Grant maximum limit has gone up to £50,000.

Fair rates of pay

We’ve also taken on board what you’ve told us about the need to ensure that all artists and arts professionals are properly paid.  You’ll see that we now stipulate minimum payments rates for all.

Areas where we need to do some further work

There are some areas where we think more development work is needed. In particular, further consultation and discussions with the sector are needed around a longer-term investment model for Commissioning, Making and Presenting.  A number of useful ideas were put forward during the consultation, but there was no clear consensus around any single idea. Therefore, we want to work with you over the next six months to refine the approach by April 2020.  Similarly, whilst we are committing additional funding to support work in the Welsh language, we continue to work with you on how we can best develop and support high quality work in Welsh.

For now, we will continue our current “open to application” approach for Festivals, National Touring and Programme Support. New schemes will be launched in April 2020.

Business development organisations who are not in our Arts portfolio Wales and other programmes

Similarly, our work on a Resilience Programme for non-APWs is still being developed and will also be ready on, or before April 2020.

There are opportunities for individual artists and arts professionals to apply for business development funding from October. We will, however, be exploring in more detail how we can support individuals in a more structured way at all stages of their careers.

Our International Opportunities Fund and Capital Programme will re-open in October with minimal changes, in line with the consultation responses.

Broadening the expertise in our decision meetings

We’re also changing the way we make decisions on applications. 

In future we’ll be involving our Arts Associates in our panels. The Associates are independent arts professionals drawn from all parts of Wales and bring a wide range of specialist sector and regional knowledge to the table.

In the meantime, if you have any queries please contact our Grants and Information team at or 03301 242733.

END                                                             Wednesday 28 August 2019