Programme - general

Q1: How much funding is available and over what period?

A: £234.6 million has been budgeted for capital over the four-year period from National Lottery funding. 

£20 million has been budgeted for small capital grants between £100,000 and £499,999. There will be two funding rounds, with £12 million budgeted for 2012/13 and a further £8 million available in 2013/14.

We have also budgeted £214.6 million over the next four years for large capital grants above £500,000. For further details, please visit our large capital grants pages.

Q2: How many projects do you expect to fund?

A: We cannot speculate the number of projects we will fund until we know the details of the applications. Due to the limited funds available we are unlikely to support more than a small number of projects in each round.

Q3: What kind of improvements do you think will improve resilience and sustainability?

A: We expect projects to include a range of capital expenditure.  This could include, for example, improvements that enable organisations to reconfigure current spaces to generate more income, install sustainable technologies to reduce energy demand or to improve current facilities to enable improved delivery of their work for artists and audiences. 

Q4: Is this the best time to invest in capital? Wouldn't the funding be better used being invested in core funding for arts organisations?

A: This capital programme will be funded from our lottery income, demonstrating how we are using our lottery funding flexibly alongside grant-in-aid investment.

The capital programme is one of a number of measures we are putting in place to help create a more sustainable, resilient and innovative arts sector - one of the five goals set out in Achieving great art for everyone, our 10-year strategic framework for the arts. This is something we feel is even more important in the current funding climate.

We feel it's vital that as well as investing in core costs and artistic programmes, we support the improved resilience and sustainability of the existing arts infrastructure.

Q5: How will you ensure organisations won't need more revenue funding once their project is completed?

A: We want to ensure that projects we support are financially viable. Applicants are asked to consider the impact of any capital project on their organisation and its activities, both during the project and on its completion.

Q6: How is this different to capital programmes of the past?

A: Our previous capital programmes attempted to address the decades of underinvestment in the arts infrastructure of England by investing in major refurbishments and entirely new buildings where access and engagement in the arts was limited.

This programme represents a new approach to using our capital funds, with investment focused on improving existing arts buildings to make them more economically and environmentally sustainable and to give arts organisations the right buildings and equipment to support the delivery of their work.

Eligibility, application and assessment

Q7: Is the scheme only open to National portfolio organisations?

A: If you are not in our National portfolio you can apply but must first seek written permission from your regional Arts Council office. We are only likely to agree if you can demonstrate your project will make a significant contribution to achieving great art for everyone.

Our National portfolio represents the bedrock of our support for the arts in England and this programme is an important way of helping make the portfolio of organisations we fund more sustainable and resilient.

Q8: Can museums and libraries apply?

A: Whilst we have taken on new functions relating to the museums and libraries sector, our lottery funding is provided to benefit the arts in England.

As the funding for our capital programme is provided from lottery sources, museums and libraries can only apply if they are able to demonstrate that their project outcomes will contribute to the original strategic framework, Achieving great art for everyone.

Museums and libraries looking to apply to the scheme must seek written permission from their regional Arts Council office.

Q9: How do organisations apply?

A: We have published full guidance for applicants on our small capital grant funding pages. You are advised to read this guidance and contact your regional Arts Council office before applying.

You must apply via the online application portal.

For further information visit our How to apply page.

Q10: Who will make a decision on applications?

A: Final decisions will be made by the Arts Council.

Q11: When will your funding decisions be made?

A: We will inform applicants if they have been successful by mid-January 2013.