These frequently asked questions may be useful in helping you learn more about the strategic touring fund.

Q1: What do we mean by ‘touring’?

Q2: What do we mean by ‘venue’?

Q3: What do we mean by ‘promoter’?

Q4: Can a tour include distinct but collectively 'themed' events which take place at different venues?

Q5: Can a tour feature exclusively historic art?

Q6: How long must a tour be to qualify for the strategic touring programme?

Q7: How much strategic touring funding is available? What is the timescale?

Q8: How can people apply for the strategic touring programme?

Q9: What are the aims of the programme?

Q10: How long are the awards for?

Q11: Who could apply for the strategic touring programme?

Q12: Why do applicants have to talk with a member of staff before submitting their application, and what does this entail?

Q13: What should be included in an audience development plan?

Q14: Can someone submit an application to Grants for the arts and the Strategic Touring Programme for the same activity at the same time?

Q15: If an application is not successful for Strategic Touring funding can the applicant apply to Grants for the arts?

Q16: Who should an applicant speak to get feedback on their unsuccessful application?

Q17: Are museums eligible to apply to the strategic touring programme?

Q18: Are libraries eligible to apply to the strategic touring programme?

Q19: What is the difference between this, Grants for the arts and the lottery funding already put into National portfolio organisations (NPOs) to support touring?

Q20: Can National portfolio organisations apply?

Q21: How is Arts Council England defining 'additional'?

Q22: Can a National portfolio organisation apply for the touring strategic programme even if touring is part of their core activity?

Definitions

Q1: What do we mean by ‘touring’?
A: 
Our definition of touring activity is where the same artistic programme or event is taking place in two or more places.  This covers all artforms, scales of work, and kinds of places, from outdoors to indoors, local to national.  The artistic programme or event may involve live performers or exhibition artworks; it would be fundamentally the same event offered to all, but may involve some adaptation to suit the different spaces and contexts in which it was being presented

Touring activity relates to artistic programmes or events which take place at a geographic location, with some live element in terms of being close to performers or artworks and/or experiencing something with a group of people.  We recognise the growing inter-relationships between touring and digital distribution and anticipate that this may be reflected within some applications to the programme

Q2: What do we mean by ‘venue’?
A:
Any space into which work which tours can be programmed or booked into, including theatres, museums, concert halls, galleries, festivals, carnivals, as well as village halls, community centres, libraries, schools, outdoor spaces, 'found' spaces, prisons, shopping centres, etc.


Q3: What do we mean by ‘promoter’?
A:
 The individual responsible for booking or programming work into a venue or circuit of venues.  This can be the director, artistic director, curator, programmer, manager, circuit co-ordinator, local authority employee, etc.  In most cases, this individual takes the financial responsibility for booking the event on behalf of their organisation.

Q4: Can a tour include distinct but collectively 'themed' events which take place at different venues?
A:
No. We specify that a tour has to involve 'the same artistic programme or event'.  Our definition of touring activity is where the same artistic programme or event is taking place in two or more places.  This definition is at the heart of the strategic touring programme's goal of giving everyone across England access to the same high quality art.

Q5: Can a tour feature exclusively historic art?
A:
We will not be able to support touring of historic art and historic collections through this programme which does not include some element of contemporary artistic activity.  During the period 2012-15, we expect the main source of funding for museums activity and historic art collections to be our Renaissance programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Applicants are advised to contact us if they would like to discuss prospective projects involving historic art in more detail.

Q6: How long must a tour be to qualify for the strategic touring programme?
A:
A tour must go to a minimum of two venues.  The home venue, or venue where the activity has been created/initiated, can be included as a venue in applications for touring.  However, in addition there should be at least two other venues within the provisional tour schedule.  This is a minimum number - for most areas, particularly in performing arts, we would expect tours to cover more than this minimum.

Q7: How much strategic touring funding is available? What is the timescale?
A:
For year one, 2012/13, there will be a budget of £15million.  Budgets for further years will be set in 2012. This programme will run from 2012 - 2015.  Year one is a trial year, and we may make some amendments to the programme for years two and three.

Q8: How can people apply for the strategic touring programme?
A:
Applications can be submitted at any time, online via our website. The strategic touring programme has six funding rounds for applications between March 2012 and February 2013.  Applicants can submit their application at any time during this period.  People will then be informed by email of the date by which they should hear the outcome of their application. In order to be considered for a particular funding round, applications must be submitted by 5.00pm on the deadline day for that round. Guidance on how to apply is also available on our website.

It will take time to check final applications and upload large documents via our website, so please leave sufficient time prior to the 5.00pm deadline to do this.  We will not accept applications submitted after the deadline.

Q9: What are the aims of the programme?
A:
These are our aims for the programme:

  • People across England having improved access to great art visiting their local area. This includes:
  • better access to high quality work for people in places in England which rely on touring for much of their arts provision
  • more high quality work to reach people and places with the least engagement
  • more high quality work on tour connecting more effectively with people across a wide range of venues
  • Stronger relationships forged between those involved in artistic, audience and programme development on both the supply and demand side of touring
  • A wide range of high quality work on tour, including in particular more work by and for children and young people, and more work by and for people from diverse backgrounds

Q10: How long are the awards for?
A:
Projects must be time-limited and can last for any length of time up to a maximum of three years. There will be six deadlines for applications, allowing for shorter turnaround times for applicants, and for them to plan their applications with partners based upon published deadlines.

Application Process

Q11: Who could apply for the strategic touring programme?
A:
To be eligible for funding, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Any individual or organisation can apply to the programme
  • Partnerships, networks and consortia can also apply. These groups can include promoters, producers, artists, agencies, companies, marketing or audience development specialists, local authority representatives or any other kind of organisation or individual:
  • they must include at least one promoter within the group
  • they must have one individual or organisation who will have the main responsibility for managing the application and any grant
  • they must include individuals or organisations who will act as the main lead for audience development activity on behalf of the group, or else explain how they would address this deficit within the project

    National portfolio organisations (NPOs):

  • National portfolio organisations are eligible to apply to the programme, either as lead organisations or as members of a partnership, network or consortium.
  • In the application form NPOs will be asked to demonstrate how the proposed activity they will benefit from is additional to their NPO-funded activity. We will not award grants for extending already-funded existing or planned tours by NPOs.

Q12: Why do applicants have to talk with a member of staff before submitting their application, and what does this entail?
A:
We consider it an extremely important part of this programme that all applicants talk to us about their proposal before submitting their final application to us.  This is an opportunity for them to reflect on their proposal in the context of the aims of the programme with an experienced member of Arts Council staff.

We use the term 'mandatory conversation' to describe the scheduled, structured conversation that takes place between the applicant and a relationship manager in a regional office designated to undertake this task.  This conversation must take place in order for the applicant then to be able to submit their application. 

It should take place when the applicant's proposal is at a sufficient stage of development for them to be able to respond in some detail to the relationship manager's prompts.

All staff members can have initial conversations with applicants about the Strategic touring programme.  However, mandatory conversations can only take place with 'designated' relationship managers listed below.

Relationship managers will be clear with applicants that this is their 'mandatory conversation' and follow prompts for the conversation outlined in the published Guidance.

If you would like to make an appointment for a mandatory conversation, then in the first instance please contact one of the people in 'bold' on the list below in the region where you are based.  They will then either book a conversation with you themselves, or put you in touch with one of the other relationship managers on the list.

East: Claudia West; Amy Botfield; Cath Willmore
East Midlands: Rebecca Dunning; Jill Brown (job share); Laura White; Beth Noble; Sara Sanderson; Kathy Fawcett, Simone Lennox-Gordon
North East: Chris Batstone; Sam Peace; Amy Fawcett; Amanda Drago; Emma Foxall; Ann Fletcher-Williams; Nikola Burdon
North West: Angela Chappell; Anna Hassan; Stephen Freeman; Neil Harris; Alison Boyle
South East: Vidya Thirunarayan; Stephanie Allen; Richard Kingdom
South West: Phil Butterworth; Adam Gent; Andrew Proctor; Zoe Li; Ceri Johnson
West Midlands: Rachael Griffin; Kate Pryor-Williams; Jessica Harris; Michael Addison; Aysha Afridi; Abid Hussain; Jonathan Mayes
Yorkshire: Ralph Dartford; Pam Johnson; Tanja Geier Thomson; Emma Forster; Wesley Zepherin; Stephanie Simm

For the London region, please contact the relevant relationship manager for your project:

Combined arts: Richard Ings; Pamela Vision (job share)
Dance: Debs Butler
Literature: David Cross
; Sarah Sanders
Music: Huey Walker; Julia Lent
Theatre: please contact Sheena Khanna in the first instance. Relationship managers are: Pete Staves; Ian Rimington; Jenny Killick; Alex Rogerson
Visual arts: Anna Mandlik

Q13: What should be included in an audience development plan?
A:
We expect all applicants to include with their application a more detailed audience development and marketing plan, spanning the life of the project.  This should contain a good amount of detail about your audience development objectives and how they will be achieved through the life of the project.  There are some publications available on our website which you can download for free, giving helpful information on this area:

Grants for the arts information sheet:
Audience development and marketing

Marketing and touring:
A practical guide to marketing an event on tour

Pricing and the arts:
Call it a tenner: the role of pricing in the arts 

Q14. Can someone submit an application to Grants for the arts and the Strategic Touring Programme for the same activity at the same time?
A: No. We cannot assess a Grants for the arts application while we are assessing a Strategic Touring application for the same activity. Although some activity may meet the criteria for both programmes the applicant should apply to the grant programme that best fits their own touring objectives.

The Strategic Touring Programme is a targeted programme with specific objectives. Applicants must have a conversation with the Arts Council before applying to the Strategic Touring Programme to help to establish whether their proposed activity fits with the objectives of the programme, and whether this is the right approach to funding for them.

Grants for the arts is not targeted to any specific subject or artform, and is reactive to the applications we receive. There is a very high demand for Grants for the arts funding and therefore strong competition for available funds.

It is important that the applicant applies to the programme that best suits their needs (this should be their decision). Accepting two applications for the same activity would unnecessarily increase the volume of applications that need to be assessed and therefore affect our ability to make timely decisions and may cause delay to the start of the touring project.

Q15: If an application is not successful for Strategic Touring funding can the applicant apply to Grants for the arts?
A:
Yes they can. However the applicant should get feedback on their unsuccessful application and consider the reasons for not being successful when making their Grants for the arts application. Although the two programmes have different assessment criteria there may still be issues with the proposed activity that would also affect a Grants for the arts application. They can also reapply to the Strategic Touring programme if they have addressed the reasons for the previous application being unsuccessful.

Q16: Who should an applicant speak to get feedback on their unsuccessful application?
A:
Unsuccessful applicants can request feedback from the person who assessed their application - their name will be included in the letter sent to applicants.  If applicants then decide to revise and re-submit an application they will have to speak with a designated relationship manager in a regional office.

Q17: Are museums eligible to apply to the strategic touring programme?
A:
We welcome applications from museums for the touring of projects which are explicitly linked with arts activity through the strategic programme. We are keen to encourage museums and the arts to reach more people across a wider variety of places. Collaborations between museums, artists and arts organisations can provide innovative opportunities to tour high quality artistic work to new settings inspired by a range of subject matters.   Museums touring projects linked with a strong contemporary artistic vision can encourage people to question and interpret objects in different frameworks, forging exciting links between past and present.

Museums can apply to the strategic touring programme for projects under any of our six artforms: combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts. You can find out more about these artforms on our website, http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/artforms/.

We will not be able to support museums touring through this programme which has no explicit link with artistic activity.  We expect the main source of funding for museums activity between 2012-15 to be our Renaissance programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with arts activity supported through other Arts Council programmes including the strategic touring programme.  However, during this three year period we will continue to explore the wider issue of museums touring as one of the future opportunities for further integration between arts and museums work.

Q18: Are libraries eligible to apply to the strategic touring programme?
A:
We welcome applications from libraries for the touring of projects which are explicitly linked with arts activity through the strategic programme.  Collaborations between libraries, artists and arts organisations can provide innovative opportunities to tour high quality artistic work to reach more people across a wider variety of places.

Libraries can apply to the strategic touring programme for projects under any of our six artforms: combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts.  You can find out more about these artforms on our website, http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/artforms/.

National portfolio organisations

Q19: What is the difference between this, Grants for the arts and the lottery funding already put into National portfolio organisations (NPOs) to support touring?
A:
We have put £18 million of lottery investment into the NPO portfolio to support their core touring activity.  The strategic touring programme is an entirely separate open access programme, open to NPOs and non NPOs and is a targeted intervention approach so we can achieve our goals. Applications for touring activity outside NPO funding and the strategic touring fund would be suitable for Grants for the arts.

Q20: Can National portfolio organisations apply?
A:
Yes they can but we need to be clear that this fund is not a top up fund. National portfolio organisations wishing to apply to the strategic programme, either as lead organisations or partners within an application, will be asked to demonstrate within the application how the proposed activity they will benefit from is additional to their NPO-funded activity.  Grants will not be awarded for extending already-funded existing or planned tours by NPOs.

Q21: How is Arts Council England defining 'additional'?
A:
The activity must be extra on top of what the NPO is delivering as part of their funding agreement with us.  Relationship managers will be asked to comment on applications by their NPOs and confirm that activity they are applying to undertake is not their core activity.

Q22: Can a National portfolio organisation apply for the touring strategic programme even if touring is part of their core activity?
A:
An NPO which is core-funded to tour work could still apply to the strategic programme as long as this was clearly 'additional' touring activity to that listed in their funding agreement.