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To be eligible for stage one funding, you must meet the following criteria:

1. You are applying for a minimum grant of £500,000 to support capital expenditure.

We define capital expenditure as money spent on the purchase, improvement, restoration, construction or creation of an asset, including expenses or costs that are directly attributable to delivering the capital project.

2. You must demonstrate that your project outcomes will contribute to at least two of our five strategic goals.

i. goal 3: ‘The arts are sustainable, resilient and innovative'

ii. one other of our five goals

(To find out more about our goals, read our 10-year strategic framework for the arts, Achieving great art and culture for everyone)

3.  You have undertaken research that justifies the resources, and capital investment is necessary to bring about your planned project.

If applying for a building project, it should be developed to at least RIBA Work Stage B or completed RIBA Work Stage 1 (RIBA Plan of Work 2013).

4. Your capital project will improve existing facilities that engage people in arts activities in England and/or for artists and others who work in the arts

We will prioritise the consolidation and improvement of existing buildings and equipment rather than investing in significant expansion or new infrastructure. You can only apply for a project which will extend a current arts building, convert an existing building or construct a new building for arts purposes if your Arts Council area office provides their written agreement beforehand. 

We will only provide our written agreement if you can demonstrate to our satisfaction that you have considered the project’s long-term financial effect on your organisation, including how any additional running costs will be met in the longer term. You must send this written agreement from your area office, and any additional information we have requested, with your application.

5. You are in receipt of National portfolio funding from us for 2013/14.

If you are not in receipt of National Portfolio funding, you can only apply if you are properly constituted as an organisation and your Arts Council area office provides their written agreement beforehand. 

If you are not in receipt of National portfolio funding, you can only apply if you are properly constituted as an organisation and your Arts Council area office agrees to this beforehand in writing. We are only likely to agree if you can demonstrate you have a current strong track record in arts activities and your capital project outcomes will make a significant contribution to Achieving great art for everyone. You must send this written agreement from your area office, and any additional information we have requested, with your application.

6. If you are applying for a building project, you already have, or propose to purchase in the future, the necessary security of tenure (freehold or leasehold ownership) of the land and building where the proposed capital project will take place.

There is information on our requirements for ownership of land and buildings in section six of our Guidance document for large capital grants.

7. Your application should demonstrate that you will be able to develop your project to meet our stage two application requirements within 18 months of a stage one decision.

Further details are included in section six of our Guidance document for large capital grants

8. Your organisation and project outcomes must be based in England.