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

1. You are applying for a grant between £100,000 and £499,999 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 goals.  This must include: 

  • goal 3: ‘The arts are sustainable, resilient and innovative’
  • one other of our five goals

You should also read our 10-year strategic framework for the arts, Achieving great art and culture for everyone.

3. 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 for arts purposes or construct a new arts building 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.

4. 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 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.

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

6. Your timetable must demonstrate that the capital works will be completed within three years of us reaching a decision on your application.

If you are applying for a building project, you must also demonstrate that:

7. You already have, or propose to obtain, the required security of tenure

You must demonstrate to us that you have freehold ownership (registered or unregistered) or leasehold ownership of the land and buildings where the proposed capital project will take place.
For leasehold ownerships, we expect you to demonstrate a registered and assignable lease of at least five years without a break clause at the date of practical completion of any proposed building works.

8. Your designs should be developed to at least RIBA Work Stage D (RIBA Plan of Work 2007) or completed RIBA Work Stage 3 (RIBA Plan of Work 2013 This means:

i. Preparation of developed design including proposals for structural design and building services systems and an outline specification and a cost plan including life cycle costs
ii. Development of the defined project strategies to support the detailed project brief
iii. An application for full  planning permission has been or will be submitted, if appropriate

Please note that we expect to only provide our permission to apply on an exceptional basis so there is no guarantee that our written permission will be provided. The receipt of our written agreement to apply does not guarantee that your application will be successful.