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Top tips for raising EU match funding

  • Date: 27 January 2014
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: South East
older woman reading books on shelf Going to see culture together, Credit: Eva Kalpadaki, courtesy of Fabrica

Visual arts organisation Fabrica has raised over £1.2million in EU funding since 2002, nearly doubling the value of their funding from the Arts Council. Much of this match funding has gone into the local economy, supporting local businesses in Brighton.

Fabrica received EU funding from the Interreg and Youth in Action programmes. Interreg encourages collaboration between EU countries. Youth in Action helps young people take part in exchanges and initiatives such as youth democracy projects. Funding from Arts Council England was key to enabling Fabrica to leverage this additional investment from the EU.

As a direct result of EU funding, the visual arts organisation has worked with over 5,000 people, 124 partners and held 341 events. This funding has also helped Fabrica become more resilient and sustainable. Sharing costs with partners has allowed them to create tools such as a smartphone app, which will promote cultural tourism and encourage participation in the arts across the region.

Lisa Finch, Co-Director at Fabrica has some top tips for raising EU match funding:

1.    Take time to plan before applying for funding

'We found that a year was about right for EU funding. It takes time to develop a project and find the right partners. Research potential partners and find a way to visit them!"

2.    Look beyond the usual suspects

'It's crucial to work with partners outside the arts. It's also a requirement for all EU culture funding in future. Fabrica work with heritage, training and social care organisations. We found working with partners overseas to be a particularly rich experience.'

3.    Get as much information as possible

'A great way to meet potential partners is to go to lots of conferences and networking events. You will learn so much and make some unexpected connections.'

Fabrica is funded by the Arts Council through the National portfolio funding programme.