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If your application is not eligible, this means that we cannot process it any further and it will not be considered for funding.
 
Your decision letter will highlight the main reason(s) that your application was ineligible. Click on the relevant section below to view feedback to help you understand our decision.

More information on eligibility can be found on page 5 of the How to apply guidance.

Reapplying

We hope that although you have been unsuccessful on this occasion, you found the Grants for the arts application process worthwhile, and can use this feedback to help you to make a more effective application in future.

You can apply again at any time, but any new application for the same activity must address the reasons that the original application was not successful. We will not be able to consider any reapplications that have not addressed this.

Addressing feedback provided will not guarantee that a future application will be successful.

If you would like to discuss your application further, please contact us on 0845 300 6200.

Other sources of funding

If your activity is not eligible for funding through Grants for the arts. You may however find our Other sources of funding page helpful.

My Grants for the arts application was ineligible

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Additional application with no permission

We are currently processing an application from you and you did not submit a copy of our written agreement to you making another application.                                         

Only in exceptional circumstances would we accept a second application from someone while they are still waiting for a decision from us on a first application. If you want to make a second application you must contact us (enquiries@artscouncil.org.uk, 0845 300 6200) to request permission to apply. We will confirm in writing whether you can apply and you must attach this letter with your second application.

Applicants applying for overlapping projects would need to:

  • clearly demonstrate the need of the second project (reflecting on the outcomes and aims of the first project, and evidencing clear benefit to themselves and audiences)
  • present two well defined projects - ensuring that there is no duplication of costs
  • outline plans to effectively manage simulataneous projects

Applicant is an Arts Council England National Council member

The applicant is a member of Arts Council England’s National Council.          

Members of Arts Council England’s National Council are not permitted to apply to Grants for the arts.

Applicant outside European Union

You reside outside the European Union.                                            

We can only make grants to individuals and organisations based within the European Union. If you are an individual based within the EU (but outside England), you will need to have a bank account in the UK. If you are an organisation based within the EU (but outside England) you will need to have a registered office in the UK and a bank account in the UK.

Applications from EU nationals

If the application is from an artist based in the EU, but living and practising outside of England we would normally expect there to be substantial benefit to artists and/or audiences in England, with the application demonstrating evidence that the activity will have a positive effect on future work and will provide opportunities for people in England to engage with the artist’s work now or in the future.

Applicants should provide specific details of how, building on the outcome of the activity, you think you could engage people in England in the future – for example:

  • details of future planned exhibitions of the work
  • collaborations with named international artists in England
  • workshops to share the learning outcomes of the project
  • evidence that named commissioners/programmers would be attending the event/exhibition which could lead to future work in England
  • evidence of interest from or partnership with an arts organisastion in England who would be interested in exhibiting the project

Applying for less than the stated minimum

The amount you applied for is below the stated minimum of £1,000.                                  

We are able to make grants between £1,000 and £100,000 through Grants for the arts.

 

Applying for more than the stated maximums (exceptions exist)

The amount you applied for is above the stated maximum. We can only consider applications for over £100,000 where we have granted permission to apply for more than the stated maximum. If you wish to apply for over £100,000 please contact us on 0845 300 6200.

In special circumstances we can accept applications for grants over £100,000. If you plan to apply for over £100,000 you must contact us (enquiries@artscouncil.org.uk, 0845 300 6200) to request permission to apply. We will confirm in writing whether you can apply and you must attach this letter with your application.

Asset purchase with no public benefit or artistic track record

You applied for money to buy equipment and we decided that this will not benefit the public, either in the short or long term.                                       

You cannot apply for the following activities

  • buying equipment and instruments which would not be used for the benefit of the public, either immediately or in the long term, or where the applicant does not have an artistic track record.

We would need clearer evidence of how the equipment would support the arts in England. Applications should:

  • explain the work of the individuals/organisations/community groups that will be using the equipment
  • outline what kinds of projects/activities it will be used for. For example, is it specific to a project or for ongoing use?
  • provide a clear rationale as to how this equipment will increase the quality of arts provision and the quality of engagement for audiences or groups using it
  • include evidence of at least three competitive quotes for the equipment purchase along with detail on how maintenance of the equipment will be managed/funded

Building project with no permission

The activity you applied for is a building project and you did not submit a copy of our written agreement for you to apply.

If you plan to apply for activity relating to building work (refurbishing arts buildings, improving access, buying property or leasing a building, for example), you will need to contact us for permission (enquiries@artscouncil.org.uk, 0845 300 6200).

You can find out more about capital (building) projects in the information sheet Capital applications — building projects and equipment purchases on our website.

Duplication - costs

We decided that the costs you applied for are already covered by money from other sources. Grants for the arts cannot support activity that has already been paid for from another source.

Educational establishment: activity has no benefit to wider community or artists

Your organisation is an educational establishment. We decided that the activity you applied for will not benefit the wider public or artists.                                              

Grants are normally only offered to schools for time limited projects which are not part of the national curriculum and offer significant engagement with and benefit to, the wider public.

If the pupils of the school are the primary beneficiaries, and the activity will not significantly engage the wider public, then it will not be eligible for support through Grants for the arts.

Film or video (not artists' work in the moving image)

The activity you applied for mainly involves film and video. We do not fund this type of activity. You can get information about funding for film and video activity from BFI via their website.  

As the national development agency for the arts, Arts Council England supports a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Unfortunately, funding for your activity does not fall within our remit.

We cannot support activities relating to film and video (such as film or video production and cinema exhibition) unless it is in support of artists’ work in the moving image. Please see our information sheet Artists film and the moving image for more detail about what we do and do not fund relating to film, video and the moving image.

Fundraising

The activity you applied for is mainly fundraising activity that does not directly benefit the arts.

Arts Council England is a registered Charity who cannot award grants for fundraising activities.

The activity you applied for includes a fundraising element that does not directly benefit the arts – the application states that income generated as part of the activity will be donated to a charity. Any income generated from a project must be offset against expenditure. If a project makes an unexpected profit, this money would be deducted from the final grant payment.

Incomplete form

You have not filled in all the required questions on the application form. This means we cannot process it. If you apply again, please make sure you answer all the required questions.

If your application does not contain the information we need in the format we ask for it to be in, it will not be eligible.

Find out more about the information you need to provide in ‘the application form’ section of the How to apply guidance.

National portfolio organisation

Your organisation is currently a National portfolio organisation and therefore is not eligible to apply to Grants for the arts.                                        

National portfolio organisations are eligible to apply to some of our other funding programmes, which focus on specific types of activity, such as touring, capital (building) projects or organisational development work. You may wish to look at the application materials for some of our other programmes to establish whether we can support your activity: www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/

No benefit to England

We decided that your application did not clearly show that the activity you applied for would benefit people in England or help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Grants for the arts is funded by the National Lottery, therefore it’s important that the activities we fund to engage or benefit people in England.

Grants for the arts can support activity taking place in any of the Arts Council England Areas: North, Midlands, East and South East, London and the South West. Up to 15 per cent of the activity can also take place in another part of the UK: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Normally, we would only fund activity taking place at the Edinburgh International or Fringe Festivals if it is part of a wider tour of Scotland.

Grants for the arts can fund activity outside the UK where there is a benefit to England. We cannot support activities or events that mainly take place outside England unless they clearly benefit individuals and artists living in, and/or organisations based in, England.

Applicants should evidence the longer term benefit the activity would bring to the public and/or artists in England, or how the project would inform future planned work in England. We can consider applications for professional development projects from artists (such as international residencies), but the proposal must include details of how the public in England will benefit from the artist going on a course or undertaking training.

Please see our International activity information sheet for more information.

No public benefit

We decided that the activity you applied for will not benefit the public, either in the short or long term.                                             

Grants for the arts is funded by the National Lottery, therefore it’s important that the activities we fund engage people in England. We want the activities we fund through Grants for the arts to support our wider mission: to get great art to everyone.

Public benefit can be achieved by enabling other people to experience your activity as artists, participants, contributors and /or audience members. We need to know who is going to engage with your activity and in what ways. Make sure you have described how you will reach your target audience or participants, in the short or long term, and provided details of your proposed marketing activities where appropriate.

Research and Development (R&D)

Some types of activity might not involve engaging people immediately, for example some research and development (R&D) work. If you are applying for R&D activity, you should tell us about the target audiences for your work now or in the future, and how they will engage with your work.

You can find out more about the type of activity we can support through Grants for the arts in the ‘eligibility’ section of the How to apply guidance.

No tour schedule

You are applying for touring activity but have not filled in the preliminary tour schedule. We cannot process applications for touring activity unless this section is complete.

If your application does not contain the information we need in the format we ask for it to be in, it will not be eligible.

Find out more about the information you need to provide in ‘the application form’ section of the How to apply guidance.

Not arts-related

The activity you applied for is not mainly arts-related.                                     

As the national development agency for the arts, Arts Council England supports a range of artforms including visual arts, theatre, dance, music, combined arts and literature. Activities that do not clearly relate to one of these artforms, will not be eligible for support through Grants for the arts.

What do we mean by arts-related activity?

Through Grants for the arts we are able to fund a range of artistic activities. Our grants are for individuals and organisations involved in arts related activity and other people who use the arts in their work, such as artists, musicians, writers, performers, promoters, producers, curators or directors.

Applicants should provide details of artists or arts organisations who would participate, deliver or benefit from the activity. This could be demonstrated, for example, through: 

  • creating artistic work
  • delivering a programme of work that will allow audiences/participants to experience quality artistic work (a festival programme, an exhibition, or a series of events, for example)
  • providing opportunities for participants in an activity to develop their own artistic skills and/or produce their own artistic work (for example through taking part in workshop activity)
  • offering artistic development opportunities to artists through activites such as residencies or commissioning new work

Applicants should think carefully about the specific artistic aims and outcomes of their proposed activity and clearly explain how the main aims of the activity are clearly related to artistic development. In addition you may wish to consider how the activity would impact or develop a specific artform.

Please note Grants for the arts cannot fund the following

Art therapy - Please be aware we cannot normally fund therapy sessions of any kind and that includes art therapy sessions. We can consider arts and health projects, but, as a rule, we do not fund art therapy sessions where therapy is the primary outcome not creative or artistic outcomes.

Health and fitness – We cannot support health and fitness classes that are not centered on creative or artistic outcomes.

Conservation of collections – Activities that involved the preservation and/or restoration of art (as opposed to the creation of art) are not eligible for support through Grants for the arts.

You may find it useful to contact an organisation that can support Heritage projects.

Fashion - Fashion does not fall within our remit. You may however find the following resources useful:

Fashion Capital
Fashion Capital has a wide variety of information regarding the industry, lifestyle and trends, live active forums and a range of services to help designers succeed today
www.fashioncapital.co.uk

British Fashion Council
Aims to showcase British designers and develop London’s position as a major player in the international fashion arena – run London Fashion week
0207 759 1999   
info@britishfashioncouncil.com

www.britishfashioncouncil.com

Ongoing overheads

You have applied for money to cover ongoing overhead costs which are paid for by other funding or your own income. You can only apply for additional, time-limited overheads that are directly related to delivering your activity.

Grants for the arts cannot support general running costs and ongoing overheads. These include those relating to salaries, equipment or buildings (such as rent, insurance and maintenance costs). You can apply for some time limited overheads that are directly related to delivering your activity (such as costs for additional staff time, venue hire or utilities). You can find out more about overheads in the information sheet 'Repeat activities, ongoing overheads and salaries'.

You can apply for extra time-limited overhead costs that are directly related to the activity you are asking us to support – for example, payments to staff, phone bills, postage and insurance. You can apply for a contribution to your ongoing overheads if these are not covered by other funding. The amount you apply for must relate directly to the amount of time spent on the activity you are asking us to support, so please explain how you have worked this out. The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations has produced a practical guide and toolkit on cost allocation. You can use this to work out the full cost of a project or an activity including extra and ongoing overheads. It is available from www.acevo.org.uk or by phoning 0845 345 8481.

Ongoing overheads (buildings)

You have applied for ongoing overheads related to equipment or buildings, which we do not fund. 

Grants for the arts cannot support ongoing overheads related to equipment or buildings (such as repair and maintenance costs).

Outside England (exceptions exist)

The activity you applied for mainly takes place outside England.                                            

Grants for the arts is funded by the National Lottery, therefore it’s important that the activities we fund to engage or benefit people in England.

We cannot support activities or events that mainly take place outside England unless they clearly benefit individuals and artists living in, and organisations based in, England. Please see our International activity information sheet for more information.

Outstanding conditions/payments on previous grants (exceptions exist)

You have outstanding conditions or payments on a previous grant that are overdue by more than 45 days. To be eligible to make another application you must meet all outstanding payment conditions before applying. If you need more information about any outstanding conditions or payments please contact us on 0845 300 6200.

If you are currently in receipt of a Grants for the arts award, you cannot make another application unless you are up to date with meeting the conditions for your earlier grant. You must meet any overdue conditions before you apply again. Your previous offer letter would list what conditions you needed to meet, and when we expected to receive your monitoring information.

A condition is considered overdue once the date for submitting the information on the payment schedule for your grant has passed.

If you have a query about conditions for a previous grant please contact us (enquiries@artscouncil.org.uk, 0845 300 6200).

Partnership funding

You applied for the total cost of your activity and you did not provide enough evidence that special circumstances prevented you from finding 10 per cent of the total cost of your activity from other sources.                                                

We want to make our funding go further, and we expect applicants to make the most of any other sources of income available.

Grants for the arts requires applicants to demonstrate that a minimum of 10 per cent of the overall budget has been supplied by sources other than the Arts Council. This is often called ‘match funding’ or ‘partnership funding’. This can be made up of cash support, in kind support, or a mixture of the two. When we are calculating the percentage of other income shown in your budget, we include support in kind. The strongest budgets usually have a higher percentage of confirmed cash income from other sources.

Financial income from other sources helps to demonstrate partnership support for the activity, and shows that the activity is making the most of our investment. On average, those who were successful in getting funding from us received about 51 per cent of their income from other sources.

Private company or company limited by shares

Your organisation is able to share out profits to members or shareholders. We decided that the activity you applied for is not a self-contained arts project that clearly benefits the wider public.

Grants for the arts cannot support activities which aim to make a profit that will be shared out to members or shareholders.

Grants for the arts is a programme designed to provide project funding for programmes of activity with their own clear objectives and a discrete set of project outcomes.

Second-hand equipment (exceptions exist)

You applied for money to buy second-hand equipment, which we do not normally fund.

Self-promotion with no public benefit or artistic track record

The activity you applied for is self-promotional and we decided that it will not benefit the public, either in the short or long term.                                           

Applicants applying for support towards a self-initiated activity should:

  • demonstrate partnership support

and/or

  • evidence clear demand from the public

We decided that your application did not clearly show that the activity you applied for would benefit people in England or help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Self-publishing

We generally do not support self-publishing through Grants for the arts. Where alternative routes of publishing may be relevant, we would need to see strong evidence of artistic track record, partnership support, plans for marketing and distribution, etc.

Our Literature information sheet contains more information on self publishing.

Statutory education

The activity you applied for takes place in a formal education setting for statutory educational purposes.

Whilst we are interested in supporting artistic activity which takes place in formal education settings, we can only support activity that does not duplicate or replace the curriculum.

Grants for the arts cannot be used to fund activity that would usually be delivered by other statutory education funding (e.g. national curriculum delivery/education up to 16 years).

Grants for the arts is funded through the National Lottery. You therefore need to demonstrate very clearly how the activity would benefit the wider public.

You can find more detail about eligible activities in statutory education settings in the information sheet Children, young people and learning on our website.

Student: for study activity or fees

The activity you applied for relates to your course of study and we do not fund students' study activity or fees.                                           

Grants for the arts cannot fund students (directly or indirectly) in statutory education, further education or higher education (undergraduate or postgraduate) for activities directly linked to their formal course of study.

Other sources of funding

Your activity is not eligible for funding through Grants for the arts. You may however find our Other sources of funding page helpful, which provides details of other sources of funding for students in education.

Re-submitted application has not changed from original

We decided your application was too similar or the same as an application you have previously submitted and which was unsuccessful.                  

You can apply again at any time, but any new application for the same activity must address the reasons that the original application was not successful. We will not be able to consider any reapplications that have not addressed this.

Addressing feedback provided will not guarantee that a future application will be successful.

Retrospective or not enough time to reach a decision

The start date of your activity is before we can reach a decision. We cannot fund goods or services that have been bought or ordered before you receive an offer letter or activities that have already taken place. We need six working weeks after receiving a complete application to process applications for £15,000 or less, and 12 working weeks for applications over £15,000. 

We cannot fund any part of an activity that has already taken place. Any activity that is related to costs in your budget expenditure cannot begin until we have made a decision on your application (a minimum of 6 or 12 weeks after you have submitted your application).

The start date for your activity should also include the planning and preparation time you need. For example, if an activity needs marketing, you should include enough time to do this. If it involves commissioning, we cannot contribute to the funding of work that has already been undertaken.

Example of an ineligible application due to retrospective expenditure

Applicant is applying for £10,000 towards an exhibition

Application is submitted on 20 March (6 weeks before the activity starts)

Start date of the activity 1 May

The start date of the activity given in the application is 1 May, which is the first day of the exhibition. Most of the activity included in the budget (such as marketing and cost of materials to make the work) would have to be carried out before the exhibition starts and would therefore be viewed as retrospective.

Requesting 100 per cent of the cost of your activity from us

If you have ticked the box to indicate you are requesting 100 per cent of the cost of your activity from us, you must tell us why you have been unable to secure any other funding.

Using the information you give us we will decide whether we can accept your application. Please note

We are only able to provide 100 per cent of the cost of the activity in exceptional circumstances.

This is one of the most common reasons that applications are made ineligible. Make sure you have fully explored all other funding options.

Other sources of income

  • earned income - such as income from ticket sales, workshop fees or selling work or publications
  • local authority funding
  • other public funding (for example, the British Council)
  • private income - from you or your organisation, donations, or grants from trusts and foundations

Unbalanced budget

Your budget does not balance. If you apply again, please make sure you read the budget section of the guidance notes. If you have difficulty balancing your budget contact us on 0845 300 6200

Your budget has to balance (your income needs to be the same as your expenditure).

Common reasons that a budget does not balance:

  • support in kind has been included within the Income and Expenditure sections
  • expected income has been listed but no cash estimates provided (if income is expected from other sources, applicants would need to estimate how much income is expected from other sources)
  • unsuccessful funding requests listed in the budget (this can be expressed within the financial narrative)

Our information sheet Example budgets provides guidance on completing your budget. Or you can find out more about the information you need to provide in ‘the application form’ section of the How to apply guidance.

We can co-browse online application forms. If you wish to reapply you may wish to call us (0845 300 6200) before resubmitting a second applicant to ensure that you understand how to complete your budget.

Underdeveloped

Your application does not contain enough information or is not sufficiently developed in some areas for us to be able to process it.                                           

If your application does not contain the information we need in the format we ask for it to be in, it will not be eligible.

Applicants must:

  • answer the question with an appropriate level of detail
  • outline clear artistic aims
  • evidence an appropriate artistic track record and/or partnerships with professional artists/arts organisations
  • clearly indicate target audiences and explain how they would be reached
  • complete a clear project plan and timeline for the activity
  • demonstrate demand for the activity from audiences and/or partners
  • provide a realistic, balanced budget (with appropriate plans to manage it)

Find out more about the information you need to provide in ‘the application form’ section of the How to apply guidance. This guidance explains how to complete your application form and answers some common questions, so please read it carefully before you begin.