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£55 million fund announced to help cultural organisations build endowments

  • Date: 4 July 2011
  • Area: London, Midlands, North, South East, South West

Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt today announced details of Catalyst Endowments, a £55 million scheme to help arts and heritage organisations secure their long-term financial stability by building endowment funds.

Arts Council England has committed £10 million to the joint funding initiative with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Organisations will be able to bid for grants of up to £5 million to support endowment fundraising from the Catalyst Endowments fund, which will be available to match funds raised from private donors.  Bids will be reviewed by an independent advisory panel with around 50 organisations expected to benefit from the grants which will start at £500,000.

The £55 million is part of a £100 million Government, Arts Council England and HLF pledge to support philanthropy and will go towards building endowments on a challenge-fund basis.  It follows the Arts Council’s announcement on 29 June 2011 of the £40 million capacity building and match-funding philanthropy programme, Catalyst Arts.

To apply for these new grants, organisations will also have to raise money from private philanthropic sources. Different leverage ratios will be required for grants of different sizes, but these should on average raise £2 from private sources for every £1 of public funding. 

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

“Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State is another important step in helping to make arts organisations more sustainable in the long term – one of the key objectives of Achieving Great Art for Everyone, our 10-year framework for the arts.

“Arts and heritage endowments will provide a range of opportunities for arts and cultural organisations to build their skills and capacity to fundraise, to match-fund using new ideas and to invest for their long-term health and creativity.”

Further details of the Catalyst Endowments scheme and how applicants can apply will be unveiled in September 2011 with online applications open in October and decisions on awards expected in early 2012.