Funding Update

Carol Cain holding a Sheppey Sheep made during a Promenade Festival Small Experiment workshop at Restoration Youth, Sheerness.
Carol Cain holding a Sheppey Sheep made during a Promenade Festival Small Experiment workshop at Restoration Youth, Sheerness.

Following our first decision meeting in July, we are now working with successful applicants on their projects and giving feedback to those who were not funded this round.

The next application deadline is 10.00 am Monday 16 September.

Three weeks on from the first decisions on our programme we have had time to reflect on how it went.  We are keen to improve our processes and we have listened to people’s feedback.  We want to be sure everyone is clear about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it so here is some more information about how we made decisions and who took part.

Who made the decisions?

All project applications were looked at by an independent Decision Panel.  The Decision Panel is made up of a minimum of four people:

  • One of the non-arts organisations from the Creative People and Places consortium
  • A Community Catalyst from Swale
  • A Community Catalyst from Medway
  • An Artistic Critical Friend who is not from the local area but brings specialist expertise to the decision making.

In future we will also be inviting previous award recipients to be part of the panel too.

The panel is managed by the Creative Enabler (Steph Fuller) and theProject Ambassador (Nicole Mollett) also attends, but they don’t make any decisions.  None of the arts organisations on the Consortium are involved in the decision making in any way.

The panel this time were:

  • Sarah Williams (Consortium organisation). Sarah lives in Medway and is Deputy Director of Swale CVS.
  • Natasha Steer (Community Catalyst Medway)  Natasha lives in Chatham and is the founder and Director of Creatabot – a developing mini arts organisation. Creatabot concentrates on supporting and promoting creative people and works primarily on community arts projects.
  • Griselda Mussett (Community Catalyst Swale)  Griselda lives in Faversham and amongst other things is a Trustee of the Faversham Creek Trust.
  • Jenny Roberts (Artistic Critical Friend)  Jenny is a freelance arts manager living in Brighton. She has programmed arts centres and theatres, run a touring theatre company, and most recently, worked for Arts Council England supporting artists and organisations to develop their ideas and their arts businesses.

How were the decisions made?

The Decision Panel considered every project which was put forward for funding in this round.  All the projects were scrutinised in the same way to ensure that they met the Creative People and Places Programme Principles and Aims and that it was clear what the grant would be funding.

Why were some Out of the Ordinary projects funded this round?

It was part of the original Creative People & Places Swale & Medway application that some year 1 Out of the Ordinary projects would be proposed by the Consortium members to help create momentum and learning for the programme.  £150,000 was budgeted for these projects in our business plan.  These applications were scrutinised by the independent Decision Panel in the same way as all the other projects.

In future years Out of the Ordinary projects will be open to other organisations to apply.

Was there any other feedback from the Decision Panel?

The Decision Panel made a number of general observations about the applications we received:

  • A significant number of projects were suitable for other funding – particularly Awards for All or Grants for the Arts, and should be encouraged to go down this route.
  • Unsuccessful applicants often had not explained who their audiences were, the wider community benefit from their projects or how people would be able to carry on their arts participation.
  • Project management fees were very variable.  These would be different for different projects but should not exceed 15% of the total budget.
  • Few applicants appeared to have considered looking for match funding or support in kind.  Although this had not been specified as a requirement, it should be encouraged as part of the approach to sustaining activity in the future.

How much money has been awarded so far?

We have made conditional offers to a maximum value of £150,000 in total for all three strands of the programme (Small Experiments, Community Catalyst projects, Out of the Ordinary projects).  Once all the grant offers have been accepted and conditions met we will publish a list of all the grants and how much they are for.

We will soon be publishing our Business Plan, which will give you more detail of our activity and finances.

Look out for our next newsletter which will have updates on projects which are taking place over the summer including Love Sheppey X on Saturday 24th August