Culture Fund

Applications are currently closed. Round 3 will open on 8 September 2021.

Our Culture Fund provides grants of £500-£1000 for arts, cultural and heritage projects. It is designed to endorse projects and enable applicants to leverage in income from other sources (including from funding bodies such as Awards for All and Arts Council England, crowdfunding, philanthropy, sponsorship and ticket sales revenue). Grants awarded from the Culture Fund will be conditional on the project securing its expected income from other sources and will only be released when evidence is provided that other income has been secured.

Criteria

The Culture Fund seeks to support projects of the highest quality that:

  • Demonstrate a clearly identifiable gap and/or development of an artistic practice
  • Has a robust framework including planning, delivery and evaluation
  • Meets City Council Culture Strategy objectives (under review but please refer to and use the 2015-18 version)
  • Seeks to work in partnership to enhance the effectiveness of the project

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Strength of contribution to at least one of the Culture Strategy objectives (under review but please refer to and use the 2015-18 version)
  • Evidence of quality of proposed project - including the nature and engagement of artists/artistic practice, partners, participants or audiences
  • Artistic quality – artists involved and the artistic outcome
  • Evidence of the need or demand for the project
  • Evidence of partnership/support from Cultural Sector
  • The value of the impact of a Culture Fund award to securing match-funding or enabling the project to happen or not

Eligibility

To be eligible, the project must:

  • Benefit people in Oxford through cultural activity or development
  • Seek no more than 50% of its income from the Culture Fund
  • Receive its other income by 12 March 2022
  • Not be seeking funding retrospectively

Who can apply

Organisations can apply for a grant if:

  • They are ‘not-for-profit’ as demonstrated by your organisation’s constitution
  • They have a bank or building society account
  • They have an adopted constitution or set of rules

Organisations already in receipt of core funding from Oxford City Council are not eligible to apply. Organisations in receipt of other project funding from Oxford City Council may be considered if the Culture Fund project proposed is a significant development or innovation on their existing work. Details should be included with the application. Any other funding from Oxford City Council may not be considered as match funding.

Individuals wishing to run cultural projects that meet the fund criteria can apply if they also:

  • Can provide evidence that they have the necessary skills to complete the project
  • Can provide evidence of support from any partner organisations, communities or individuals that they intend to work with

Please note, as there are a limited number of grants, only one application may be considered per individual or organisation for each round. If an individual or an organisation applies more than once during the financial year, preference may be given to first time applicants.

When to apply 

There are 3 rounds in 2021/22:

Round 1 (for projects taking place between 1 May 2021 and 31 March 2022)

  • Monday 8 March: Culture Fund opens for applications.
  • Wednesday 7 April, 12 noon: Deadline for applications.

Round 2 (for projects taking place between 1 September 2021 and 31 March 2022)

  • Wednesday 2 June: Culture Fund opens for applications.
  • Wednesday 30 June, 12 noon: Deadline for applications.

Round 3 (for projects taking place between 1 December 2021 and 31 March 2022)

  • Wednesday 8 September: Culture Fund opens for applications.
  • Friday 15 October, 12 noon: Deadline for applications.

Making an application

Details will be published near the next opening date of 08 September 2021. 

Successful applicants

As part of the condition of funding, successful applicants will use the City Council logo in all its publicity (see our Funding Logo Guidelines page) and inform the Culture Team of all activities, including the final event, presentations, performances and any other opportunities, so we can see the work in action.

Other sources of funding

We offer a range of other community grants funds. For criteria and deadlines, visit our Grants page.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation has a variety of grant programmes available to community and voluntary groups. For details, visit the Oxfordshire Community Foundation website.

Arts Council England collate a really useful list of other sources of funding for arts and cultural projects on the Arts Council England website.

We also keep a list of external funding opportunities updated on our website.