Culture Together Grants Fund 2024 to 2025
Thank you for your interest in the Culture Together Grant. The aim of this fund is to support Southwark’s arts and culture organisations to build a more sustainable and inclusive culture sector across the borough. The deadline for applications is 10am, Wednesday 24 January 2024. We look forward to receiving your submission!
Summary of the fund at a glance
- Year three of the Culture Together Grant, for the period 2024/25, will launch on Monday 11 December 2023.
- First piloted in 2021/22, the 2023/24 fund invited Arts and Culture organisations based in Southwark to apply for activities taking place between April 2023 and March 2024.
- Subject to council budget setting processes, there is up to £144,000 funding available in 2024/25, which we will award in ‘Small Grants’ (applications from £5,000 to £10,000) and ‘Big Grants’ (applications from £10,001 to £25,000).
- The fund is part of our commitment to Southwark Stands Together. Your activity must celebrate, or aim to achieve meaningful change, in equality and/or representation in your organisation or its work. It should do this in one of four focus areas – audiences, workforce, governance, artistic content.
- We will benchmark your activity against demographic data for key groups in the Southwark population.
- If your organisation is not yet representative of these benchmarks in the focus area for which you are applying for support, you should apply for ‘change-making’ activity.
- If your organisation is representative of the benchmarks, you can apply for ‘amplifying’ activity.
What you will need to complete your application
- Your contact information and organisation details.
- Information about the activity you are applying for.
- The total cost of your project, how much funding you are applying for, and an itemised budget.
- A focus area for your project - audiences, workforce, governance, or artistic content - and whether your activity is ‘change-making’ or ‘amplifying’.
- Website links to the following documents for your organisation:
- Governance document
- Latest annual accounts (or redacted copy of your bank statement if you are a new organisation)
- Safeguarding policy (if your proposed activity involves working with vulnerable adults or children)
- The organisation's bank account details (these should match the organisation name on the application and governance information):
- Account and bank name
- Account number and sort code
- A redacted copy of the organisation’s bank statement confirming these details
- Consideration of how your activity will support the Council’s Fairer Future Commitments, the Cultural Recovery Plan and whether it will also align with the Council’s recommendations for culture in the Youth Review or climate change strategy.
- Materials that support your application (links to online versions or files to upload). This is optional and could be something that gives us a sense of the organisation and the type of work that you do.
- A commitment from your organisation to the Southwark Stands Together pledges. You can sign-up to these by emailing SST@southwark.gov.uk
Before starting your application, please check that you meet the fund's eligibility criteria:
- Are you an arts or cultural organisation based in Southwark? We define this as an organisation whose core objective is to deliver high quality arts and culture.
- Are you applying for ‘change-making’ or ‘amplifying’ activity that will make change or celebrate equality and/or representation in one of the four focus areas: audiences, workforce, governance, or artistic content?
- Will your activity take place between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025?
- Is your activity ongoing, rather than a one-off event?
- Is your activity non-profit making?
- Will more than 50% of those benefiting from your activity be Southwark residents?
- Can you provide a link to your organisation's Charities Commission / Companies House entry, and a copy of your governance document, e.g. Memorandum and Articles of Association or Constitution?
- Can you provide a copy of your most recent annual accounts (or bank statement if your organisation is new)?
Please note that in the current iteration of the fund, organisations in receipt of multiyear support in the form of active loans from Southwark Council are not eligible to apply. This is to ensure an equitable distribution of the grant in its current form.
What we will fund
- We are keen to support activities that achieve sustainable and meaningful change. The minimum amount of funding you can apply for is £5,000 and the maximum is £25,000. ‘Small Grants’ will fund activities of £5,000 to £10,000, and ‘Big Grants’ will fund activities of £10,001 to £25,000.
- You may submit one application for either ‘change-making’ or ‘amplifying’ activity. It should focus on either audiences, workforce, governance, or artistic content.
- If your activity is not yet representative of Southwark’s population in your chosen focus area, you should apply for ‘change-making’ activity. If your activity is representative, you may apply for ‘amplifying’ activity.
- ‘Change-making’ activity should aim to make your organisation and/or its activities representative of the Southwark population. ‘Amplifying’ activity should celebrate or deepen your organisation's work on representation and equality.
Here is a breakdown of some of the key population demographics in the London borough of Southwark that we would like you to benchmark your activity against:
Black, Asian and minority ethnic
Disabled under the Equality Act
LGB+ sexual orientation
Transgender and non-binary
Total Southwark population
Southwark working age (16-64 years) population
*Data is not available for those under 16-years, so the Total Southwark population here refers to those aged 16+.
Source: Census 2021 data.
- The priority in the third year of the fund is to achieve or celebrate better representation in terms of equality in one of the above four focus areas.
- For example, activity aiming to improve access to opportunity for people marginalised on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
- We also want to support projects that engage young people in line with the recommendations for culture in the Council’s Youth Services Review, and projects that tackle climate change in line with the Council’s Climate Change strategy.
- We will fund ongoing activities, not one-off events. Activities eligible for the Neighbourhoods Fund or Cultural Celebrations will not be eligible for Culture Together.
- Activities must be non-profit making. Anyone delivering the activity in a paid role, including practitioners and artists, should be paid at least London Living Wage.
- We will not fund capital costs, i.e., building works or purchasing of equipment.
- Activities must take place between April 2024 and the end of March 2025.
How to apply
- Applications must be submitted via the Council’s online grants application platform. The platform is user friendly. You can navigate between sections, save your application as you go along, and return to it later. You do not have to complete it all in one go.
- If you have applied using the platform before, you can access saved information about your organisation.
- You can download and preview the application form before starting, to prepare your answers in advance.
- To describe your activity, ‘Small Grants’ applications have a limit of 250 words and ‘Big Grants’ have a limit of 500 words. Otherwise the forms are the same.
The application form is structured as follows:
Section A Section B
- Organisation details
- Project / activity details
- Expenditure budget
- Equalities monitoring
- At the end of the form you can include information in different formats to support your application. This is an opportunity for you to share more about work your organisation delivers. You could share examples of previous projects, testimonials from audience members or profiles of your staff / trustees.
- There is an optional Equalities Monitoring form at the end of the application. This is anonymous and is not taken into consideration as part of the application process. The information you provide helps us to understand who is accessing funding.
- You must submit your application by 10am, Wednesday 24 January 2024.
- Once you submit your application, you will receive an automatic notification confirming we have received it. If we have queries about the information you have provided, we may ask to speak to you before reviewing your application.
- You must provide an expenditure breakdown in your application, totalling the amount of funding you are applying for. If you are using other funding towards your project, please let us know (this is for information only to help give us a sense of the scale of your project).
- You can include core costs within the funded activity budget. There is no limit to the proportion of the total budget you can allocate to core costs but it should be clear how you have calculated the sum. We recognise that what makes a reasonable percentage of core costs will vary depending on the activity and focus area you are applying for.
- Please note the need to pay at least London Living Wage to anyone with a paid role on your activity.
- Funding is paid via bank transfer to your nominated bank account. Small Grants will usually be paid in two instalments (80% on acceptance of the grant funding conditions, 20% on completion of the activity and submission of your evaluation). Funding conditions for Big Grants are usually linked to project milestones. For example, an extra instalment paid on receipt of a report at the midpoint of a project.
- Your Grant Monitoring Officer will be your key point of contact at the Council. They will provide support and track your project's outputs. You should contact them with any questions about your grant or updates on your project.
- Depending on the timeframe of your project and the size of your grant, we may ask you for an update at your project's midpoint. We will usually ask for outputs against benchmarking.
- The more information you can provide on the demographics and protected characteristics of the people involved in your activity (artists, audiences, workforce, your organisation's governing body), the better.
- We may also add conditions around youth engagement and climate change/sustainability if it's relevant to your project.
- Once your activity is complete we will ask for a summary of how it went, how you spent the money, who benefitted, which outcomes you achieved and what you learnt. You can agree how you provide this information with your Grant Monitoring Officer. It could be a short film, a written summary, a series of images or another creative way to capture and present the information.
- We expect ‘Big Grants’ recipients to use the creative carbon footprint tools developed by Julie’s Bicycle, to understand and monitor the environmental impact of their funded activities.
- We will share case studies publicly where appropriate, to encourage current and future applicants to be ambitious, learn from failure and celebrate success.
How your application will be assessed
A panel will assess each application against the essential eligibility criteria using a yes / no system, and against the core criteria using a scoring matrix. The five core criteria are set out below:
- Does the application identify a need for the activity and explain it in relation to the population demographics benchmarking?
- Does the application show a commitment to delivering high quality arts and culture activity?
- How many people will benefit and how?
- Will the activity have a significant impact on either making change or celebrating and promoting equality?
- Does the proposed activity deliver value for money?
We will also consider the secondary criteria below:
- Is the activity likely to support the Council’s objectives around engaging young people?
- Is the activity likely to support the Council’s objectives to tackle climate change?
The panellists will be council officers and people from the local community. The panel will include representatives from inside and outside the arts and culture sector. Panel members will have lived experience of inequalities, to ensure a diversity of perspective in the decision-making process.
Though we will fund a mix of applications, the assessment will be weighted in favour of proposals for ‘change-making’ activity.
If several applications receive similar scores, additional weighting will be given to applications that meet the secondary criteria.
Funding recommendations made by the panel, based on the scores, will be reviewed by the Cabinet Member in a formal decision-making process, with opportunity for public comment on the recommendations before the final decision.
All applicants will told the outcome of their grant application by the end of March 2024.
If your application is successful
- Successful applicants will be required to work with the Council’s terms and conditions of grant funding (PDF, 350kb)
- You will be set-up on the Council’s finance system so that you can receive your funding. We will write to you to agree a payment schedule for your grant. You may receive it in two or more payments depending on the grant amount and the activity you are delivering.
- We will introduce you to your Grant Monitoring Officer.
If your application is unsuccessful
If your application is not successful, we will offer you feedback and let you know about future opportunities to apply for funding.
Page last updated: 03 January 2024