Arts Council Wales’s ‘Connect and Flourish’ Gets New Guidelines before September Launch

The new guidelines for projects being funded in 2023/24 have been published so that applicants can start working on their Expression of Interest in advance of the opening date.

From 1 September 2022, Arts Council of Wales is opening applications for the fourth round of the Connect and Flourish fund, its National Lottery fund designed to encourage collaborative projects between organisations, individuals and creative professionals.

A total of £1.5 million is being made available for the new round with grants of between £10,001 and £150,000. The grants can cover up to 90% of project costs over a period of up to 24 months. At least 10% of the project income must come from sources other than National Lottery funding. This can be cash or ‘in-kind’ support.

Organisations can apply for either one of the following activities:

  • An advanced collaborative project – one that is ready to be delivered, with partnerships in place, shared objectives clearly defined and potential outcomes identified.
  • An initial development phase – this might be to support the development of partnerships and / or the trialling of ideas. This might be the initial step in applying, at a later stage, for a more substantial collaborative bid.

This funding programme focuses on areas of ‘protected characteristics’ that remain underrepresented in the activities funded and supported by Arts Council Wales.

Whilst Connect & Flourish will still look to support projects that champion the diversity of voices, cultures and languages in Wales, priority is being given to projects in 2023/24 that meet one or more of the following:

  • Involve and reflect the creativity of D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people.
  • Involve ethnically and culturally diverse people and communities.
  • Supports the arts sector to respond, adapt and diversify in the face of new and future challenges.
  • Have a focus on establishing new opportunities within the Welsh Language.
  • Involve and engage those individuals and communities experiencing and living in socio-economic inequality.
  • Respond innovatively, imaginatively and meaningfully to the Climate Emergency.

The funding can support any reasonable cost that enable delivery of the project.

Although proposals can be from anywhere in Wales, there is particular interest in supporting proposals from the North and Mid and West Wales in 2023/24.

Expressions of Interest are expected to open on 1 September 2022 with a closing date of 5pm on 20 October 2022.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)