Cultural Development Strategic Fund

Cultural Development Strategic Fund Guidance Notes
Cultural Development Strategic Fund: Guidance Notes
on the scheme
Please read these Guidance Notes carefully before completing the
application form.
You should contact the Cultural Development Strategic Fund to seek
advice and guidance before applying. The team can be reached by email at: or by phone on: 01245 244615
Essex County Council’s vision
Essex means business. We want to be a vibrant place where every individual
and community has the opportunity to grow and reach their potential and play a
part in our county’s success.
Essex County Council (“ECC”) is dedicated to improving Essex and the lives of
our residents. Our ambition is to deliver the best quality of life in Britain. We will
achieve this by providing high-quality, targeted services that deliver real value for
Key Priorities:
As we deliver this vision over the coming years, our key priorities for Essex will
 enabling every individual to achieve their ambitions by supporting a worldclass education and skills offer in the county
 securing the highways, infrastructure and environment to enable
businesses to grow
 improving public health and wellbeing
 protecting and safeguarding vulnerable people
 giving people a greater say and role in building safer and stronger
Essex County Council Cultural Development:
The cultural scene in Essex makes it a great place to live, work and visit. ECC
Cultural Development plays a fundamental role in enabling creative and heritage
activities across the county, and has built a reputation for innovative work and
best practice. Cultural Development acts as a catalyst for cultural activity to bring
social, educational and economic benefits. This is achieved through partnerships,
Cultural Development Strategic Fund Guidance Notes
local enterprise, targeted commissions and community engagement. Sectors
range from tourism, regeneration and health, to youth offending, early years and
older people. Projects take place in care homes, hospitals, museums, libraries,
schools, parks and town centres. Hundreds of volunteers give unpaid hours to
support art trails, festivals and many different, diverse events across the county.
When we assess your application, we will take account of the outcomes that
your project will achieve. Although it is unlikely that your project will meet all key
ECC priorities, as a minimum we expect it to achieve at least one.
Essex County Council Cultural Development Strategic Fund:
The Cultural Development Strategic Fund offers grants of £2,500 and above to
cultural organisations of all types based in, or working in, the administrative
boundaries of ECC to undertake outcome-focused commissions meeting ECC
Examples of eligible organisations could be:
 Charities or trusts
 Community interest companies
 Social enterprises
 Public sector organisations
 Private sector organisations
 Organisations that are part of a local authority’s direct provision will be
considered on a case by case basis.
Grants will not be made for the purposes of:
 The promotion of faith
 The promotion of political ideals
 The reinstatement of reserve funds
 Retrospective payments
In order to be eligible for grant funding, your organisation should:
 be properly constituted
 have been operating for at least three years
 be financially viable
 have demonstrated its ability to manage its work effectively
 demonstrate effective policies in equal opportunities, health and safety,
equality and diversity, children and vulnerable adults protection
Additionally, you will need to show that your cultural organisation produces work
 Is of significant benefit to the people of Essex living within the County
Council area
 Is recognised by others to be of local/national/regional significance
Cultural Development Strategic Fund Guidance Notes
Has a track record, or the capacity to innovate, take on new developments
and make a unique contribution to the cultural infrastructure of the county
Has the ability to disseminate good practice beyond the organisation to
other practitioners and relevant partners
Contributes towards the fulfillment of the aim of the ECC Corporate Plan
and its priorities – as detailed above
The organisation should be able to provide evidence of having produced work of
quality that is appropriate for its intended audience/participants. This quality
should be reflected in the organisation’s cultural, educational and outreach
activity; marketing strategy and plans for audience/participant development;
financial management; human resource management.
Making an application:
There are three stages to the application process:
Initial telephone conversation with the Cultural Development Team to
assess basic eligibility and suitability for the scheme.
Face to face interview to discuss application proposal in detail
Approval to submit application for support
Please note that applying for a grant does not guarantee the receipt of
Grant Awards:
Awards funding will be committed for a period of one financial year.
Successful applicants will normally receive 75% of the amount awarded in an
initial payment with the remaining 25% being paid on delivery of progress report
and project update information at the 6 month stage.
How your application will be assessed:
An Assessment Board will decide the outcome of applications. Decisions will be
made within 8 weeks of the closing date for grants. Applicants will be informed in
writing whether they have been successful or not and any special conditions that
might have been attached to the grant will be included.
Decisions about grants will be made within available resources.
Essex County Council reserves the right to withdraw a grant in whole or in part,
even after notification of approval, in appropriate circumstances (if, for example,
circumstances have fundamentally changed from those indicated in the
application or the authority receives further information which fundamentally
alters the value or appropriateness of the project). The organisation must inform
Essex County Council of any changes in circumstances that may affect its
Cultural Development Strategic Fund Guidance Notes
operational abilities e.g. administration/receivership, loss of expected funding,
changes to the organisation’s aims and/or constitution.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
Successful applicants will be expected to evaluate the overall impact of the grant
and demonstrate how they have met Essex County Council priorities.
Appeals against decisions made by the Cultural Grant Assessment Board should
be made in writing within 21 days of the applicant being informed of a grant
decision. The Appeals Panel will convene to review whether to uphold or reject
the appeal within available resources. All decisions made will be final. There will
be no further right of appeal.
You may not canvass members or officers concerning your application.
You are advised to read the checklist at the end of the application form to ensure
that you have completed all the necessary stages prior to posting. We will
unfortunately, be unable to return supporting materials. You are advised to keep
a copy of your application for your own records.
Send your completed application form to:
Cultural Development Strategic Fund
Essex County Council Cultural Development
Essex Record Office
Wharf Road
Essex CM2 6YT
Applications can be made in writing or emailed.
For further guidance or advice on applications, please contact Cultural
Development at or by phone at 01245 244617