Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Launch of new Culture Grant Scheme

Monday, 8 April 2024

Grants ranging from £500 to £40k are available to organisations and individuals in the Central Bedfordshire cultural sector.

The grants are aimed at enhancing the lives of local people by having more opportunities to take part in and enjoy arts and cultural experiences.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Culture Grant Scheme is a new initiative demonstrating our commitment to nurturing artistic talent, championing grassroots arts and culture projects, and helping the cultural sector thrive.

Applications can be made between 15 April and 24 May 2024; the scheme is part-funded by us and the UKSPF. Bedfordshire Luton Community Foundation is administering the fund on our behalf.

The scheme comprises three funds:

Pilot and Test Fund: To kickstart projects within targeted communities or groups to pilot and test a new idea or new way of working with partners and creative individuals in the community over a six-month period.

Creative Development Fund: For individuals and organisations with ready-formed project ideas or plans, as well as those who have received funding from the Grow and Maintain Fund and wish to expand their projects on a larger scale.

Grow and Maintain: Scheduled for release in December 2024, this fund will focus on economic sustainability, infrastructure, and business development within the cultural sector.

Councillor Mary Walsh, the council’s Executive Member responsible for culture, said:

Whether you're an aspiring or established creative practitioner, community organisation, or part of the existing cultural sector in Central Bedfordshire, the UKSPF Culture Grant Scheme offers an opportunity to turn inspirational ideas into reality. Investing in local arts and culture is so important for local communities. Economic growth, health and well-being, and the opportunity for people to reach their full potential can all be linked to it. It also helps foster a sense of pride amongst communities in their local area, with all the benefits that brings.

To support applicants on their journey, we will host group "Meet the Funder" events and individual one-to-one sessions online on 26 April or book an in-person on 2 May at Flitwick Library.

For more information about the UKSPF Culture Grant Scheme, to book a place at a Meet the Funder event and to stay updated on the latest releases, visit the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation website.