LONDON.- Arts Council England
today announced changes to its Grants for the arts programme that will transform the way it serves artists and save on administration costs, which will be reinvested in the arts.
The changes will come into effect from March 2010 when a central Grants for the arts team, with artform specialisations, will assess and monitor all applications. This will provide an efficient and simplified application process, consistent advice for applicants and considerable administration savings - 23% of the overall administrative savings required by Government in the organisation review.
For the first time artists and arts organisations will be able to apply to Grants for the arts online. This is a major step forward in making the programme more widely accessible and applications as easy as possible. The online process will be simple and user-friendly with drop down guidance to help applicants.
The first applications can be submitted online from 1 March 2010.
The new Grants for the arts centre in Manchester will be staffed by highly skilled arts specialists who have a strong knowledge of the arts and close relationships with regional offices. Final decisions will continue to be made by regional offices.
The Arts Council is also simplifying the information required for applications of £10,000 or less. Applicants will be asked for a shorter proposal which will allow a quicker decision, within six weeks.
To ensure that the transition from one way of working to the other is as efficient and seamless as possible Grants for the arts will be suspending new applications between Monday 18 January and Friday 26 February.
Decisions will continue to be made throughout the transition period. Applicants who might be planning to submit an application during this time are encouraged to submit earlier or later than they were planning to ensure their applications can be assessed in good time. Applicants for £10,000 or less may find it is better to submit their applications later and get a quicker decision using the online process.
Philip Deverell, Director of Grants for the arts, Arts Council England said; We are delighted that the improvements to Grants for the arts will bring huge benefits to artists and arts organisations. Not only will we be able to make significant savings, which will be invested straight back in to the arts, but the process will be simpler and quicker for artists and arts organisations to apply.
Wed encourage people thinking about applying between 18 January and 26 February to consider applying before or after the suspension period so we can get back to them with a decision in good time.