British Council announced grants to UK-based arts organisations

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The FINANCIAL — The British Council opened applications for a pilot fund offering grants of up to £50,000 to UK-based arts organisations partnering digitally with their counterparts in selected Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipient countries.

The Digital Collaboration Fund will support UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop innovative ways of collaborating remotely. This is in response to increased travel restrictions due to the global pandemic and the need for more sustainable approaches to future international ways of working.

Cultural organisations in the UK and selected ODA countries are invited to apply together for small grants of between £10,000 to £20,000 or larger grants of £40,000 to £50,000. The applications are open to cultural collaborations with a focus on arts and culture, or higher education and research projects with an arts and culture focus.

The Digital Collaboration Fund offers three types of grant:

  • Research and development grants – exploring and developing new proposals for virtual partnerships 
  • Restart grants – for projects halted by Covid-19 but able to pivot and resume virtually 
  • Collaboration grants – for new projects with a focus on virtual delivery, e.g. art residencies, digital exhibitions and online events

The Digital Collaboration Fund pilot has been made possible using existing British Council ODA funding originally planned for in-person arts programmes earlier in 2020. Due to the impact of Covid-19, this funding has been adapted towards digital collaborations, to provide much needed support to the global arts sector at a time of significant challenge.

Caroline Meaby, Director Global Arts Network, British Council, said: “The British Council is delighted to offer this support at what is a difficult time for the Arts and Culture sector globally. By enabling and supporting collaboration between the UK and ODA countries, we hope to increase long-term resilience through future-proofed, sustainable ways of working and ensure international collaboration for years to come.”

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