Three new funds will help arts organisations become more resilient and more accessible to older people.

Photo of older couple

Opening the arts up to older people and boosting the sustainability of arts organisation are the priorities of three new strategic funds launched by Arts Council England (ACE).

ACE will direct £3m of Lottery funds to a programme helping arts organisations become more accessible to older people over the next three years. £2.4m will be directed to business support organisations via two new funds over the next two years, to help arts organisations develop resilience and commercial capacity.

The launch of the funds coincides with the renewal of the Capital: Large Grants fund for National Portfolio Organisations, and the Cultural Destinations programme, which supports arts organisations to form links with the tourism sector.

Supporting older people

The first of the new funds, Celebrating Age, will grant between £50k and £100k to organisations looking to become more open, positive and welcoming places for older people.

Projects could include involving older people in programming; launching ‘buddy’ schemes; showcasing art created with and by older people; and taking work into community settings such as lunch clubs, libraries and sheltered accommodation.

The £3m programme is jointly funded by ACE and the Baring Foundation. Applicants must work in partnership with a lead organisation that is either ACE-funded or has presented work to the public through an ACE-funded programme.

Financial sustainability

A second new fund, Building Resilience, aims to increase the resilience of up to 100 cultural organisations and to provide models and case studies that can be shared across the sector.

ACE will grant up to £500k to four experienced business support providers to deliver one or more themed programmes of organisational development, capacity building and business planning to a cohort of arts organisations. The themes are:

  • Diversity and entrepreneurship;
  • International philanthropy;
  • Change management;
  • Making the most of intellectual property.

ACE is inviting organisations and consultancies not in receipt of national portfolio funding to apply for support for projects starting from February 2017.

A third fund, Business Support, will award up to £400k to one organisation or consortium to deliver support to arts organisations and to increase awareness of national business support.

All three funds are open for applications.