Grant for Creative People and Places

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Wednesday, 22 February 2012 03:31

14 February 2012 – New Creative People and Places Fund Launched

Arts Council England is accepting applications to its new Creative People and Places Fund. Arts Council England is offering funding to local consortiums to help get local people involved in the arts across parts of England where arts involvement is considerably below the national average.

Funding will be given to these areas to establish long-term partnerships between local communities and arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities, called Creative People and Places. The programme aims to empower them to experiment with new and innovative approaches to develop inspiring, sustainable arts programmes that will engage audiences in those communities.

A total of £37 million will be available to establish around 15 projects between autumn 2012 and autumn 2015.

It is anticipated that the majority of proposals will be for between £500,000 and £3 million over three years. It is expected that at least 10% of total project costs should come from other sources. This can also be in kind.

Consortiums of local communities, arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities are eligible to apply. If you are not familiar with applying for grant funding there is some guidance and support at, and a course will also be available soon.

Intentions to apply should be registered by 23 March 2012. The deadline for first round applications is 13 April 2012.

A second round of applications will take place in autumn 2012. For more information, visit the Arts Council England website (opens new window).

Source: Arts Council England, 13/02/12

Useful resource

Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals: Hundreds of Ready-to-use Phrases to Present Your Organization, Explain Your Cause, and Get the Funding You Need (Perfect Phrases Series)

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why do you want to start up on your own?

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:29 Written by Ed Beckmann Wednesday, 30 March 2011 11:19

The economic state at the moment has prompted a number of people to call me to discuss starting to work for themselves or run a business. Before going straight into the mechanics of regulations, tax, writing business plans etc, I always spend a while discussing the more personal reasons behind the call.

We have different circumstances, ambitions and long- term desires, so it makes sense to consider exactly what you want. I have distilled it down to a list of points to consider and can take action on now.

List your personal ambitions

List the things that you want to do or achieve. You may find it useful to start with headings of finance, friends & family, community & society, reputation or fame, things to excel at and things to do or see.

We do this check to make sure that any business we plan will take us towards, not away from these desires.

Write a job description

If  this seems bizarre, just think of the people you know who run a business and who have said they have no free time, no wages, no holiday etc. It is quite unrealistic for your business to give you regular hours, salary and holiday in the short term, but you should make yourself aware of what you reasonably expect, so that you can work out whether the plans you have can provide what you want.

Also, if you plan everything with no expectation of a minimal return, you can very easily get stuck with customers who get used to low prices and who could not give you a decent living when you want one.


Just note down your annual wages, holidays, working hours and days and the kind of tasks you will be doing. If you would not apply for the resulting job, change your plans!

Work life balance

If you are the boss then there should not be a line between work = bad and life = good. Of course you will have to do things that you enjoy less than others, but aim for the things you do for income to be interesting and enjoyable as well. So life includes an element of work, but it is not one or the other.


Check that the way you do business will be a fulfilling way to spend your time. Be creative – there aremany ways ot get the same end result.

Setting goals

To start with budgeting and making plans can seem like trying to predict the future, especially regarding sales and income. The secret is to do it in steps.


  1. calculate what you want or need to earn for the next six months
  2. work it out in terms of what you do, e.g. number of products sold, sessions done, days delivered etc.
  3. from that work out how many customers it would mean
  4. from that, estimate how much networking / advertising / calling you need to do to achieve it

Naturally your guess of how many calls result in a given amount of business is a guess. However, as you start this estimate becomes more accurate and you can then see how much it would bring you at that rate over six months. Like any long journey, we often have an arrival time in mind and sometimes alter our speed or effort on the way. We cannot control everything, but we can adjust as we go.

the business mission and vision

Sometimes larger organisations can make this a very dry exercise, but here is an interesting and practical way to make it useful for you.


  • decide what difference you want you and the business to make in the world. You can operate at any level – satisfying customers in your village, county or region are totally acceptable, as is a sole aim to make a specific amount of money. That is your mission
  • decide what you, on your way to the mission, will look like, It may be a bustling market stall, a huge welcome at a conference, you signing books for a queue of people, a fleet of your own vehicles around the country. That is your vision

Can you see how these give you something to plan towards?


Hopefully this has given you an insight and some of the tools to plan to work for yourself or run a business which will be both compelling and satisfying. These steps will take far less time to do than other aspects of starting up, and they will be very valuable to update in the years ahead.

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site news

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:29 Written by Ed Beckmann Thursday, 10 February 2011 04:09

At long last the project for people running an organisation or their own business is ready to launch this week.

Making business and social enterprise more simple

Simply Work for Yourself offers different levels of engagement, all with the same objective of sharing ideas, taking jargon out of enterprise and making things simple. Every level follows our tried-and-tested seven themes, which apply whether you are working for yourself, running a larger company or involved in leading a social enterprise or community group.

At one level, there will be regular postings about current business or social enterprise issues, which people can access free of charge. Our own rule is that every posting will contain information of value to the reader, and will suggest an action that could be taken.

Next is the ‘up and running’ course, which will be available in late March 2011 for subscription after testing (contact us if you want to be part of the focus group or register for priority subscription). The course has a wealth of material, interactive forums and self-checks that cleverly adapt the depth of learning to what you need right now. Up and running is invaluable for staring up a new venture, community project or social enterprise. Because it adapts to your existing knowledge, it is also ideal for the small but expanding organisation to take things to the next level.

For the more established venture or for a fast-track to high performance we have ‘making progress’. Using the same principles and similar range of learning methods, you can explore how things work in much more depth, still in a practical and down-to-earth way.

Specialist courses – applying for grant funding

Because we were asked to deliver EU training for some grant applicants, we offer a course specifically aimed at people looking to gain the skills involved in making a good funding application. Although a good project needs the same foundation skills that we deliver in ‘up and running’ and ‘making progress’, success depends on how well you can express your ideas.

Other specialist courses

We want you to build on our foundations and learn about things that we are not experts in, in-house. So we will be offering other training companies the opportunity to deliver their material using our infrastructure, so that everyone can enjoy interacting at every level of expertise in the community area, which is open to everyone. More details here

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