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UKSPF Cultural Programming Grant
Closed for now - look out for further funding rounds

The deadline for applications was midnight on Thursday 29 February 2024.

What we mean by cultural programming

Cultural programming helps to foster a sense of local pride. Creative activities enliven communities, improve wellbeing and strengthen social ties, helping to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods. They can also attract people into the county, increasing economic investment and improving people's perception of Herefordshire.

Cultural programming can take many forms including creative activities and workshops, tours, exhibitions, maker spaces and screenings as part of an ongoing creative programme.

Aim of scheme

This grant is designed to support the delivery of local arts, culture, heritage and creative activities across Herefordshire. The scheme aims to increase engagement and vitalise communities across the county through cultural programming.

Outputs and outcomes

We aim to fund programmes that align to one or more of the following interventions from the UKSPF investment priority - Communities and Place:

Herefordshire Council core interventions – E6: Support for local arts, culture, heritage and creative activities

Activities should deliver the following outputs and outcomes:

  • Increase in footfall
  • Improved engagement
  • Local activities and programmes

We are particularly looking for projects that:

  • Help to foster a sense of local pride and belonging
  • Engage new audiences
  • Provide new skills or opportunities to local people
  • Support the wellbeing and happiness of local people
  • Support the growth of the cultural community in Herefordshire
Who can apply

This is a county-wide grant scheme. Only organisations registered in Herefordshire with legal status can apply, including:

  • Charities, voluntary, community and not-for-profit organisations including charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) and social enterprises (e.g. CICs)
  • Businesses (with a core operation in the natural, cultural or heritage sector)
  • State and independent schools (as long as the project or activity benefits and involves the community and does not deliver activities that are part of the standard curriculum)
  • Town and parish councils
  • Community benefit societies
  • Community clubs or trusts
  • Religious organisations (as long as the project or activity benefits the wider community and does not include religious content)

Applicants who are registered outside Herefordshire can apply, but only where they deliver their main business, programmes and benefits directly in Herefordshire.

Who is not eligible to apply
  • Individuals including sole traders
  • Unconstituted organisations
  • Organisations who are registered in the county, but propose to deliver activities and programmes outside Herefordshire
Where the project must take place

Projects, programmes and activities must be held in Herefordshire and all members of the public must be able to attend (via a reasonable charge if necessary).

When the project must take place

Year 2024/25

  • Projects must start no earlier than 1 April 2024.
  • Activities must have taken place no later than 31 March 2025.
What the grant or funding is for

The grant will support a range of creative activities across Herefordshire including (but not limited to):

  • Funding for the development and/or operation of local maker spaces
  • Support for studio sessions or art classes and workshops
  • Funding for local exhibitions and local displays for artists to showcase work
  • Funding for local cultural or heritage tours and trails
  • Funding for local independent film or cinema programming
  • Funding for local cultural community programming, for example craft, dance, poetry or singing workshops or creative health activities
  • Funding for creative programmes that facilitate cross-cultural understanding
  • Support for the establishment or development of programmes to share cultural, arts or heritage knowledge or resources locally.

Events and festivals are being funded through a separate complementary grant scheme so are not eligible for this grant scheme. There is also a separate grant scheme for existing cultural institutions and heritage sites who want to develop the visitor offer and programme related specifically to their site.

Eligible costs

This is a revenue-based grant scheme. Revenue funds can be used to contribute to the costs of ongoing operational expenses required in the running of the organisation or programmes, including:

  • Staff salary costs (including employer NI and pension contributions)
  • Overheads related to employing staff involved in delivering activities funded through the grant - capped at 15% of direct staff costs
  • Transport costs
  • Hardship support for community participation, or support for participants, staff or volunteers with special needs
  • Hiring of equipment
  • Small items of equipment (under £250) e.g. workshop resources
  • Marketing and publicity costs
  • Printing costs
  • Ticketing software and printing costs
  • Rental costs e.g. venue or room hire
Ineligible costs

The following costs are considered ineligible and must not be included in applications:

  • Purchases of large items of equipment or assets (over £250)
  • Capital works, renovation or conservation projects
  • Paid for lobbying, entertaining, petitioning or challenging decisions, which means using the fund to lobby (via an external firm or in-house staff) in order to undertake activities intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, government or political activity including the receipt of UKSPF funding; or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action
  • Payments for activities of a party political or exclusively religious nature
  • VAT reclaimable from HMRC
  • Gifts, or payments for gifts or donations
  • Statutory fines, criminal fines or penalties
  • Payments for works or activities which the lead local authority, project deliverer, end beneficiary, or any member of their partnership has a statutory duty to undertake, or that are fully funded by other sources
  • Contingencies and contingent liabilities
  • Dividends
  • Shares or bonuses
  • Bad debts, costs resulting from the deferral of payments to creditors, or winding up a company
  • Expenses in respect of litigation, unfair dismissal or other compensation
  • Costs incurred by individuals in setting up and contributing towards private pension schemes
  • Alcohol
How much you can apply for

You can apply for a grant of up to 100% of the total project costs.

  • Minimum grant of £1,000
  • Maximum grant of up to £7,000
The number of grants you can apply for

Organisations can apply for funding towards one project for 2024/25.

Organisations with an existing project continuing from 2023/24 are eligible to apply for a separate project in 2024/25. This is in addition to your current project.

How to apply

This funding round is now closed.

What happens next

Once received, we will acknowledge receipt of your grant application.

Overview of the required stages from programme registration to decision making:

  1. Application
  2. Eligibility check
  3. Funding panel assessment
  4. Funding panel recommendations
  5. Approval and due diligence
  6. Applicants receive decision notification

The grant application will be assessed by a project panel who will make recommendations either for the application to be approved or rejected, or the panel may ask for further information before a decision can be made. This will require approval.

Grant applications are assessed on their individual merit by an independent panel against the grant funding eligibility criteria, the impact of the project and that it demonstrates value for money. All applications are subject to funding availability.

Based on your application and any further information you may have been asked to provide, we will advise you of the decision to either:

  • Offer a grant; or
  • Offer a grant with some specific conditions; or
  • Reject the application detailing the reasons why the application was not accepted.
When to start your project

If your application meets the eligibility criteria and you are offered a grant, you will receive an offer letter setting out how much grant has been approved and detailing any specific terms and conditions. If you are happy to accept the grant offer and associated conditions, you will need to return a signed copy within 7 working days.

You should not start your project until you have signed the acceptance of grant and returned it to the Delegated Grants Team.

How to submit your claim for payment

The organisation is permitted to make two claims based on defrayed expenditure (if required). The first claim must be a minimum of 30% of grant value. The final claim, which will be submitted with a final report, will be for the remainder of the funding. All claims are based on actual defrayed eligible expenditure as set out in your grant offer and must be supported by invoices, payslips and payroll report, bank statements, photographic evidence of programmes/ projects, including publicity and promotional activities with the required logos.

When to submit your final report

You will need to submit your final report within four weeks of project completion, along with your final claim as set out above. The report will summarise what your project has achieved. If you are successful, your offer letter will set out the information that you need to collect and provide to the council.

Further information

If you have any queries on the application process, please email

If you have any questions on the grant scheme, please email Sarah Lee at

Read more about the Herefordshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Terms and conditions

If you are offered a grant, you will be sent terms and conditions specific to your project.

Key points to consider are:

  • You should not start your project or incur any expenditure until you have signed the acceptance of grant and returned it to the Delegated Grants Team. Any project spend before the date of the grant offer will be ineligible for payment
  • You need to keep all paperwork relating to your project, such as all invoices, receipts and bank statements, as they will need to be submitted as evidence with your claims
  • Information relating to user feedback and progress towards the outputs of your project should also be kept
  • The grant will only be paid on invoices or receipts that have been paid, and are dated after the offer letter has been agreed by all parties
  • Other specific conditions of grant will be included within your offer letter
  • If your project or budget changes
  • We will not be able to give you more grant money if your costs increase, but will consider variations within the agreed budget as long as these are approved in advance

You need to notify the Delegated Grants Team in writing as soon as you realise that you may need to make some changes to your project or budget in order to deliver your project.

All UKSPF grant projects must also meet the following requirements:

Alignment with local strategies

Applications should demonstrate how they align with relevant existing or proposed local strategies, such as the Herefordshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan, Herefordshire Big Economic Plan, the Herefordshire Cultural Strategy 2019-2029, and Herefordshire's journey to net zero carbon by 2030.

Herefordshire Council is committed to furthering the objectives of sustainable development and expects projects, as far as possible, to take account of all long-term benefits and costs - environmental, social and economic.

All applications should demonstrate how the resulting projects will be run and that they will be financially and environmentally sustainable.

UK subsidy control regime

Applicants must ensure that any project or programme put forward is compliant with the UK subsidy control regime. You are asked to confirm this within the application form.

UKSPF procurement

All projects must comply with UKSPF procurement procedures, this includes three quotes for the purchase of any goods or services between the value of £2,500 and £25,000 and once the value of contract exceeds £25,000 opportunities should be advertised via a formal tendering process. For more details, see UK Shared Prosperity Fund: procurement (8). This will be monitored and checks undertaken before a grant agreement is issued.

Applicants must ensure value for money for all goods and services provided as part of the project.

Branding and publicity

Successful applicants are required to work closely with Herefordshire Council to develop promotional resources and to ensure recognition of funding through the necessary UKSPF branding.

All projects must adhere to the UKSPF branding and publicity guidance.