What is it?
The arts@leeds grants programme is a £1.8million grant funding programme provided by Leeds City Council, offering core funding to arts organisations across a range of disciplines, art forms, geographies and scale. The programme has been running for fifteen years and, in response to the new Leeds Culture Strategy, the team chose to review how it works, revise its objectives and make changes to the scheme which could directly support the delivery of the Culture Strategy.
Focusing specifically on the professional sector, the arts@leeds programme now offers three levels of opportunity for organisations looking to develop and grow their offer in Leeds: engagement, development and investment.
The engagement programme focuses on those organisations or groups that have yet to develop a business plan or need support with understanding their audience or developing their governance. These organisations and groups are not funded but are given business support to help them reach the next stage of their development and sign posted to other funding programmes which may better suit their needs.
Organisations in the development programme are well established but seeking to grow, these organisations receive grant funding alongside a tailored business support offer which ranges from financial aid in the form of business rates relief to training and development, fundraising strategies and new product development.
Investment programme organisation are in receipt of £45,000+ per year alongside a programme of support for capital projects, training and development. However crucially for the local eco-system these organisations are required to reciprocate, giving back to the city. This could be in the form of working with other Council departments to deliver specific objectives e.g., refugee and asylum seeker programmes or in the form of mentoring, coaching, or joining the boards or offering space to organisations in the other programmes.
arts@leeds is currently developing an over-arching programme of business support which will be piloted in the first two years of the revised scheme, which is now a four-year programme to match with Arts Council England's funding cycle. The over-arching programme will consider a suite of business support including mentoring, coaching, training, networks and opportunties to hear from national and international cultural leaders, which could be tailored to each level of the arts@leeds programme.
Which Leeds Culture Strategy Aims & Objectives will it deliver?
- Value and respect artists and creativity considering both vital to the growth and prosperity of Leeds and ensuring that they are promoted as part of our diverse economy.
- For the culture sector to grow and increase its contribution to Leeds’ economy, by placing culture at the heart of the city’s narrative.
- For established cultural organisations to be resilient, and to create an environment where new cultural organisations can flourish.
Which Leeds Culture Strategy Area of Focus does it serve?:
- A City of Creators
- A Connected City with a 'Yes' Mentality