Bank of Ireland launches Begin Together Arts Fund to support creative industries

  • Bank of Ireland has launched a new artist support scheme offering grants of £2,500 to £8,400 to help support arts projects across the island of Ireland.

    The creative industries have been hard hit by recent events, with offices and studios closing their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak and many projects across the country unexpectedly losing their funding this year. Bank of Ireland has now announced a scheme that will commit £840,000 to support artists and art projects across the island of Ireland.

    The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund will deliver an injection of £840,000 over the next two years in local arts projects. The scheme has been developed in partnership with Arts & Business Northern Ireland in the north and Business to Arts in Ireland, and forms part of Bank of Ireland's community investment programme.

    The scheme will commission artists and arts organisations to develop arts projects, with the goal of enhancing the wellbeing of the artists and their communities. No discrimination will be made between different forms of art, and the bank hopes that it will be able to support a wide range of projects aimed at different audiences.

    One particular focus of the scheme is projects that have been made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or have had to adapt to it. The scheme takes the form of project co-funding, as artists or groups applying to the fund must be working with a partner organisation who is already providing funding. These can be arts organisations, venues, community/voluntary organisations, or other arts funding agencies.

    Requests can be made for between £2,500 and £8,400 to extend art budgets, with average grants expected to be around £4,200. Bank of Ireland is also encouring arts projects with substantially larger budgets to apply to the scheme to help augment their budgets and maximise the impact of their art project. The first round of funding applications closes on Wednesday, 4 November at 5pm. Head over to https://www.businesstoarts.ie/artsfund/bank-of-ireland/  for more information.

    Francesca McDonagh, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland said, "Our wellbeing as a country depends on our rich culture and heritage continuing to thrive. Through this Fund we are building on Bank of Ireland’s long history of supporting the arts. There is no better time than when artists, like communities across the island, are struggling in the face of the pandemic. This programme is part of our wider contribution to helping the recovery of communities and businesses across Ireland."

    Source: Written based on press release

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