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As from 1 July 2010, this site will no longer be updated and will be retained for Archive purposes only.

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Flexible Funding FAQs

Will we also update these frequently-asked questions in response to your queries.

Who should we contact for more information?

If you have any questions that are not answered below, please email FXOEnquiries@scottisharts.org.uk and we will get back to you within five working days.

What can we apply for?

Flexible funding is aimed at organisations who will develop:

  1. A body of creative work of high quality, most but not necessarily all of which is presented or produced in Scotland. This means that work could be produced elsewhere but presented in Scotland ie. in the case of a festival which has an international programme or artists collaborating internationally. The fundamental point is that people in Scotland must be able to experience the work.
  2. A body of creative work of high quality, most but not necessarily all of which is presented or produced in Scotland.
  3. The work should be celebrated at home and beyond.
  4. The activity supported should result in a good geographic spread within Scotland.

We would expect high-quality work to be recognised and respected by people who live in Scotland and the UK as well as those who visit the country and see the work.  There may be some organisations that work collaboratively to create/produce the work in another country, or an organisation might present work by an artist(s) that is not based in Scotland.

We are looking to support organisations around Scotland so that there are opportunities for as many people in Scotland as possible to benefit from this funding.

Flexible funding is intended to achieve a good geographic spread across Scotland.  It is therefore important that you tell us about the geographic impact of your programme. Our final decision will aim to achieve a good balance of activity and organisations across the country

Please see the Flexible funding guidelines for information on applying.

Can we apply if we have not received Scottish Arts Council funding previously?

Yes, however there is likely to be a significant demand for the available funds, therefore applications which meet the aims of our Quality Framework are likely to be considered a higher priority for funds.

What if our organisation has not had a formal artistic evaluation?

If there is no formal artistic evaluation, we will use the supporting evidence provided within the application and any officers’ or specialist advisors’ knowledge.

How do I know if our organisation meets the criteria of the Quality Framework?

The Quality Framework is designed as a self development tool, as well as a means of gathering evidence from organisations that we support. Applicants are strongly recommended to work through the document and ensure they can evidence their answers to each question.

Where should we get advice about how to develop/write our business plan?

There are many links within the Quality Framework to useful sources of information, including: Cultural Enterprise Office

Our lottery colleagues have produced a useful document: Guidelines for Preparing a Business Plan

What happens if we submit more evidence than advised in the guidelines?

In order to assess applications consistently we can only use evidence we have requested. Additional information will be disregarded.

Why do we have to apply for £50,000 or over per year?

This programme is to support a substantial body of work and we have established this minimum threshold in recognition of that.

How much should we be paying artists?

We are committed to seeing artists paid at appropriate levels.  We encourage you to adhere to appropriate industry standards. We encourage you to consider experience, track record and the nature of the project when setting rates of pay.

Please visit the following websites for information on industry standards:

Music – Musician’s Union
Performing Arts – Independent Theatre Council,  Equity, Bectu.
Visual Arts – Scottish Artists Union
Literature – Society of Authors 

What level of funding should we apply for?

There is no formal guidance as to the appropriate level of funding – this varies widely within the current Flexible funding, but your programme of work should be deliverable on the level of funds you are seeking. If you request an increase to existing levels of funding, you have to be able to demonstrate that the organisation will have the capacity (management, etc) to ensure delivery. We would expect budgets to be realistic.

We receive funding from both the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen. Should we include funding currently provided by Scottish Screen within our application?

If an organisation currently receives funding from both the Scottish Arts Council  and Scottish Screen, it would be reasonable to request the cumulative amount within any Flexible Funding application. If any further money is required, please see previous FAQ – What level of funding should we apply for?

Can we apply for a different amount of funding in Year 1 and Year 2?

No. Our offers will be based on the same level of grant in each year.

Who will consider our application?

A breakdown of each stage of the application process is provided in the Flexible funding guidelines (pdf).  We will also use Specialist Advisors, who will largely be drawn from our existing pool, which is listed on our website.

Is our organisation eligible?

An organisation applying for Flexible funding will be either:

  • an organisation that is directly involved in creating/supporting the production and / or public presentation of the work of artists and creative practitioners
  • an organisation that offers a range of services, support and advice to other arts and creative organisations, enabling these to best deliver and develop their programming and business objectives
  1. Organisations need to be based in Scotland.
  2. Organisations must be incorporated as companies and be able to supply Memorandum and Articles of Association. If you are not currently incorporated, we can still accept your application as long as you are already properly constituted and can provide evidence to demonstrate this.  However, if your application is successful, it will be condition of grant that you must incorporated before any funding can be released.  Please see the Companies House website for more information about becoming incorporated.
  3. Organisations need to meet the partnership funding requirement (see section 3).
  4. In addition, we can only fund organisations that are financially solvent.

If we are an organisation that is part of a local authority, are we eligible?

Yes – the important thing is that you have your own business plan.

What do you mean by Legal status?

This means what type of organisation are you? See guidance under Q10 in the application form.

What do you mean by non-incorporated bodies?

For example - Sole traders, partnerships or unincorporated group, such as a club, or association. The definition of incorporated body is ‘A body that is formed into a corporation with a separate legal identity from its members.’

Do we need to have all our Partnership funding in place?

No, your partnership funding does not all have to be in place before you apply, but you must have a clear idea of where it will come from ie. its probable source.

What is the minimum partnership funding requirement?

Achieving the required level of partnership funding is essential with at least 25% of the total cost from sources other than the Scottish Arts Council of which at least 10% of the total cost must be in cash. If you are applying for larger amounts of money, we expect you to seek more cash partnership in line with the targets set in the table below:

Level of Grant per annum  Proportion of cash partnership income expected
£50,000- £99,999 10%   
£100,000- £199,999 15%
£200,000- £349,999 20%     
£350,000- £500,000 25%

What is a suitable contingency?

This is up to you to decide, but our advice would be to budget for between 5-10% as contingency.

If our application is unsuccessful can we appeal?

Yes, but you can only appeal against the process, not the decision.

If you are dissatisfied with the way we have handled your funding application you can write or telephone us to tell us why you are unhappy.  We will discuss your concerns with you and treat all comments you make very seriously.  If you remain unhappy you may appeal formally. All formal appeals must be made using our appeals form and sent to the Chair of the Appeals Committee.  You can obtain further information about our Appeals Procedure from our Help Desk and website

If you are currently in receipt of funding from us and you appeal it will not affect the end date of your current funding.

Are there other funds we can apply for?

Further information on funding opportunities will be published in 2010.  Sign up for our Funding Updates ezine if you wish to be kept informed.

If you need funding between £500 and £10,000 you should consider applying to Awards for All.  This is a joint programme to help small organisations, supported by the Scottish Arts Council, SportScotland and the Big Lottery Fund.  For more information please call 0870 240 2391or visit the Awards for All website.

 Can we arrange a meeting with an Artform Officer to discuss our application?

In the interest of fairness and consistency we are unfortunately unable to offer meetings to discuss applications as we would be unable to meet all potential applicants.  If you have a specific enquiry please email FXOEnquiries@scottisharts.org.uk and we will get back to you within five working days.


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