We are excited to announce the relaunch of our grants programme. As many of you know, the programme was briefly on hold to allow us to carry out a Member consultation in partnership with Counterpoints Arts. While the consultation continues, it has already given us some really useful feedback and input some of which we’ve used to update our offer to you.

We are changing the timescale for distributing ANS funding this year by trialling ONE grants round. Key dates are:
– Online application becomes live: Thursday 1st February
– Deadline for applications: Thursday 29th February 5pm
– Announcements of successful funding: Mid April 2024 (projects to run any time between May 2024 and June 2025)

The committee believes this will be a better way of allocating our funds fairly across the year. It will also streamline the process for the volunteer Executive Committee, therefore freeing up more of our time for other important initiatives.

As a result of hearing from you and our funders, here is what’s on offer for 2024

Open applications. In the past we have accepted open applications where you, the applicant, comes up with an idea, pitches it – and we fund as many succesful applicants as we can. This remains unchanged, as does the requirement for a minimum of six months Membership prior to the application deadline. This means in order to apply for a grant in the 2024 programme, you must have been a Member on or before September 1st 2023.

Additions for 2024

Commissioned Projects (Trial)
In response to our ongoing Member Engagement consultation with Counterpoints Arts, and in acknowledgement of our developing working partnership with London Borough of Sutton, we are trialling a “commissioning” approach – where members can choose to respond to a simple project brief. If this trial proves successful, we hope that this approach will enable us to work more strategically in the long term, with future commissions developed to address specific local needs or priorities.
[One off pre-requisite: To have previously received project funding through Sutton STEAMs Ahead]

Commission Brief: Design a project that develops or extends on your original STEAM project in an exciting way. Your application should outline how this project will involve two or more ‘STEAM’ elements, what learnings you can take from your original project, and how you will further develop relationships with your participants and/or audiences.

Artist Professional Development Opportunities (Trial)
Following formal and informal feedback from members we recognise the need to support local artists in their own professional development. This year we are introducing the following opportunities:
– Apply for Professional Development funding as part of ANS Grants: Members may apply for an ANS Grant to allow them to attend a training course, develop a new skill or participate in a vital networking opportunity.
– Consultant support to apply for Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP): An opportunity for five current ANS members to be supported through the process of applying for this fund. Find out more & express your interest via this form: Expression of Interest for DYCP support by 26th January 2024 at 5pm.

In all cases you can apply either as an individual or group, and you can choose to partner with another ANS Member too.

Please download and read our brand new How To Apply guidance document so you can start to prepare for when the application window opens on February 1st.

You can come along to a ‘DROP IN’ event to talk to Exec Committee members about your project, connect with potential partners, and seek advice or support:
– Evening Drink: Thursday 1st February, 7.30pm – 9pm; Cryer Arts Spotlight Bar
– Morning Coffee: Friday 2nd February, 10am-11am, | Friday 9th February, 10am – 11am; Sound Lounge
– Online Chat: Tuesday 30th January, 8pm [ZOOM link – click here]

We hope the changes we are making will help to benefit you and the wider commuity. As always – we love seeing your ideas, and we wish all the best to everyone who decides to apply.