Coronavirus: Creative Individuals Recovery Programme

News article

Awards of up to £2,000 for individuals and freelancers working in the creative sector

NOTE: This scheme is now closed to applications.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland, with support from the Department for Communities, has launched a new £5 million fund to prevent the loss of the talent and expertise of individuals and freelancers working in the creative sector.

The fund aims to sustain and build professional and technical skills within the sector in these challenging times, and to support those who wish to deliver creative projects.

Individuals can apply for awards of up to £2,000 to help them reactivate or maintain their trade, profession or vocation, as the sector emerges from coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Who can apply?

If you work in the creative sector in any capacity, then you should be eligible to apply for support. Examples of roles include, but are not limited to:

  • artists
  • venue support staff
  • singer songwriters
  • session musicians
  • set designers
  • DJs
  • actors, dancers and choreographers
  • musicians and rappers
  • writers, poets, editors and proof readers
  • crafts people
  • comedians and open mike performers
  • tutors and facilitators
  • creators
  • photographers
  • film-makers
  • touring crew
  • artist managers and promotors
  • lighting and sound technicians/engineers
  • other technical crew and support staff
  • other creative practitioners who work in the creative industries

This is an indicative list and is not exhaustive. If you have a query regarding your eligibility of your role in the creative sector, you can contact the Arts Council NI.

Eligible activity

The scheme will typically:

  • meet one-off costs that are necessarily incurred and essential to the individual reengaging with or maintaining their practice
  • support actions to reverse the erosion of creative practice and loss of skills and experience to the creative sectors

A full list of eligible activity, with examples of the types of costs that the award could cover, is available in the programme guidance notes (PDF, 698K).

How to apply?

You must apply online to the Creative Individuals Recovery Programme. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 6 October 2021 at 12:00 noon.

Please note this programme is not designed to replace loss of income as a result of Covid (hardship fund). Unlike other emergency programmes, this programme will require applicants to undertake activity linked to their practice (technical or artistic). If you have already received funding from the Arts Council NI in 2020/21, you can apply to this programme.


First published 15 September 2021