Culture Service - Flexible Fund 2020/21 - Diversity & Inclusion - Collaboration, Research & Development Fund Application Form

Closed 26 Feb 2021

Opened 15 Jan 2021


The City of Edinburgh Council Flexible Fund: Diversity and Inclusion Collaboration, Research & Development

Deadline for applications: Friday 26 February 2021

We would like to assure all potential applicants that the timeline of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Flexible Fund (Diversity & Inclusion - Collaboration, Research & Development) has not been affected by the current COVID-19 public health situation.

The applications should be submitted, and will be assessed, as per the published schedule. This will ensure the Fund is allocated as planned, and will assist the successful applicants - artists and arts-based practitioners and partnering organisations – to resource the development of their proposals.

The City of Edinburgh Council officers overseeing the application process can be contacted via email or phone to assist with submissions. Further information about the fund, including officers’ contact details, can be found below.




In line with the commitment to promoting ethnically diverse artists’ and creatives’ greater opportunities, visibility and representation across the arts and culture sector, the City of Edinburgh Council has allocated the remaining Diversity & Inclusion Fund resources to support freelance practitioners in collaboration, research and development as well as production projects.

Bearing in mind the impact of the pandemic on the sector and on independent artists, this fund offers support to maintaining and continuing creative practice and strengthening partnership working within the freelance community. With 47% (The Conversation) of the creative sector made up of freelance practitioners, there is a heightened need for increasing support towards artists and creatives whose practice has been affected by the cancellation of festivals, events and teaching opportunities; the postponement of projects, commissions and residencies; as well as the suspension of touring activity.

The Diversity & Inclusion - Collaboration, Research & Development Fund is aimed at supporting independent artists and creatives who wish to further their creative activity in partnership with other freelancers and continue collaborations, develop new projects or promote individual practice via digital media. Following conversations with local ethnically diverse artists and creatives who identify barriers to funding for new, experimental work, we wish to encourage applicants to also consider this fund as an opportunity to take risks and experiment as well as develop new ideas and ways of working.

This funding has been allocated as a result of the city’s Culture Plan to deliver wider access to Council cultural funding opportunities and continues the Council’s core role in ensuring Edinburgh is a city of creative opportunities. Our cultural activity and offer continues to be a crucial contribution to the city’s success as an exceptional place to live and work.

As stated in the Action Plan agreed at the Culture and Communities Committee Meeting on 18 June 2019, the City of Edinburgh Council committed to promoting stronger collaboration, developing new partnerships and creating new funding streams for the culture sector in Edinburgh.


Grants will be awarded to projects that promote greater collaboration between ethnically diverse artists and practitioners and have a practical impact on the participating creatives’ practice. Projects should be developed, artistically led and managed by ethnically diverse artists and creative practitioners.

The fund is intended to support collaborative research, development, production and/or promotion activities that utilise one or multiple art forms, such as visual and performing arts (music, dance, spoken word and theatre), film, digital arts, literature and poetry, to promote greater collaboration between ethnically diverse artists and creatives based in Edinburgh.

Example activities eligible for funding include:

  • carrying out research for a new play/story,
  • collaboration with artists from a different art from to enhance one’s work / reach out to new audiences,
  • developing a technical spec for a theatrical production,
  • creating a portfolio / website including video material,
  • developing a joint project proposal containing workshopped work that can be submitted with other funders,
  • co-writing music and producing new material,
  • recording and producing already existing material in a professional setting,
  • working with a PR/Comms specialist to improve promotional material and undergo media training,
  • creating a digital portfolio to be distributed to national/international programmers/producers,
  • programming events and developing promotional materials etc.


A total budget of £10,000 is available offering grant awards of between £1,000 and £2,500 in the financial year 2020/21. It is expected that projects will be scheduled to take place and conclude in financial year 2021/22.

Applicants should apply for the exact amount needed for their project and will not automatically be awarded the maximum available. The awards panel reserves the right to offer an amount different to that requested.

DEADLINE: Friday 26 February 2021 (23:59 GMT). Late applications will not be accepted.

Please note that payments to successful applicants will be made within 6-8 weeks from the date of notification of grant award.


  • Collaborative projects involving ethnically diverse Edinburgh-based artists and practitioners and taking place within the City of Edinburgh boundary. By ethnically diverse we mean artists and creatives identifying as Asian (incl. Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani and any other Asian background), Black (African, Caribbean and any other Black background), Chinese, Middle-Eastern, Mixed Heritage / Background incl. Mixed British, non-British White (Western European, Eastern European, American, Canadian and non-British White background);
  • Practitioners across the arts and culture sector, including (in alphabetical order) creative producers/programmers/production managers, dancers / choreographers, graphic / fashion / textile designers, musicians / vocalists / music producers, poets / writers / storytellers, photographers / videographers, PR & Comms consultants/copywriters/reviewers, theatre practitioners, theatre technicians / sound engineers, visual artists/makers;
  • Only one application per collaborative partnership can be considered. 


Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • an imaginative and/or experimental creative concept or a value of practice improvement activity;
  • confirmed collaboration and quality of project management;
  • adaptability to COVID-19 related restrictions.


  1. Collaborative proposal that enhances and strengthens the practice of at least two artists/creatives;
  2. Creative concept or practical implications for individuals’ practice; and
  3. Partnership working within the freelance community.

We will be assessing the likely impact of the project on the freelance practice and to what degree it will support development opportunities for freelance artists and creatives of ethnically diverse backgrounds.

We want to see how you propose to use this funding and what you envisage the direct impact of that funding will be.

Our focus will be on what major difference this funding will make to the project (ie what wouldn’t happen without this support) and individual practice.


Applications cannot be considered:

    • for projects already started or planned to start before the decision is made, unless it is the next stage of a previously completed phase of work;
    • if received after the deadline date; and
    • from any of the successful recipients of the Diversity and Inclusion Fund 2020/21

Funding cannot support:

  • Revenue costs or permanent posts;
  • Press events or launches;
  • Equipment items or capital projects;
  • Projects which primarily take place outside Edinburgh; or
  • Activity not adaptable to the COVID-19 related restrictions.

Please note that the support offered to ethnically diverse artists and creatives by this fund is using positive action to promote equality as reflected in the Equality Act 2010.


Please read these guidelines carefully.  Applications must be submitted using the application form online by 26 February 2021 (23:59 MT).

Please contact Beata Skobodzinska 0131 529 4577 or Sandra Elgin 0131 529 6720 if you require advice on your application.

Before starting this application online, please download a blank PDF application form for your preview.  Please also download the Application Guidelines, the Council's Grant Conditions and the Budget Form.  Links to the Council's Culture Plan, Business Plan and Privacy Notice are also available in the Related documents section.


Submitted application forms will be acknowledged via email. Applications will be considered by members of the awards panel, comprising officers from the City of Edinburgh Council and specialist independent advisors.

The panel will meet within 4 weeks of the fund deadline and you will be informed by email of the outcome within one week of the meeting.

If you require this application in Braille, large print, audiotape or disc format, please contact the Cultural Development Team on 0131 529 6720.

What happens next

You will receive an email confirmation of the receipt of the application upon submission. If you have any questions, please contact us at  

Privacy Notice

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When we collect personal data, we must tell you why we need it, and what we will do with it. This information is called a privacy notice.

The Privacy Notice link (located in Related section below) takes you directly to the City of Edinburgh Council’s privacy notice. Here we explain how we process your personal information as a Council.


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