Culture Service - Local Cultural Festivals and Events Fund Application Form

Closed 27 Aug 2021

Opened 26 Jul 2021


City of Edinburgh Council - Local Cultural Festivals and Events Fund - Deadline for applications: Friday 27 August 2021 (12:00 noon GMT).

We would like to assure all potential applicants that the timeline of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Local Cultural Festivals and Events Fund 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 – established local cultural events and festivals and partnering organisations to resource their activities.

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


Celebrating Edinburgh’s diverse local cultural festivals and events -

contributing to sector recovery.

This funding has been allocated as a result of the city’s role in supporting the recovery of live activity as part of local cultural festivals and events affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and to offer wider access to Council cultural funding opportunities, 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.

Organisations already in receipt of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Cultural Strategic Partnership funding do not qualify for this funding opportunity.

The Local Cultural Festival and Events Fund seeks to support the work of the city’s year-round cultural festivals and events which are not already funded by the Council to include those that:

  • are unique to Edinburgh and its residents;
  • celebrate and bring together the city’s diverse communities;
  • have deep community roots; and
  • instil a sense of pride in their local place

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

This fund complements three further cultural project funding opportunities towards which the City of Edinburgh Council has allocated resources, and for projects developed in financial year 2021/22: Diversity & Inclusion Fund; Edinburgh Creative Practitioner/Artist Support Fund and Creative Community Partnerships Programme: Collaboration & Exchange Fund.  Further information on these funds can be accessed on the Culture Edinburgh website.


Grants will be awarded to existing cultural Festivals and Events that celebrate their local creative communities and promote greater partnership collaboration between artists/practitioners, independent creatives, our diverse communities and creative practitioners, and/or their festival or event.

The fund is intended to support existing local cultural festivals and events to return to live activity and utilise art forms such as visual and performing arts (music, dance, spoken word and theatre), film, digital arts, literature and poetry, to promote greater collaboration and partnerships between artists and creatives and cultural organisations in Edinburgh.

The Fund can be used to support an individual existing event or a programme of activity and that can make use of indoor and/or outdoor spaces.


A total budget of £100,000 is available offering grant awards of up to £10,000 for cultural festivals and events in financial year 2021/22 and delivered by end of July 2022.

Please note that all festival / event facilitators, artists, creatives, managers involved in the festival / event delivery are expected to be remunerated as per industry rates.  Only in special circumstances when festival / event partners declare that they do not require to be paid for their work and their contribution towards the festival / event delivery is in-kind they can be involved on a no-fee basis.  Links to industry rates, as recommended by industry bodies, are listed below:



UK Theatre / Equity Commercial Theatre Rates

UK Theatre/ Equity Rates for Subsidised Managers (in receipt of public funding)

UK Theatre/Musicians Union

UK Theatre / Writers Guild


UK Theatre/ BECTU/Equity Choreographers:

UK Theatre/ BECTU/ Equity Designers/Resident Designers

Set and Costume Designers

Lighting Designers

UK Theatre/ BECTU/ Equity Directors

Visual Artists (Paying Artists) 

Exhibition Payment Guide


Applicants should apply for the exact amount needed for their cultural festival or event and will not automatically be awarded the full amount of their application submission.  The awards panel reserves the right to award an amount different to that submitted.

DEADLINE: Friday 27 August 2021 (12:00 noon GMT). Late applications will not be accepted.

Please note that the funding award for successful applications will be divided into two payments (70% on receipt of a signed funding agreement and 30% following the submission and approval of a festival / event report on completion of project). You will be advised w/b 6 September 2021 if your application has been successful by email.  Funding payments to successful applicants will to be made within 6-8 weeks from the date of notification of a successful funding application.


  • Festivals and Events must be established and Edinburgh-based and take place within the City of Edinburgh boundary with Edinburgh-based partners.
  • Partnership working is a City and Culture Plan funding priority therefore applicants will be expected to place an emphasis on this in any submission. This can be both in cash and/or in kind.
  • A charitable/not for profit status organisation must be the lead project partner for the release of any grant award.
  • Organisations, festivals or events that have received Events or Strategic Partnership funding from the Council within the current financial year are not eligible to apply. In addition, a revenue-funded Strategic Partner organisation or Grouping cannot lead on an application and if they are in receipt of Strategic Partnership grant funding of more than £50,000, they cannot directly receive this grant funding.  They can, however, be involved as a partner in any application.  For example, a venue may act as host or a company provide in-kind support.  A list of CEC funded events, CEC Strategic Partner organisations and Groupings can be found in the Related Documents section. 
  • Only one application per organisation can be considered.
  • Those in receipt of the Local Cultural Festivals and Events funding are eligible to apply for all three Flexible Funds (i.e. Diversity & Inclusion Fund; Edinburgh Creative Practitioner/Artist Support Fund and Creative Community Partnerships Programme Fund) as long as they present, or are part of, a new partnership/project for consideration.

The Culture Plan vision is that “city partners work together to keep culture and creativity at the heart of Edinburgh’s success”.  Further information on the vision can be accessed through the Council’s Business Plan.


Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • they are an existing established cultural festival or event;
  • confirmed partnerships and quality of project management;
  • the inclusion of communities that may have lower levels of access to participation in cultural or artistic activities;
  • festivals / events that are unique to their local community and that celebrate and instil the pride of place.


  1. Strong community involvement and support;
  2. Partnership/collaboration working - a City and Culture Plan funding priority; and
  3. Active engagement of ethnically diverse artists and creatives and audiences and / or promotion of narratives, culture and heritage of ethnically diverse communities of Edinburgh.

We will be assessing the likely impact of the reintroduction of live activity and to what degree it will extend the reach of cultural opportunities in the city, especially in hard to reach communities.

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 cultural event or festival (i.e. what wouldn’t happen without this support).

All event and festival plans will be expected to evidence safe  social distancing and public health safety measures as per recommendations of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Events Sector Guidance.


Applications cannot be considered:

  • from organisations, festivals or events already in receipt of City of Edinburgh Council Cultural Strategic Partnership funding;
  • if received after the deadline date; and
  • unless there is a suitable management/governance structure in place.

Funding cannot support:

  • Revenue costs or permanent posts;
  • Press events or launches;
  • Equipment items or capital projects;
  • Activities which primarily take place outside Edinburgh.


Please read these guidelines carefully.  Applications must be submitted using the application form completed by the stated deadlines. Please contact or (after 9 August 2021) or 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 Standard Conditions of Grant, and the Budget spreadsheet.  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 a week 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

What happens next

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 a week of the fund deadline and you will be informed by email of the outcome within one week of the meeting.

Equal Opportunities Form

Please also complete the Equal Opportunities Form once you have submitted your application. The form is available at the link.

Privacy Notice

To deliver Council services we need to collect, store, use, share and dispose of personal information. This is known as data processing.

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.


  • Fund Information Session

    From 3 Aug 2021 at 11:00 to 3 Aug 2021 at 12:00

    Online Fund Information Session - register via Eventbrite at to participate.

  • Fund Information Session

    From 23 Aug 2021 at 17:00 to 23 Aug 2021 at 19:00

    Online Fund Information Session - To participate, register via Eventbrite at


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