Getting a Lottery Grant

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by premacyblue, May 27, 2006.

  1. premacyblue

    premacyblue Member

    Having just read a book on how much money the Government and the Lotteries syndicate waste each year I was wondering what excuse a band could use to get money for new instruments?
    A few I've come up with is :-

    a) We're the second richest Brass Band in the country !!
    b) We need to check the ill effects of playing a BBb Bass on Mount Everest!!

    Any suggestions out there would be much appreciated:wink::D:rolleyes:
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Yes, is does seem somewhat incredulous on times doesn't it when we read about other recipients of lottery funding and on what grounds they justify it. As a movement, we do seem to have to go through significant process (which is right and proper) in order to get comparatively small amounts of funding - even then, I haven't known this without it having to be matched by the band.

    The fact is that we are after what for us are significant sums of money (relatively speaking of course) makes it doubly difficult when our means of raising these amounts are constrained, compared to how much the Opera House and the likes are able to raise.

    It's a long, long way from being a level playing field and we are undoubtedly second class citizens.
  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I take the point, and the Lottery's habit of splashing money out on trendy, rather than worthy causes is annoying. But I have to say when we got our Lottery Grant about 10 years ago we had to find 10% of the final grant ourselves, but we were allowed to use previous recepts to do this - so the Timps we bought a couple of years before could be included. The form was a right ****** though - just like sitting an exam, and we had to set up a committee who met several times, to fill the thing out.

    Still it all seems a small price for 60 grands worth (at the time) of new instruments...:D
  4. alanbry

    alanbry Member

    If you let me have your email address I shall send details of a band in Wales who in 2005 was granted £60000 to purchase instruments.

    I tried for my for my band, Watford, had to submit a 2500 word justication and was turned down within 2 weeks of them receiving the application. Their comment from Arts Council being the project showed no development and that they were not in the habit of giving grants to Brass Bands. However their guidance notes has a section on brass bands. I think the main problem is the standard application form which asks about membership, nationality, disabilities etc.

    Fortunately you are in an area where you can justify on the basis of community, i.e past mining area, and may get better response.
    Last edited: May 31, 2006
  5. MarkGillatt

    MarkGillatt Member

    A good way of getting a more favourable reception to your application for a grant is to ensure you mention the development of young players as frequently as possible. Make it clear that you encourage youth in your band, ie someone from the main band takes time and trouble to set up a training band. Give the youngsters (for free) something that they would have to pay for to receive at school. That way you are pointing out that in order to improve GCSE results and league tables of local schools in academic subjects, the arts movement has been failed, with reduced funding, and a cut in music teachers, lesson times and instrument availability. That seems to work, as they don't like government failures being pointed out!

    Worked for our band! :clap:
  6. postie

    postie Member

    Bestwood actually recieved a grant from the Local Network Fund before Christmas to help kick start our junior band. Not quite the same as the lottery itself but I am not particular surprised that it has become far more difficult to get lottery grants themselves. Brass bands did have a run getting grants from the lottery 10 years ago but it does seem to have pretty much dried up since than.
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    At Killamarsh we are currently formulating a grant application for our training band plus we have spoken to people at a local Links scheme who can help with the forms. A few tips they gave us were to ensure that you target a specific funding body that has a criteria that matches your group. There are local and national targets that you should try and relate to e.g. from Awards for All

    "Small scale projects that promote arts and education, encourage healthier living, develop local sports, support heritage initiatives and boost community activities are invited to put their bids in for their share of £60 million of lottery funding that will be rolled out by Awards for All to community projects this year (2006-7)."

    Starting a training band meets all the underlined items, even the health aspect when considering the benefits of breathing control for children with asthma. We were also advised that when filling in the application question concentrate on the benefits regardless of what it's for. For example the benefits to health and community would be exactly the same if you were forming a junior football club as a brass band - try not to get too bogged down with what the band's going to do which the grant people wont be too bothered about. You can always add a separate appendix about the specifics.

    Oh and try to get someone to check over your form and filter out silly answers - e.g where they ask the age range of people that will benefit don't put "everybody" clearly you are unlikely to benefit babies or infants.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  8. postie

    postie Member

    When we did our grant we took all these points in mind
  9. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Excellent advice here from Francis. I would just add that its a good idea to think of the application form as an exam which you have to fully answer all applicable aspects of every question. You will should notice certain keywords for each question - find them out, and make sure you have compehensively answered each one. Don't waffle, but you should be submitting at least a decent length paragraph for most of them. Some may not apply of course, but I would think you'd be answering the vast majority - perhaps 90%. If you think something doesn't apply, ask yourself why, then ask again, and ask a third time! Make sure you are not being led into thinking something doesn't apply to your application just because of the way the question is worded. I think we were also told to write briefly why you feel something doesn't apply to you rather than just stick "NOT APPLICABLE" in the box. Also ensure that your answers are consistant across the whole application form.

    It's an arduous task - we actually set up a committee to do ours, and we each concentrated on a couple of questions individually, before we cross-checked the whole application as a committee. If I remember correctly it took us about 16 hours of discussion and fettling of answers before we were happy to submit the form. We did this after failing with our first application - but I'm led to believe lots of applications fail first time around. If you do fail, see if you can set up a meeting with someone from the Arts Council to discuss your application - we did and we had some tremendously useful advice for our second application. It doesn't neccessarily mean your application isn't suitable if it fails, it may be because you didn't fill the form in correctly, or you have missed a key point which they were specifically looking for.
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Thanks for that Ian, I'll make sure that Shaggy gets a copy of your post :) . I have to say I think the whole system of grant applications has become somewhat more arduous than 10 years ago. It was meant to be simple - "we are a good cause can we have some of that money that's been stacking up in your bank account for the last X number of years?". I'm sure we all think and know that brass bands and training bands are good causes but you now have to convince someone of that.

    We've been put off a number of times by the varying selection criteria which changes year to year - slant towards disabilities, ethnicity, asylum seekers etc. Now whilst we have an equal access policy we can't conjure up people that would meet this criteria and this could be considered a reason why you would not get a grant. Fortunately we are in a disadvantaged area due to the decimation of the coal industry which should assist any application we make.

    Anyway good luck to anyone else applying and perhaps people who have already recently applied and been successful can give the rest of us some tips here.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  11. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    The following is from a recent press release from the government regarding money for musical instruments in schools:

    £2 million boost for Musical Instruments

    Local Music Services will be given a cash boost of £2 million to spend on musical instruments for primary pupils Schools Minister Andrew Adonis said today as he announced the local allocations for the 2006 -07 musical instrument purchase and repair fund.

    (Of which the following has been allocated to the East Midlands)


    We were thinking of applyling to Awards for All for a grant up to £10,000 for our training band where as the WHOLE of Derbyshire gets £14,900.00 for this years instrument allocation. Now I maybe missing something here but Derbyshire Schools must have thousands of pupils yet we would only be looking to get a group together of about 30 - not that we are complaining but can anyone attempt to explain the inbalance?
  12. postie

    postie Member

    I can see that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire isn't exactly getting a great deal of money. Bestwood Youth Brass started three weeks ago and virtually straight away we were full. It does show their are kids that want to learn to play. I am afraid to say that is enough in cash terms but I suppose they would argue their is no bottomless pit!!

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