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Watford Cultural Support & Development Grant

Businesses, Freelancer or Collective? Need financial support to sustain your contribution to Watford’s incredible creative and cultural offering? Help is here, read on! 

Watford Palace Theatre and Watford Borough Council are delighted to announce a new Government grant to support local cultural and creative businesses, live, digital, or hybrid, which have been impacted by Covid. It aims to help retain your talent in Watford and improve your creative and business skills so that you can continue to contribute to the vibrancy of the town. 

A limited number of grants of £1,000 – £5,000 are available, with up to £10,000 available. Where possible, we will ask you to provide match funding. 

You might use a Watford Cultural Support & Development Grant to access: 

  • Bespoke training. 
  • Developmental and mentoring opportunities. 
  • Match funding. 
  • Funding to develop new products and services. 
  • Digital and other business equipment. 
  • Professional consultancy services to improve the sustainability of your business (e.g. marketing, digital, and accountancy services). 

We may also be able to signpost you towards these or other resources, people, and organisations, to aid the sustainability of your business after the pandemic, and help build your business, collective or freelance work, here in Watford. 

We know that time is money so before asking you to make any proposals we want to check that you’re eligible for the terms of this grant that have been laid down by central government. Once you’ve checked the eligibility criteria below, simply answer the simple questions at the link below by Thursday 21st October and we’ll do the check and get back to you.  

Click here to fill out the Expression of Interest form

You’ll then be asked to provide a one page rationale and simple one page budget. You may wish not to commit your time to writing the rationale and budget until we’ve confirmed you’re eligible, but in any event the deadline for this will be 28th October 

Decisions, or requests for more information or interview will be communicated in the following two weeks, ie by 12th November. 

What are the eligibility criteria? 

  • Living or working in Watford; 
  • Impacted by COVID-19; 
  • Were trading prior to 16 December 2020 and continue to trade today. 

We particularly welcome applications from those who: 

  • Expect to contribute to the cultural and creative life of Watford over the medium term. 
  • Produce high quality projects with artistic ambition. 
  • Bring, equality, diversity, and inclusion to the cultural and creative life of Watford. 
  • Are planning projects which Watford Palace Theatre consider to have audience appeal and financial viability. 
  • Are committed to environmental sustainability. 
  • Have fewer than five full-time employees.  

Applications from collectives are welcomed. (Collectives are creative industry organisations where several people collaborate over a period of time but only receive income when a project receives funding). 

You’re not eligible if you or your business: 

  • Is in business rate arrears. 
  • Has action against it by the council. 
  • Is not financially viable e.g. in liquidation, dissolved, struck, or subject to a striking-off notice. 
  • Is proposing to use the funding as a wage support mechanism for capital projects that do not provide direct business support. 

Further rounds of funding may be available later in the financial year if the funds available are not allocated in this round. 

Pictured: Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, with Watford Palace Theatre’s Head of Community Engagement, Samantha Ford