Expanding Horizons Fund


Expanding Horizons Fund

BPH is delighted to be able to launch the Expanding Horizons Fund for small creative businesses and more experienced creative practitioners*. This fund is all about helping the live arts sector in Bradford to grow. Through helping people to develop strategies, business plans and other kinds of business development, we ultimately aim to:

Increase the scale and range of creative organisations and creative work made.

Increase the number and variety of jobs and opportunities available.

Help shift the diversity of the sector to be more representative of Bradford.

Funding will be in the range of £500 – £1,500. We want to support development projects to happen in 2022. This is a one-off opportunity (not a rolling fund) with a total funding pot of £10,000. For development needs that require less than £500, please apply to Spare Bob.

* Small to medium sized organisation = up to 10 employees. More experienced artist / practitioner = at least 5-years experience (or 3 years pre-Pandemic).

Deadline for applications: Monday 28 February 2022, 5pm

Why the Expanding Horizons Fund?

Many people doing really great work in Bradford have told us that they also lack the time, expertise or support to take a step back and plan their development. People are constantly chasing funding, jumping from one project to another with little time to reflect, or struggling to pull together a clear plan of how to get their project / festival / company to where they want to be. Does this sound like you?!

The purpose of the Expanding Horizons Fund is to help you take a step back, clarify your aims, plan for the future, get an ‘outside eye’, focus, understand the steps you need to take, and identify what you need to do to achieve your ambitions.

This is not a fund simply to pay someone to ‘do the job for you’ (unless that is needed for access reasons). We are looking to support people who want to develop their own / their organisations’ strategic and business planning, through working alongside an expert and gaining skills.

Expanding Horizons Fund projects could be:

Strategic Planning: You do loads of things, but need some help to be clearer and more focussed on what you do, why, and where you want to get to. This might include: Reviewing what you’ve done to date; defining who you are and what you do; developing confidence in your purpose and your decision making; clarifying where you’re trying to get to and how you’re going to get there.

Business Planning: You know who you are and what you’re trying to do, but you need a clear and detailed business plan that clearly lays out who you are and what you do and describes your next 3-5 years: An active, useful, working plan that you will actually USE! This might include: detailing Projects / Productions / Events; fundraising and financial forecasting; staffing and organisational structures; premises; strategies; environmental impact; evaluation and legacy.
Business plans don’t need to be boring: Example of business plans.

Another Development Need: You have a clear idea of the support you need that will enable you to grow, such as bringing in expertise in a specific development area, or gaining a particular skill through attending a course.

Criteria - You will:

Be a small to medium sized creative organisation, or an individual creative / artist / practitioner.*

Have been delivering your work / company for at least five years already (or 3-years pre-Pandemic) – there is no upper limit, we recognise that people with lots of experience may also want to expand their horizons.

Not have unrestricted reserves or other funds that could be used to pay for this support.

Be working in the live performance sector.

Be based in the Bradford District.

Have a clear idea of the support you need, and how it will help you grow.

Have the time to commit to this opportunity and to make the most of the expertise provided.

This funding is Not for:

Early career creatives / practitioners with less than 3-years experience – check out BPH Mentoring Scheme and Spare Bob fund instead.

Developing creative projects, even if you feel they will help you grow (e.g. R&D, seed funding, creative workshops, etc) – check out CBMDC events grants, ACE Project Grants, or BPH Make Work.

Paying someone to ‘do a job for you’, like writing a funding bid (unless this is for access reasons) – check out our Fundraising Working Group Sessions and other training opportunities.

Remember the aim of this fund is to support you to develop your business or strategy by investing in a clear development type activity that will help you to grow.

Application Process

Deadline for applications: Monday 28 February 2022, 5pm

Please submit your application in the button below. You are welcome to apply in writing, 300-500 words, through audio or video, 3 minutes maximum for audio and video files, selfie style on your phone is fine!

If you have any questions or need any support with your application, please don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@bdproducinghub.co.uk

The key questions we ask are:

1) Tell us about your work, provide links if possible.

2) Tell us how you meet the criteria.

3) Describe the support you need.

4) Why do you need this support, how will it help you to grow?

5) How much time do you think you will need to give to this development, and how much time from an expert do you think you will need?
(Note: In our experience people who have the skills and experience to support this kind of work tend to charge in the region of £400 a day – so bear this in mind when thinking about what is achievable within the funds available.)

6) Do you know someone you would like to support you? (You can identify someone, or we can help match you up with someone based on your needs.)

Review process:

A team of 3 people from the Project Team and the Creativity Council will review your application and come back to you to:

Confirm whether your application is eligible.

Ask any questions we may have.

We will then review and come back to you to confirm whether we are able to offer you Expanding Horizons Fund support at this time. If you are unsuccessful, we will try to make alternative suggestions on how we might help you meet your needs (for example training courses, mentoring, or other development opportunities).

We will prioritise applications where:

We can clearly see how the support would help you / your organisation / the sector to grow.

We feel that what you want to do is realistic and achievable.

The support could help impact the huge inequalities in representation and diversity in cultural leadership in Bradford.

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