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The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, on behalf of the Department for Communities (DfC), has opened online applications to the Covid Recovery Programme for Arts Organisations (CRPAO).

The new funding scheme is part of a wider funding Covid Recovery Programme, co-designed with seven sectoral bodies.

The Covid Recovery Programme for Arts Organisations is open specifically to arts and cultural organisations whose primary work is based in Northern Ireland. Its purpose is to reduce or remove organisations’ operating deficits. These are deficits which have arisen in the 2021/22 financial year because of the long period of lockdown experienced by the arts and cultural sector during the pandemic. It is hoped this support may alleviate the significant financial pressures arts organisations face, helping them to continue to contribute to the NI economy.

Applications will be accepted from organisations and venues working across all areas of the arts including drama, dance, literature, visual arts, music and participatory arts. Eligible organisations may apply for funding to cover deficits between £10,000 and £50,000. In exceptional circumstances requests for larger awards will be considered.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said,

“We are grateful to the Department for Communities for making this funding available to arts organisations. The opening of the Creative Recovery Programme for Arts Organisations represents an important step forward for the sector. Arts organisations across Northern Ireland have experienced significant financial and operational difficulties over the past two years and this fund will be vital to enabling them to plan ahead for 2022 and beyond.”

NICVA is holding two online information sessions on Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations 2022. The first one is Monday 10 January at 2pm and the second one is Wednesday 12 January at 12noon. The content will be the same for both, so attendees should only register for one session. Go to to find out more.

Applications to the Arts Council’s CRPAO programme will close at 12noon on Friday 28th January 2022, with decisions expected by the end of March 2022. Further funding details, including guidance notes, eligibility information and FAQs, are available from


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