Mid and East Antrim Council like many others were forced to place many of their Cultural and Community Grant Schemes on hold due to the uncertainty about COVID Restrictions and the lack of funding from Stormont. This placed many local groups and events in an impossible position.

At a time when communities need all the support they can get and many charities and voluntary organisations are struggling we have been lobbying local MLAs to support funding initiatives for projects which can deliver community and cultural activities which can be delivered safely.

One approach we have advocated and indeed worked closely with a local community museum to deliver was a Virtual VE Day project. This will allow local groups to reach new audiences, and if it can be matched with material and activities for older people unable to access virtual events online then we can see a viable alternative to traditional annual events.

We would welcome this move from MEA Council and pay tribute to the ability of grants staff to launch this at such a difficult time. It is a benchmark for other Councils and if the Government are serious about their efforts to ensure that social distancing and other guidelines are followed then they should not just be enforcing restrictions, but promoting alternatives.

As we see protect movements mobilising in flagrant disregard for the law, taking to the streets and putting lives at risk we must all pay tribute to the membership based organisations from both sides of the community which celebrate cultural and religious events through parades and public events. They have shown leadership and imagination as they have ensured members follow the government guidelines and enjoy their traditions safely. The same goes for sporting organisations whose calendars have been decimated.

We look forward to working with many existing clients whose festival and events we have helped to organise and promote as they look at new and exciting formats to deliver. For those wanting to run something but are unsure how then come and speak to our events team today.

Details of Funding

From midday on Thursday 4 June, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will invite applications from constituted groups based in the borough for the Cultural Celebrations Grants Scheme for VIRTUAL EVENTS taking place between 10 and 13 July and 14 and 17 August 2020.  Funding is available to encourage the expression of cultural identity at the time of the traditional July/August events for virtual events only.

Examples of Projects

  • Enabling online streaming of virtual events such as internet workshops which could include culturally based cookery demonstrations and children’s crafting activities.
  • Production of cultural activity packs for distribution amongst communities.
  • Enabling the recording of online resources with regard to cultural education which can be viewed by communities – e.g. history talks etc.

Applicants must ensure that they are committing to virtual activities only and that allactivities for which funding is provided must be planned and undertaken in compliance with the Government’s social distancing guidance, to protect everyone from the risk of infection.

Levels of Financial Support

  • Single Day Event  –  100% funding up to £1,500


How to Apply

Applications for all schemes can be made online at  https://mea.eformz.info. Applications received after the closing dates will not be accepted.

The closing date for applications for the Cultural Celebrations Grants Scheme is 12noon Friday 19 June 2020.

For help with the planning process, funding application or delivery of virtual events contact us today.