Cultural Investment Fund

Financial support for creatives and cultural organisations, who want to create cultural initiatives, test new ideas and develop concepts




The Fund


Key info


Our Panel



The Cornavirus is a pandemic, the type of which we have not seen in this generation. It has affected the way in which we live, communicate and function and will continue to do so as the situation unfolds. It will have far reaching repercussions and will permanently change the way in which society operates.

The role of arts and culture has never been more important, in terms of how we react as a society and community to the crisis, but also how we shape a legacy for future generations. At the same time the sector has never been so precarious, itself at risk of becoming a fatal victim of the virus.

It is in this context that Plymouth Culture brings together a city partnership to develop a collective response to COVID-19. This is not about an immediate or miraculous solution but rather a collective will and shared strategy to ensure the sector survives the immediate threat, and that the city is poised for recovery in the medium to long term.

Our response

The National Portfolio Organisations – NPOs in Plymouth have come together to create a Cultural Investment Fund.

All organisations and individuals are under pressure at the moment but we understand as funded organisations that we have an opportunity and remit to support the wider cultural ecology.

Therefore, we have pooled our existing resources to kickstart this initiative.

Cultural Investment fund

The Cultural Investment Fund is designed to seed fund cultural initiatives. During this time we want to offer financial support to creatives and cultural organisations, but we want to take a different approach than simply commissioning artwork.

Instead, we want to give time for testing new ideas and developing concepts. We want to value the process as much as the output and therefore provide funding that gives time to think, evolve, partner and embed. We firmly believe that, if Covid has shown us anything, it is that things need to change within the sector and society, to create a more resilient and equitable future for all. If this is to become a reality then we need to invest differently in order to achieve a different future than the present.

The reason we are calling it an investment is because we are prepared to take some risks, in that we will be buying into a cultural initiative rather than a guaranteed artistic output. It is an investment because we are also looking for long term, scalable impact. We want these initiatives to test new ways of working so that the learning can be shared and embedded across the sector in Plymouth for positive, systemic change.

We see the Cultural Investment Fund, not only as a response to Covid, but as an integral part of developing the city’s Cultural Strategy. We want the strategy to be visionary and to challenge current norms to create a better future. As such we are looking for initiatives that seek to tackle the challenges we face within the sector and wider community, and reimagine the future.   

We want to make sure that, as far as possible, our funding supports individuals and cultural organisations that reflect the diversity of contemporary Britain. Therefore we welcome applications from ethnic minorities individuals and organisations.


1. To seed fund initiatives that reimagine how we work as a sector and city

2. To create a sustainable mechanism for cultural investment

3. To support organisations and individuals to innovate out of crisis

4. To create an approach to developing, amplifying and adopting new ways of working

Key information

Total fund £42,000

Grant range Minimum of £3,000 up to a maximum of £10,000


  • Must be a cultural or creative individual or organisation based in the South West
  • If based outside of Plymouth you must demonstrate that you will partner with at least one individual or organisation based within Plymouth (this must be a live, real partnership that you have already secured and not speculative)
  • Must not be an Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation
  • Must have a bank account in the name of yourself or your organisation
  • May be from any art form
  • Must be over 18
  • If the investment fund accounts for only a proportion of your total project costs, all other funding must be secured

Key dates Application Deadline: 12 pm (midday), 11 September 2020

Help Read our FAQs and watch our recent webinar via the link below.


This fund was made possible with the support of