Mayflower 400 Cultural Fund

The Mayflower 400 Cultural Fund closed for expressions of interest (EOIs) on 17th November 2017. We received 108 expressions of interest to the fund with a total ask of over £3 million; a huge number of applications which reflects the interest amongst Plymouth artists in exploring the themes of Mayflower 400.

A team made up of Plymouth Culture and Mayflower 400 staff was created to assess the eligible applications and draw up a long-list of just over half the applications (55 in total). These long-list EOIs were then sent to a judging panel which contained expertise across multiple artforms as well as the community and youth sectors. To ensure impartiality, a number of the judges were from outside Plymouth. There were many excellent submissions and the hard process began of shortlisting the very best projects. Staff from Arts Council England, Mayflower 400 and Plymouth Culture were present on the judging panel.

In December  2017, 35 projects were shortlisted and in January 2018 these applicants were invited to draw up more detailed plans for the second stage of their application. These were submitted by 19th March, and once again the judging panel read over the applications and sat down to assess the projects. Some very difficult decisions had to be made between several brilliant projects competing for a limited  fund. Unfortunately we were not able to award funding to all of the shortlisted projects.

10 excellent projects ranging from very large to small were selected from the shortlist and have been asked to secure their remaining partnership funding or be well on the way to achieving this by November 2018. The panel agreed that all of these projects explore the themes of Mayflower 400 in innovative ways, and represent a broad number of artforms as well as arts organisations and individuals.

“Arts Council representatives were pleased to be part of the decision-making panel for the Mayflower400 Cultural Fund. The quality of the applications and ideas presented were very strong which meant we had to make some tough decisions about how to invest the limited resource. The expertise involved in supporting these decisions was sought from the wider arts and culture sector and were a valuable resource. We are very pleased with the outcome which supports a diverse range of artists, disciplines and innovative ideas for Mayflower 400.”
    – Nema Hart, Relationship Manager Creative Media, Arts Council England South West

So, what happens next?

We are working with the successful projects to help them secure their remaining partnership funding. Once this has been confirmed, we will announce the core arts and culture programme projects in November 2018 alongside the announcement of the rest of the core Mayflower 400 programme. Three projects have been placed on reserve in the event that any of the final projects are not able to secure their additional partnership funding.

We are also working closely with many of the shortlisted projects who were not successful in their Mayflower 400 Cultural Fund applications to explore other avenues of funding and new potential partnerships. We have also offered feedback and advice sessions to all 108 initial applicants to the fund, many of whom have taken up this offer. Recently, on 5th June, we held an event with Arts Council England on their new Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants fund which included a presentation and one to one surgeries.

If you would like advice on your arts project, please feel free to contact Plymouth Culture through the contact form below. Please note that we are a very small team with part-time staff members, and are involved with lots of projects across the city – we will reply as soon as we can!

If you have any questions about the Mayflower 400 Cultural Fund, please contact us by using the contact form on the right.

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