Who can apply for funding in Northern Ireland?

Eligible employers are those working across the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s footprint of Music, Dance, Drama, Literature, Visual Arts, Craft, Festivals, Arts Venues, Community Arts, Galleries, Museums, Circus and Carnival Arts.

Image: Michelle Fuller
Image: Michelle Fuller

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme (NI CEP) can fund job roles in enterprise and freelancing, and it can fund roles that are not strictly ‘creative’ e.g. business and administration, box office, as long as the employers fall within the identified footprint.

Types of businesses eligible for funding

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme is for any organisation, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) or sole trader, working across the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s footprint that would like to provide NI CEP opportunities.

Commercial organisations are eligible for NI CEP funding as we are part-funding work opportunities, not an organisation’s core business.

We’d like to receive applications from organisations of all sizes. However, if it is difficult to make an application due to your limited capacity, we would encourage you to work in partnership with larger organisations.

If you are not sure who you could work with, we can explore this with you, so please contact us or email nicep@ccskills.org.uk.

Applications from museums and libraries

NI CEP will support some opportunities in museums where job roles and skill sets are common to arts organisations, for example: front of house, education and outreach, marketing, digital media. 

You do not need to be an Accredited museum or formally Working Towards Accreditation to apply for funding. However we would expect those organisations applying to NI CEP are eligible for Accreditation to be within the scheme. We will take account of Accredited status as an indication of organisational quality assurance within our assessment criteria.

Apprenticeship pathways

NI CEP will fund any pathway that is relevant to the arts and cultural workforce, including (but not limited to):

  • Live Events & Promotion
  • Music Business
  • Technical Theatre
  • Costume & Wardrobe
  • Cultural and Heritage Venue Operations
  • Community Arts
  • Design
  • Set Crafts
  • Creative and Digital Media
  • Enterprise
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service