Accessibility statement

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Apply for a small grant

Thanks to the generosity of the Holbeck Trust, small grants are available to support the development of York Festival of Ideas 2015 programme activities that showcase innovation.

Application guidance notes

What is the York Festival of Ideas?

The York Festival of Ideas was created by the University of York in 2011 with three city partners to showcase the University and city and to demonstrate the value of ideas, education and research. The Festival now works with more than 40 city and national partners to bring a diverse and inclusive programme of world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences for people of all ages. It has grown to become the largest free festival in the UK.

The Festival’s ethos is to ‘educate, entertain and inspire’ and our ambition is to become an internationally significant festival that will help promote the city of York as a a place where ideas spring to life and flourish, and where collaboration is celebrated.

What is the theme for 2015?

Secrets and Discoveries.

When and where does it take place?

At a variety of venues across York from 9 to 21 June 2015.

How much money is available?

The maximum grant available is £2,000. Most grants are likely to be in the region of £1,000.

What types of projects can get funding?

Any activity which is creative, innovative and links to the Festival theme of Secrets and Discoveries is eligible to apply. This could include a public talk or panel discussion, a theatrical or musical production, a hands-on activity, or an exhibition. You can apply on your own or as an organisation – a student group, Festival partner or local community group.

In keeping with the ethos of the Festival to educate, entertain and inspire, preference will be given to submissions which meet our accessibility agenda.

What can we spend the money on?

Your application will need to include:

  • A description of your activity that should include an explanation of how it links to the festival theme; identification of expected audiences and your key objectives in running such an activity
  • a clear budget outline of what your expenditure will cover –e.g. venue hire, props or costumes, travel expenses and accommodation for visiting speakers, refreshments, printing and other materials. Money from the Fund cannot be used to pay speakers’ fees
  • An outline marketing plan of how you intend to promote your activity

The funds may only be used to create, support or improve an event or activity that is especially being produced for York Festival of Ideas and might not otherwise be able to happen without financial support. You may not spend an Innovation Fund grant on the general running costs of your organisation. Any project costs you include in your application should be inclusive of VAT. All funded events must include prominent marketing showing support from York Festival of Ideas including the use of its logo, and must also support the cross-promotion of the wider Festival.

How will you decide who gets the funding?

There are four main criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Effectiveness in engaging young people and/or other hard-to-reach audiences
  • Quality of project planning
  • Your project must link with the theme of Secrets and Discoveries and must run during York Festival of Ideas

In your application, please describe as clearly as possible how your project meets these criteria.

How do I apply?

You must apply on our standard application form:

When do I need to apply by?

The closing date is 5pm on Monday 15 December 2014.

When will I know whether my application is successful?

We will let you know by email before the end of December.

Are any activities not eligible for funding?

Your project isn’t eligible if it takes place outside the city of York or outside the time of the Festival (9 to 21 June 2015).

I have further questions; who can help?

Please get in touch with Julia Smith at