Cultural Innovation Grant Scheme

This scheme has now closed.  Please see the web site for details on when the next round will open.

The objectives of the current Winchester City Council Cultural Strategy include establishing Winchester as a vibrant centre for contemporary culture and creative enterprise alongside its reputation as a world-class heritage destination. Please refer, in particular to the Win: Win action plan on pages 14 to 17 of the strategy which can be found at

What is the grant scheme?
The cultural innovation grant scheme is a grant payment for festivals, cultural events or arts activities. The event or activity must be taking place in the Winchester District and benefit residents living in the Winchester District.

Grant funding rounds will be opened depending on funds available and are not guaranteed for future years.

Funding is given in two instalments to your organisation’s business account. The grant can be for a maximum of £2,000.

Priority will be given to organisations who are not already in receipt of core funding or funding through one of the community grant schemes (, and those who have not previously received cultural grant funding from Winchester City Council.

Only one grant per organisation will be paid and it will be paid for one year only.

Applicants must demonstrate to the grants panel how they are seeking to diversify income sources in order to reduce reliance on Winchester City Council in future years, and how grant funding will add value to the activities.

This grant scheme is not applicable for:

  • profit making events, activities and projects 
  • charity fund raising events
  • retrospective funding of spend on events, projects or activities
  • repeat events, activities and projects unless there is a new element being introduced
  • general running costs of an organisation
  • capital or project activities of a statutory nature

Who can apply?
Cultural organisations must be based and be active within the Winchester City Council area, and show evidence of need of grant funding but not be solely reliant on such funding.

How to apply?

Please use this online system to submit your application:

Applicants will be contacted within two weeks of the scheme rounds being closed to confirm if the application has been successful or not.

With your online application you must submit:

  • a fully completed application form 
  • a risk assessment
  • an event management plan (if appropriate)
  • your organisation's most recent accounts and cash flow forecast for the next financial year
  • evidence of costs for which a grant is sought (for example a print-out from a catalogue or web page)
  • details of the projected cost and sources of funding of the entire event or project

Funding cannot be provided for items that have already been ordered or purchased.

A Word copy of the application form is available on request.

What criteria are used to assess your application?

Winchester City Council is keen to encourage events which bring new or innovative ways to experience culture for residents and visitors alike.

Criteria are subject to change as the Council regularly reviews its policies and priorities. Your application should take account of the following criteria, which are based on the aims and aspirations of Winchester District’s Cultural Strategy, available to download below.

The proposed activity will be expected to support one or more of the following objectives:

a) stimulates creative prosperity and attracts creative investment to Winchester’s economy
b) attracts people of skill, talent and enterprise and encourages graduate retention
c) is new or innovative
d) sustains Winchester district's visitor appeal
e) provides new skills or learning opportunities for participants
f) enhances employment prospects
g) brokers partnership with other organisations or community groups
h) transforms public spaces into cultural spaces and generates fresh ways to experience established cultural venues
i) promotes digital innovation
j) encourages participation across a diverse range of people
k) develops independent funding for future events

Please refer to these criteria in your application.

Please note that any planning / building control / licence / business rates or other necessary consent must have been obtained before the grant is paid (for example, if your event is food-based, you may need to register with our environmental health team).

More information about planning an event can be found here:

When will the grant be paid?

If your application is successful, 50% of the grant funding will be paid within 21 days of receipt of your signed grant agreement. You will be contacted by our finance team for your credit details.  The remaining 50% will be paid after the event or activity has taken place on receipt of a project completion report and evidence of expenditure, such as receipts.

Project Completion Report

On completion of your event, activity or project you will be required to submit a report detailing:

  • how the grant money was used to improve the event
  • how the event met the criteria of the Winchester Cultural Strategy
  • audience numbers for the event and where participants came from
  • a conclusion

Winchester City Council audit checks

Winchester City Council reserves the right to investigate your organisation to check grant purchases have been made in accordance with the Cultural Grant Scheme criteria and application process.

For help and advice in using the online application form please contact:

Economy and Arts Support Officers (Carol Hussey and Zoe Sipsma)
Tel: 01962 848 196 or 01962 848 303

If you are having trouble using the online application system, please email us and let us know what the problem is.