From 17 February 2021, Arts Council of Wales is opening applications for the second round of the Connect and Flourish fund - its £5m National Lottery fund designed to encourage collaborative projects between organisations, individuals, and creative professionals.

Connect and Flourish is a new type of fund which encourages Lottery applicants to find innovative ways of creating work and connecting with audiences in spite of the Covid challenges.  A particular focus of the programme is creating more opportunities for unheard voices to contribute towards making the arts in Wales fairer and more representative and accessible. The programme offers grants of between £500 and £150,000 for projects with a strong emphasis on collaboration between individual artists, non-arts groups, and arts organisations. The fund aims to encourage new ideas that will support artists to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic, and to support a strong and resilient arts sector that properly reflects our country’s people and communities. The first round saw the distribution of £2.3m and the second round aims to share a further £2.7m. 

Guidance notes for the fund have now been published on the Arts Council of Wales website. The Arts Council is also introducing improvements to its application process to make it a simpler and more user-friendly experience.  Applicants will be asked to register for a code to access a new grants management portal - which is currently in its BETA phase. 

The new approach will allow the Arts Council to efficiently record applications, assist with grant decision information and get critical funding out quickly. To register for access to the Arts Council’s grants portal and to apply for Connect and Flourish, visit our funding pages here.

Please note that it can take up to 5 days for receipt of the registration code, so potential applicants are asked to allow sufficient time for this in their planning. If you experience any difficulties with your application or registration, then please e-mail so that we can help you swiftly

To coincide with the second round of the Connect and Flourish fund, Arts Council of Wales is hosting a series of virtual briefing sessions with co-hosts Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham and The Welfare, Ystradgynlais. More information about those events can be found here.

The closing date for this round of the Connect and Flourish fund is 17th March 2021.

See also details of drop-in sessions and two on-lines conversations to take place on "The How and Why of Collaboration Agreements".

Please see below a short subtitled video demonstration of the portal: