The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts and Arts & Business NI

21 Sep 2020

The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts and Arts & Business NI

The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund (The Fund) in partnership with Business to Arts and Arts & Business NI will distribute a total of €1million (£840,000)  between 2020 and 2022 to support artists and arts projects across the island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), including all art forms whose projects benefit a range of audiences.

The Fund will support or commission artists or groups of artists to work with a partner organisation (e.g. a venue or event, arts organisation, community/voluntary organisation or another funding agency/organisation) in the development of new or existing artwork(s) / arts project(s). In 2020, The Fund aims to support artwork(s) / arts project(s) that:

1. have been adapted due to COVID-19 

With this criteria, we are seeking to support artwork(s) / arts project(s) that have been adapted due to COVID-19. For example, this may include projects that require funding to help with the costs, equipment or expertise related to:

i) technology and distribution of artwork(s) / arts project(s) online (e.g. professional filming, equipment, and skills required)

ii) adapting venues, exhibition spaces or spaces for performances for socially-distant audiences etc.

iii) adapting models for the delivery of learning and public engagement programmes to reach their audience

iv) adapting artwork(s) / arts project(s) so they can be realised in the public realm or outdoors

 2. are inspired by/respond to COVID-19 

With this criteria, we are seeking to support the creation of new artwork(s) / arts project(s) based on themes, narratives, or ideas which have been prompted due to living through the pandemic and our current environment. For example, this may include helping to realise new artwork(s) / arts project(s) created specifically:

i) for digital and online audiences

ii) for the public realm or outdoors

iii) hybrid models of delivery (e.g. online and in-venue)

iv) to respond to themes of people impacted by COVID-19, lockdown, opening society, etc

 We realise that we are unable to support all areas of need being experienced by the arts sector with this fund, and as a result we have focused on the above two criteria

For this first round, only projects that plan to take place between February 2021 and December 2021 are eligible. We plan to open a second and third round for applications in April/May 2021 and in April/May 2022. The above criteria are applicable for this round and may change in rounds two and three.

Size of Grants

Applicants can request funds between €3,000 – €10,000 / c. GBP£2,500 – £8,400. Average grants will be €5,000 / GBP£4,200, with maximum grants of €10,000 / GBP£8,400. Artwork(s) / arts project(s) with larger budgets that have secured funds elsewhere are encouraged to apply. With each grant round the Fund aims to provide funding to an artwork / art project in each county on the island of Ireland

Key dates

Mon, 21 Sep, 2020: Open for applications

Wed, 30 Sep, 2020: Information webinar #1  at 12pm

Wed, 7 Oct, 2020: Information webinar #2 at 2pm

Wed, 4 Nov, 2020: Deadline for applications

Thurs, 31 Dec, 2020: Applicants informed by email

February — December 2021: Projects to take place

Key Documents

Eligibility Requirements and Criteria

Application Questions (for reference only)

Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply

  1. Applications will be made via a Business to Arts online portal. Visit
  2. Review the eligibility requirements to ensure the suitability of your application
  3. Click apply
  4. Register your details with our application system (please ensure you click the link in your verification email. You will not be able to start your entry until you do this.)
  5. Complete your application
  6. Ensure you submit your application before 5:00pm on Wednesday November 4, 2020


Should you require assistance, please consult the FAQs available here. There will be two information webinars for applicants to The Fund on:

Wed, 30 Sep, 2020 at 12pm (register here)

Wed, 7 Oct, 2020 at 2pm (register here)

If you have any questions on The Fund in regard to applications Adam Bradley, in the Arts & Business team would be happy to advise – please email Adam on

For technical difficulties with your application, please contact the Business to Arts Fund team by email on or call +353 1 662 9238 and they will be able to assist you.

Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.