I have started this FAQ document to cover some of the questions I have received so far. Most information is in the guidelines, so this is extra info and quite specific. If you still have questions feel free to email me and ask – firstname.lastname@example.org
Please double check any applications before sending them to ensure you have answered every question and are submitting the final versions of the document.
Submitting my Application
- How do I know that you go my application?
You will get an email to let you know that I have received your application. I will let you know if I can’t open the file, to allow you to resubmit but, as all applications are treated fairly, I can’t give any specific advice on things you might do to improve it. If you don’t get an email after you have submitted your application, please contact me to check. I am trying to respond as quickly as possible to let people know, but work three days a week, and so there might be some delay. As we get towards the deadline, and more applications arrive, response might be further delayed. If you send your application in on the 21 Feb (deadline day), please contact me if you have not had an email to say I have received this by mid day Wednesday 24th Feb.
Where is Sheffield?
- Why is this fund so specific to Sheffield City Boundary – I fall just over the border… will I still be eligible?
Funding is for freelancers based in Sheffield – this is not the S postcode or Sheffield City Region – but for people who live or work within Sheffield City Boundary. Contributions to the fund are from Sheffield City Council and organisations based in Sheffield and comes with strict guidance on where spend can be allocated. Unfortunately if you fall outside of the boundary, you are ineligible.
- How do I check if I’m inside Sheffield City Boundary?
This map gives you a good idea of the area, but if you are unsure or are on the border, you can put your postcode into Google Maps and the Sheffield City Boundary is marked as a grey dotted line.The Council also have this searchable map of their Electoral Wards, where you can tap in your postcode. If this doesn’t appear – you are not in the City Boundary.
- What do you mean by ‘work in Sheffield’?
To be eligible, you need a work address in Sheffield. This might mean an artist’s studio or an office you rent, for example. If you live outside the city, but most of the places you work (ie the museums, or university) are based in Sheffield. You need an eligible address of your own.
Am I Freelance?
- What do you mean by freelance?
Freelance is defined as ‘being self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments.’
- I supplement my freelance career with other work (either in the arts or not), can I still apply?
We understand that many people who work in the arts sector have to supplement their income by working part time in either arts jobs or in other industries. You are eligible to apply if you undertake art or cultural work and this forms some part of your income. You need to prove this through telling us about your experience and track record in the ‘Tell us about You and Your Recent Projects‘ section of the form and provide either a link to your work, reference or proof of membership of equity, the musicians union etc. Your arts activity should generate income. This funding is not for allowing you to undertake artwork as a hobby, whilst working else where.
- Am I eligible to apply if I undertake freelance work but have a Sole Trader Limited Company?
Yes, if you work freelance for different organisations but payments are made through a limited company, which you are the director of, you are still eligible to apply for funding.
Applying as a group
- I work with a group of artists, can we apply together?
Although the fund is primarily aimed at individual art and cultural workers, a group of artists working together are eligible to apply. In order to meet eligibility requirements, each member of the group would need to be working in the arts, be Sheffield based and be freelance. The group would need to nominate a lead applicant whose bank account and UTR Number would be used, if successful. If the group has its own bank account, each group member would need to have individual UTR Numbers. Please note, we can only accept applications from groups of artists if you have been working together for some time and can show this in your application.
- What is a UTR Number, why do I need one and how do I get one?
A UTR is a Unique Tax Reference Number and is issued to anyone in the UK who needs to complete a tax self assessment. If you’re freelance, self-employed, a sole trader, or you own a limited company, you’ll need a UTR to submit your tax return. THaving this doesn’t mean you will necessarily pay tax, but will report to HMRC on your income. These grants are only payable to self employed / freelance workers and therefore you should already have a UTR Number. If you don’t, you can get a UTR Number from here. This generally takes 2-3 weeks, although it may take longer right now, due to Covid.If you don’t have a number right now, you can apply for a UTR and tell us that this is in progress on your application. If your application is successful, funding won’t be released until you have this.
Budgets + Money
- How much should I apply for? Do I need to include a breakdown budget?
Apply for what you need, rather than what is available. The amount you apply for should reflect the activity you have outlined in your application.You don’t need to breakdown the budget, but you can include information on the price of equipment or a workshop, if you feel that this helps to explain your application.
- If I’m successful, will I get the amount I applied for?
We are trying to support as many people as we can through this fund, as such successful applicants might get a little less than asked for, if this feels an appropriate decision. Therefore while the Panel won’t be taking an ‘all or nothing’ approach, neither are they aiming to give everyone ‘just a little bit’ as we don’t believe spreading funds thinly is the way to make a difference.
- You mention using funds for match against the Arts Council DYCP Scheme… Can it be used for match other funding application?
Yes, if successful you could use the funding to apply for more funding from other sources, not just DYCP.
- What do you mean by developing my practice?
Your application should be more about research and development than project delivery. Make sure its about your own research, development and knowledge and how this might impact on you adapting your work offer or help sustain you/your practice, not solely focussed on delivering a project.
- Can you give feedback on my idea before I send it in, to check its eligible?
Whilst I am happy to answer specific questions on the scheme about eligibility or other concerns, I am unable to review applications and suggest where you might improve these or what you should apply for. This is to ensure that there is no conflict of interest and all applications are treated fairly. I would strongly recommend getting someone else to read through your application before you submit it though.
Posted on 22nd January 2021