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Watford cultural and creative businesses are invited to apply for grants of up to £10k

Applications are open for financial support grants of up to £10,000 for local creative businesses and freelancers to sustain their contribution to Watford’s cultural landscape.

Watford Palace Theatre and Watford Borough Council are delighted to announce a new grant to support local cultural and creative businesses, live, digital or hybrid. It aims to help retain talent in Watford and improve creative and business skills so that companies can continue to contribute to the vibrancy of the town.

A limited number of grants are available. It is expected that most grants will be between £1,000 - £5,000, with up to £10,000 available if appropriate. Where possible, organisations will be asked to provide match funding.

Watford Cultural Support and Development Grants can be used to access:

  • Bespoke training.

  • Developmental and mentoring opportunities.

  • Match funding.

  • Funding to develop new products and services.

  • Digital and other business equipment.

  • Professional consultancy services to improve the sustainability of the business (e.g. marketing, digital and accountancy services).

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Based in Watford.

  • Impacted by COVID-19.

  • The company/freelancer was trading prior to 16 December 2020 and continues to trade today.

Eligible businesses and freelancers can apply for a grant at

Further rounds of funding may be available later in the financial year if the funds available are not allocated in this round.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor says "The cultural sector has been phenomenal, especially over the last 18 months, and made a massive difference in the lives of so many Watford residents. And the council is really keen to continue working with Watford Palace Theatre to support businesses of all types as they adapt. We know that lots of businesses are changing the way they operate so we want to work really closely with cultural providers and creatives in the town to help them to prosper into the future. We want to prioritise this sector to support them to receive training and mentorship, develop new products and services, improvise the sustainability or their business or invest in necessary equipment.

Head of Community Engagement Samantha Ford adds "We're delighted to be working with Watford Borough Council to help sustain creative businesses in Watford through the government's ARG Grant. This follows on from Watford Palace Theatre's support for local freelancers in the Three Counties via an open call-out last year, funded though the government's Cultural Recovery Fund. Many cultural businesses have suffered greatly during the pandemic, and we are excited to be able to support the resilience and imagination of local colleagues through these grants".

The deadline for initial expressions of interest is 21 October 2021. If an applicant is successful at this stage a one page rationale and a one page budget are all that is needed for the second round (deadline 28 October). Decisions or requests for more information or interview will be communicated in the following fortnight (by 12 November).

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