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Arts Opportunities and Funding

Arts development.Culture Fund

The Culture Fund is now open to applications from organisations planning cultural events, activities or projects taking place in Orkney between1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023. In this instance ‘culture’ means arts, heritage, or language (i.e. Orkney dialect).  This includes festivals, museums, heritage centres and arts projects and is aimed at enabling Orkney residents to access the highest quality cultural events and activities as well as publicising Orkney to visitors.  The fund is managed by the Arts, Museums and Heritage Service and the total available fund and any funds allocated to successful applicants are subject to Orkney Islands Council’s budget setting process.

Who can apply?

The Culture Fund supports formerly constituted not-for-profit organisations in producing, delivering or promoting cultural activity and/or programmes. This fund will support cultural organisations for their general running costs as well as specific activities. It will also support non-cultural organisations to deliver cultural activities and programmes.  Applicants will have to have clear financial procedures and produce audited accounts in keeping with the scale of their operation.

Applications for 2022 are now closed.

Visual Artist and Craft Maker AwardsVisual Artist and Craft Maker Awards

The Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards (VACMA) scheme offers small grants to visual artists and craft makers for their creative development at all stages of their career. These awards are supported by Creative Scotland through funding from the National Lottery in partnership with Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   

This year we will continue to offer fixed bursaries in recognition of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on individual artists and makers. The VACMA scheme offers two levels of bursaries:   

The fund is open to visual artists and craft makers who can demonstrate a commitment to developing their creative practice and who are living or working or maintaining a studio space within the Local Authority area to which they are applying.  

The dates for 2022-2023 are currently pending. The old guidelines and application form are available below.  


Additional Funding

Creative Scotland have additional art form funding partners. Further information can be accessed from the 'Related Sites' section of this page.

Create:Networks Fund

This fund is to help organisations, creative businesses or creative practitioners create new, or develop existing, local creative business networks in Scotland. The fund will support these networks through knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer networking, and business and market development support. Successful applicants will be expected to develop a 12-month programme which establishes a local business network, to support broad-based creative business and market development activity. The network will ultimately deliver public benefit by helping the participating creative practitioners and businesses to grow and become more sustainable.

Further details can be found on the Creative Scotland website which can be accessed from the 'Related Sites' section of this page. 

General Charitable Trust

The Orkney Islands Council General Charitable Trust manages funds that were bequeathed by individuals and families for good causes.

Small grants can be awarded by the Trust to help projects that advance and promote educational activities and applications are open to anyone – individuals, groups, charities, schools etc.

For Orkney Islands Council General Charitable Trust enquiries - contact the finance team.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A range of funding opportunities in relation to innovation and entrepreneurship is available from a variety of external sources, including:

Further information on all of the above is available on their websites which can be accessed from the ‘Related Sites’ section of this page.

Further Information

For further information about any of the above details, please contact Emma Gee, Arts Officer:

Address: Education, Leisure and Housing, Council Offices, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY.

Telephone: 01856873535 extension 2406.

Email: Emma Gee.

Related Links

Related Sites

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS