Arts, heritage and culture sector

Coronavirus - COVID-19 – information and support for Cheshire East Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector

We know our cultural organisations have had to make some difficult decisions in recent weeks and we have been working to support you as best we can.

Some funders have re-opened main grant programmes, other still have emergency funding available. Please check directly on the funders website for the most up to date information.

ACE National Lottery Project Grants  

Arts Council have reopened this programme to fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as a priority. The supplementary guidance outlines what has changed to make the fund more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners during Covid-19.

Culture Recovery Fund: Grants second round

This new programme aims to support culturally significant organisations from April – June 2021 as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model. It's open to for-profit and non-profit arts and cultural organisations.

Key information

  • The minimum grant amount you can apply for is £25,000.
  • You can’t apply for more than £1 million in grants if you are a for-profit organisation or more than £3 million in grants if you are a non-profit organisation, local authority or university.
  • These limits include any money that has been received in the previous round of CRF, including grants delivered by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and the British Film Institute.
  • If your application for a grant takes you over these limits, then you should consider making an application to Repayable Finance.
  • You can apply for Repayable Finance from now until 12pm (midday) Thursday 7 January 2021.

Arts Council England: Culture Recovery Fund: Grants Second Round

Outdoor Arts UK are working on a series of initiatives devised to support the sector during this difficult time, to stay connected and up to date with the latest news. A range of resources are available to you..

More information can be found here:

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage: Second Round

Grants from £10,000 up to £3million

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England are awarding £36m of grants from this fund to support organisations and businesses who own, manage or work with heritage in England.

This second round will offer grants of between £10,000 and £3m to support organisations struggling under the pressures of coronavirus (COVID-19) to make the transition towards full reopening.

All you need to know about applying is in the guidance on the Heritage Fund website.

The fund will be open for applications from 7 January 2021.The deadline to apply is 2pm on 26 January 2021.

National Lottery Community Fund

All funding decisions for the next six months will prioritise getting funding to groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time focusing initially on existing grant-holders and applicants.

We will prioritise:

  • Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
  • Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19

If you would like to put in an application that is not related to COVID-19, you are still welcome to do so. However, please be aware that there is likely to be greater competition for our funding, and a delay in our ability to respond.

Creative Industries Federation, including sector specific support

Collated advice from across the sector to provide guidance to those in the creative industries who are affected by the Coronavirus and its fallout.

Their webpage is regularly updated as the situation develops.

Information on CEC Cultural Framework grants

The Cultural Economy Team have honoured all existing funding agreements for 2020/21 and are working to ensure swift payment of invoices to support cashflow within organisations. Grants will be paid with acknowledgement that agreed outcomes and timescales will be revised with organisations to what is achievable and realistic.

We are not currently processing any new Cultural Framework grants. Once the imminent crisis has passed, our approach will be to work strategically to provide sector support, and enable new projects to become available as the need for this expands. We anticipate our priorities will be to ensure the cultural sector is thriving, and to help people adjust back to life after lockdown has been lifted.

Please keep in touch with your regular officer within the Cultural Economy Team on the details below. We may not always know the answers to your queries, but we will always endeavour to support you:

Amy Lewis
Cultural Economy Development Manager

Janey Moran
Cultural Economy Development Manager


Andrew Latham
Outdoor Events Manager

Helen Paton
Cultural Economy Manager

CEC Early Help and Asset Based Community Development Grant

Covid-19 Community Response and Recovery Grant

The aim of the Covid-19 community response and recovery fund is to support community and voluntary organisations to adapt to new ways of offering support to communities, both during and following the coronavirus pandemic, as well as maintain and continue to offer services as government restrictions are lifted. Not-for-profit organisations are able to apply for a grant up to a maximum of £5,000 for projects and services for both response and recovery-type applications.

Go to our Covid-19 Community Response and Recovery Grant page for more information.

CEC Business Support

Information on business support, including business rate relief, can be found on the coronavirus covid 19 help for business rates customers page.

Cheshire East business helping business

Cheshire East’s People Helping People scheme, where you can offer or request support.

Leave us your details if you would like to offer support or need to access help.

Job Matching Service 

Our Supported Employment team want to job match people who are coming out of work as a result of Covid-19 with local employers who are looking to recruit temporarily.  

if you are a local employer who is looking to recruit we can source potential employees to meet current recruitment demand. Email your requirements to