Christmas Events Fund 2024/2025
1. Fund Background Information

Christmas Events Fund 2024/25 (part of the Community Festival Fund)- Grants from £1,000 and up to £3,000

Fund Key Dates:  
Date Opens: 10.00am Monday 6th November 2023
Date Closes: NEW CLOSING DATE: 12 Noon Wednesday 6th December 2023
Current Status: Closed for Applications

The Community Festivals Fund Application Form is used to apply for financial support from Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The fund was established in recognition of the potential contribution that festivals can make to communities, to the local economy and wider Government policy priorities. The primary purpose of the community festivals fund is to improve the capacity of community festivals and make them less reliant on public funding. The fund enables community organisations to celebrate their cultural identity and to strengthen community relations.

Part of this Fund also includes the Christmas Events Fund. This fund is focused on bringing communities together and creating the space for shared inclusive celebration around the Christmas period, while creating a memorable experience. It must provide quality Christmas programming which complements the overall city and district offer.

Applicants may apply to the Christmas Events Fund for an amount from £1,000 and up to £3,000. However, only one successful application (regardless of amount) can be held by any group in the current 2024/25 financial year. The Christmas events fund will prioritise allocation to at least one event per District Electoral Area (DEA) based on eligible applications. In the event that there are no applications from any DEA the funds will be allocated into the main Community Festival Fund as happened in the previous year.

Definition of a Community Festival

A community Festival is a series of events with a common theme and delivered within a defined time period. It is developed from within a community and should celebrate and positively promote what the community represents.

Community festivals are about participation, involvement and the creation of a sense of identity and are important in contributing to the social well-being of a community.

They must be initiated and led by a community organisation or a community led partnership. It is not enough to run a festival for a community, the community must play a strong part in the development and delivery of the festival and have ownership of it.

General Principles

This is a competitive scheme and applications will be determined on the basis of merit.

Applications to this scheme will be open to all festivals that can meet the core criteria of the scheme irrespective of whether they are established or emerging events.

Festivals will continue to be able to apply to other sources of public support.

All festivals must demonstrate their commitment to promoting social cohesion, social inclusion, equality of opportunity and good relations.

Festivals should contribute to the promotion of a positive image of Northern Ireland and organisers must take steps to avert anti-social behaviour.

Organisations in receipt of public funding must comply with all statutory obligations regarding the delivery of and access to their events.

Festival organisations will make every effort to increase capacity within the community through e.g. skills training and volunteering.

Festival organisations will be expected to make efforts to maximise income through ticket sales and sponsorship. They should develop a plan to improve their sustainability and reduce reliance on public funding.

It is a prime responsibility of Government to ensure the proper and efficient use of and the accountability of public monies. To this end, festivals will be required to provide relevant supporting information when applying for funding.

Festival organisations will be required to demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of their festival and that public funding is put to good use and shows a positive and measurable impact on the local community or economy.

Assessment Criteria

The following are the Community Festival/Events key criteria:

  • Promotes social inclusion and improving community relations.
  • Has strong community participation in the design and delivery of the event.
  • Provides opportunities for your community to express and celebrate their cultural heritage.
  • Provides opportunities for development - this includes capacity building, links with other organisations and diversity of activities.
  • Attracts visitors to the area.
  • Demonstrates how it will ensure that hard to reach groups will engage with your festival as volunteers, participants and audience.
  • Demonstrate how it will complement and contribute to the existing calendar of events.
  • Maximises non-public sources of income (e.g. through commercial sponsorship, donations, ticket sales, advertising revenue, etc).
  • Demonstrates value for money and good financial governance.

These Guidance Notes explain how to complete the Application Form and who you can contact for additional help with your application.

How does the fund work?

  • There is one round of funding per financial year.
  • You can apply for grant aid from £1,000 up to a maximum of £5,000 (Lower Level) or from £5,001 to a maximum of £10,000 (Upper Level). 40% of the total budget will be allocated to support applications within the £5,000 application limit. If the number of applications does not reach the threshold score the additional budget will be reallocated into whichever tier has the shortfall of fund to meet all applications reaching minimum score.
  • The total grant amount can make up 100% of the total festival cost.
  • A threshold score of 50% must be reached in order to be eligible.
  • You can apply for any amount up to a maximum of £10,000 in any financial year. However, only one successful application (regardless of amount) can be held by any group in the current 2024/25 financial year.
  • Applicants may apply to the Christmas Events Fund for an amount from £1,000 and up to £3,000. However, only one successful application (regardless of amount) can be held by any group in the current 2024/25 financial year.
  • The fund will cover both Project Costs and Core Costs. Core costs include heating, lighting and overheads. Please note equipment purchased must be clearly linked to the festival.
  • Successful applicants will have the option to access a standardised up front percentage payment of up to 50% once the letter of offer has been issued.
  • Your festival should be something that not only benefits your community but is aligned to the Community Festival Fund's principles and criteria detailed above.
  • You will be required to submit a Festival Risk Assessment and a Festival Plan six weeks in advance of your event for consideration by the Derry City and Strabane District Council Safety Advisory Group.
  • You will be required to commit to completing required audience returns, based on a standardised sectoral methodology as defined by the NW Audience Development Programme.
  • You must also complete and provide all monitoring and evaluation requirements for previous years' grants before an allocation for a further festival will be considered.

The following are not eligible for funding:

The following are the Community Festival/Events key criteria:

  • Not operating on a 'not-for-profit' basis (taken from the constitution or memorandum and articles of association) as we cannot support commercial projects or projects that could be carried out commercially. If, in the reasonable opinion of the Council, the Organisation applying for funding is a de facto commercial Organisation, whatever the legal make-up of the Organisation, then the Council shall not fund that Organisation. The decision of the Council shall be final in this regard;
  • Able to share out profits to individuals, members or shareholders (taken from the constitution or memorandum and articles of association);
  • Late submissions
  • Festivals that are not based in and/or do not directly benefit Derry City and Strabane District Council residents.
  • Festivals that have already taken place.
  • Festivals that promote a political or religious purpose.
  • Festivals were the applicant will have a personal financial benefit. No employees of the Organisation may enter into any arrangement in respect of the Project in addition to their roles as employee or board member of the Organisation, to supply goods, facilities or services to the Project for payment.
  • Festivals that improve or benefit privately owned land that has no public access.
  • Council will not fund alcohol costs.
  • Any hospitality allocation must not exceed 25% of the total Council allocation.
  • Costs that are not auditable (i.e. cash payments) will not be eligible for Council funding.
  • Council will not fund salaries.
  • Council will not fund towards repayments of debts, retrospective grants or capital build expenditure.
  • Council will not fund festivals with the primarily objective to raise money for charity.
  • Any expenditure incurred in relation to cost of entry and or use, hire or occupation of premises owned by the recipient will be deemed ineligible.
Associated Documents:
Note: It would be benefical to print out and read these documents prior to completing an application.

Guidance Notes | Scoring Matrix
I have read and understand this Background Information
2. Eligibility Pre-assessment Questions

Eligibility Check Questions

Before you can submit an application you must first complete the questions below to see if you are eligible. Only if you are eligible can you proceed to submit an application for funding.

Question Answer Outcome
Q.1 Has your Festival already taken place? Yes No
Q.2 Does your Festival have a Committee? Yes No
Q.3 Is your Festival committee a Constituted Group and adhere to the requirements of the governing document? Yes No
Q.4 Is your group a 'Not for Profit' Organisation? Yes No
Q.5 Are your beneficiaries from the Derry City and Strabane District Council areas? Yes No
Q.6 Does your group have up to date accounts duly certified by a qualified Accountant from one of the following accounting bodies: A.C.C.A or C.I.M.A or C.I.P.F.A. or I.C.A? Yes No
Q.7 Does your group have current Public Liability Insurance which will cover the proposed festival? Yes No
Q.8 Will your Festival involve working with children/young people or vulnerable adults? Yes No
Q.9 Will your Festival promote a primarily political or religious purpose? Yes No
Q.10 Will your group submit a Festival Risk Assessment and Festival Plan to Derry City and Strabane District Council for approval by the Safety Advisory Group six weeks in advance of your event? Yes No
Q.11 Is your Festival committed to good relations, equal opportunities and Section 75 Legislation in terms of Policies and the delivery of services? Yes No
Q.12 Is any part of funding applied for going towards repayments of debts, retrospective grants or capital build expenditure? Yes No
Q.13 Does your application include funding salaries? Yes No
Q.14 Is your Festivals primary objective to raise money for charity? Yes No

Saving Data. Please wait...

3. Application Form

Christmas Events Fund 2024/2025 - Application Form

Congratulations you have are eligible to apply and have reached the Application Form stage.
Please note: if you leave this page without having clicked on the Save Button you will lose your work. You can save the application as you complete it, by simply clicking on the 'Just Save' button. When you are ready to submit the Application to Derry City and Strabane District Coucil click on the 'Save and Submit' button.
Associated Documents:
Guidance Notes | Scoring Matrix
Reference Number:  Generated Upon Submission
Please note all correspondence will be sent to the main contact name and contact address that you specify in the form below.

Essential Details

Name of Group / Festival: *
Group / Festival Address and Postcode: *
Festival Title: *
Main Contact Name: *
Contact Address and Postcode: *
(for all correspondence)

Contact Telephone Number: *
Contact Mobile Number: *
Email Address: *
Q1. Please provide a detailed description of your festival to include details on proposed programme, Aims and objectives, dates proposed, why, venues/ locations to be used etc. 20 marks.

However, failure to achieve a quality threshold of 50% in this question will result in your application failing at this stage. (Maximum 800 words)
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Q2. Please explain how your festival will engage with your community in the design of the programme and delivery of the event. (Maximum 300 words)
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Q3. How will your festival help people within your community through volunteering opportunities? (Maximum 300 words)
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Q4. How will your festival enable your community to express and celebrate their cultural heritage? (Maximum 300 words)
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Q5. How will you ensure that hard to reach groups will engage with your festival as volunteers, participants and audience? (Maximum 300 words)
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Q6. What management systems will you have in place in order to ensure that your festival is delivered safely and successfully and that your grant is administered appropriately? (Maximum 500 words)
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Q7. Please outline your festival marketing plan. (Maximum 500 words)
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Q8. How will your organisation contribute to the fulfilment of the NW Audience Development Plan? (Maximum 300 words)
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Q9. Please outline how you will ensure that the required impact questionnaires and report are completed and submitted. (Maximum 300 words)
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Q10. Targeting Social Need: You must define the Council Super Output Area(s) and Rural Ward(s) where the beneficiaries of your Project/Service come from. See Guidance Notes & Appx A for Q.10
  Super Output Area Cateogry NI Rank Points Rural Area Points Mixed Urban/Rural Points  
1 East Urban 1 10    
2 Crevagh 2 Urban 3 10    
3 Strand 1 Urban 5 10    
4 The Diamond Urban 6 10    
5 Creggan Central 1 Urban 10 10    
6 Brandywell Urban 13 10    
7 Shantallow West 1 Urban 19 10    
8 Culmore 2 Urban 22 10    
9 Shantallow West 2 Urban 27 10    
10 Creggan South Urban 33 10    
11 Ballycolman Urban 37 10    
12 Ebrington 2 Urban 38 10    
13 Clondermot 1 Urban 43 10    
14 Westland Urban 45 10    
15 Shantallow West 3 Urban 51 10    
16 Carnhill 2 Urban 59 10    
17 Rosemount Urban 68 10    
18 Creggan Central 2 Urban 69 10    
19 Shantallow East Urban 86 10    
20 Glenderg Rural 90 9 2  
21 Altnagelvin 1 Urban 101 9    
22 Culmore 3 Urban 130 9    
23 North Urban 141 9    
24 Crevagh 1 Mixed urban/rural 142 9   1.5
25 Springtown 1 Urban 144 9    
26 Dunnamanagh Rural 148 9 2  
27 Crevagh 3 Urban 149 9    
28 Castlederg Rural 152 9 2  
29 Victoria Urban 153 9    
30 Finn Rural 166 9 2  
31 West 2 Urban 170 9    
32 Sion Mills Rural 175 9 2  
33 Enagh 1 Rural 180 8 2  
34 Beechwood Urban 196 8    
35 Newtownstewart Rural 201 8 2  
36 West 1 Urban 205 8    
37 Carnhill 1 Urban 226 8    
38 Foyle Springs 2 Urban 229 8    
39 South 1 Urban 236 8    
40 Banagher Rural 245 8 2  
41 Victoria Bridge Rural 266 8 2  
42 Lisnagelvin 1 Urban 274 7    
43 Newbuildings 1 Rural 278 7 2  
44 Caw Urban 287 7    
45 Slievekirk Rural 299 7 2  
46 Culmore 4 Urban 300 7    
47 Plumbridge Rural 304 7 2  
48 Shantallow West 4 Urban 327 7    
49 Clare Rural 333 7 2  
50 Claudy 2 Rural 340 7 2  
51 Artigarvan Rural 376 6 2  
52 Strand 2 Urban 405 6    
53 Kilfennan 2 Urban 415 6    
54 Ebrington 1 Urban 416 6    
55 Pennyburn 1 Urban 419 6    
56 Eglinton1 Rural 421 6 2  
57 Hollymount 1 Rural 470 5 2  
58 South 2 Urban 477 5    
59 Claudy 1 Rural 490 5 2  
60 Lisnagelvin 2 Urban 513 5    
61 Altnagelvin 3 Urban 525 5    
62 Altnagelvin 2 Urban 545 4    
63 Springtown 2 Urban 578 4    
64 Hollymount 2 Mixed urban/rural 603 4   1.5
65 Ballynashallog 1 Urban 621 4    
66 Kilfennan 1 Urban 630 3    
67 Clondermot 2 Urban 633 3    
68 Enagh 2 Mixed urban/rural 634 3   1.5
69 Eglinton 2 Rural 636 3 2  
70 Culmore 1 Rural 650 3 2  
71 Foyle Springs 1 Urban 713 2    
72 Culmore 5 Rural 738 2 2  
73 Newbuildings 2 Mixed urban/rural 739 2   1.5
74 Pennyburn 2 Urban 755 2    
75 Ballynashallog 2 Urban 808 1    
Total Points: 0.00
Q11. How will the costs for the festival be broken down? Your answer should provide a detailed breakdown of exactly where the funding will be used. The following table may be used to assist you.
Expenditure Details Itemised Costs (In £) Total Costs (£) Amount Required from DCSDC (£) Who will fund remainder
Total   £ £  
If the cost of the festival is more than you have applied for, have you identified the rest of the funding you need?
Yes No
Amount Secured (£):
Amount Pending (£):

Applicants Authorisation

Current Chairperson: *
Date: *  

Current Secretary or Treasurer: *
Date: *  

Thank you! Your Application was saved and has been submitted successfully to The Business and Culture Directorate, Arts and Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Your Reference Number:

We will be in touch, when we have reviewed your application.

Good Luck with your Application!

Sincere Regards,

Festivals & Events Team,
Derry City and Strabane District Council,
98 Strand Road,
BT48 7NN

Telephone: 02871253253 ext.6926