Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change is a brand new £10,000 prize fund designed to support sustainable initiatives within the cultural sector.

This funding opportunity aims to empower a cultural organisation to deliver and design a sustainable project that fosters community engagement, promotes the adoption of sustainable practices, and explores innovative new materials and technologies to create a new commercial income stream. 

The winning project will have the potential to be replicated across the sector and will inspire others to think about creative ways they could generate income while improving their sustainable impact.

Applications for the 2024 prize have now closed. The winners will be announced at a special invitation only event in June 2024.

More About the Prize

1. Foster Sustainability: Encourage cultural organisations to incorporate sustainable practices in their income generating operations and project delivery, reducing their environmental impact and promoting a more sustainable future.

2. Community Engagement: Support projects that actively engage local communities, providing educational and interactive experiences that raise awareness of sustainability and empower individuals to adopt sustainable practices.

3. Innovation and Collaboration: Encourage the use of innovative materials and technologies in the design and delivery of commercial cultural projects, fostering creativity and pushing boundaries to achieve sustainable outcomes.

4. Legacy Building: Equip cultural organisations with the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to develop and deliver sustainable projects, promoting long-term sustainability within the sector.
You can apply for any amount of funding up to £10,000.  The prize fund supports:

1. The establishment of a new sustainable income stream.

2. Commissioning research or consultancy to support the introduction of a sustainable income stream.

3. Buying equipment or services to lower carbon emissions.

4. Creating tools to communicate and educate visitors in environmental responsibility eg marketing and design.
Current Members and Associate Members of the Association for Cultural Enterprises situated in the UK are eligible to apply.

The application must support a new initiative, not an existing one.

Proposed projects should have a clear focus on sustainability and align with the program objectives.

The project should clearly demonstrate how it will contribute to sustainable income generation or making your organisation more financially secure.

Projects should have a defined timeline, demonstrating the ability to be completed within the allocated funding and time frame.

Applications must outline the intended impact on any of our objectives and engagement with the project.

Organisations should demonstrate their capacity to deliver the proposed project successfully.

The fund can support existing staff in delivery of the project, but must be used to deliver something new and not cover core expenditure.

Applications close 29 March 2024.

Winners will be chosen by the Association for Cultural Enterprises from all complete entries received before the closing date. The decision of the Association for Cultural Enterprises regarding any aspect of the competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. 

Winners will be announced at an exclusive event in June 2024.

While the project outcomes and impact may exceed 12 months we expect the prize fund to be invoiced within the first year. 

We will issue the prize fund within 30 working days of the prize announcement.
We have referenced the UN Sustainable Development Goals while developing the award. We would recommend reading goals 8, 9, 11, and 12 from the UN sustainability goals when making your application.

Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth (Sustainable Tourism & Green Economy)
Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities (Sustainable Transport)
Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production (17% of total food waste is wasted at the consumer level)
Seeds of Change supports the wider Arts Council England’s Investment Principle: Environmental Sustainability and Dynamism. The Association is an Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO).

Environmental SustainabilityDemonstrating how you will embed environmental thinking in everything you do, from operations and logistics toconsidering how creation, programming and partnerships can help support your commitment and provoke debate.Collect, analyse and communicate your environmental data. 
Demonstrate how this project contributes to your wider environmental commitment. 
Provide relevant training from your data, experiences and outcomes with your team and the wider sector. 

DynamismResponding to the challenges of the next decade and creating a business model that is flexible and able to adapt to changing environments. Understanding the value upi create for the communities you serve, whilst considering the needs of those you are yet to reach. Demonstrate how you will take an entrepreneurial approach to developing and optimising your income streams and innovate your business model. 
Recognise the diverse knowledge, skills and experience within your team and commit time and resources to continue to develop your team. 
Use data to aid strategic decision making, to share with the wider sector and ensure that skills and confidence is built up across your organisation. 

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