Purpose & Eligibility
Ards and North Down Borough Council have established a Christmas Festival Fund. The purpose of the fund is to enable communities to run local festivals to celebrate the festive period and MUST include switching on of Christmas Lights.
The fund is restricted to the towns and village detailed below, where the Council provides Christmas trees and lights, but does not organise and run Christmas Festivals for the community.
Applications are welcome from the following towns and villages:
- Helen’s Bay
The Christmas fund is restricted to constituted community groups only.
Only one application per town or village will be supported. Therefore, where more than one constituted community group is active within a town or village, potential applicants are advised to collaborate and work in partnership with each other to run a Christmas Festival.
This funding is for Christmas Festivals only. Applications for other festivals will not be considered. The Christmas grants cannot be used in conjunction with any other Council funding streams.
The Christmas Festival applications will be open once a year with the opportunity to apply for up to £1000 for Villages and £3000 for towns (as listed above), subject to funds being available. They shall be advertised in the local press and on the council’s website. Please do not alter the layout/format of the application for in anyway as this may result in your application not being scored.
Opening/closing dates – 22nd May 2023 at 9am to 19th June 2023 at 4pm for local festivals/Christmas light switch on taking place from 1st November to 31st December 2023.
The Council will also notify those groups/organisations registered on the Community Information Register. If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Council officers will not complete application forms on behalf of applicants.
80% of the total funding awarded to successful applicants will be issued upon approval, subject to the submission of the organisations bank details if this information is not already held by the Council. All applicants will be required to submit original invoices, receipts, and bank statements in order to verify all funding awarded. The balance of total funding (20%) will be released upon full verification and approval of the total value of the award. If this information is incomplete or not provided or the funding is not spent in line with approved costs, the funding must be repaid to council. The maximum amount available is £1000 for villages and £3000 for towns, per group per application.
The Community Festivals Fund will not provide funding for the following activities:
- Political organisations
- festivals taking place outside the Ards and North Down area
- festivals of a commercial nature, organised to make a profit
- trade or professional conferences/conventions
- festivals that are primarily fundraising events, are heavily branded with charity branding or deploy potential sources of income from a festival to a charity
- awards ceremonies or industry events
- residential courses and associated events
- festivals that are social events for an organisation
- primarily tourism focused events where the organisation cannot demonstrate significant community involvement
- retrospective festivals/events that have already taken place
- festivals/events which conflict with any Council run festival/event
- Sports clubs
- Non-constituted community groups
- Communities of interest
In addition to the above exclusions, examples of eligible and ineligible expenditure are outlined below:
- Insurance for the festival (day or period of time the festival happens)
- Venue Hire
- Entertainment costs –Such as: Bouncy Castles, face painters, balloon modelling etc.
- Equipment hires
- Advertising and marketing
- Administration related to the festival (stationery, postage etc)
- Gratuities, gifts and prizes
- Charitable donations
- Cash payments unsupported by an appropriate petty cash system or committee expenditure forms.
- General running costs
- Any costs not approved by the assessment panel
- Any costs not in the application form
- Staff salaries/Professional fees
Corporate Grants Policy
Completed application forms and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Community Development Grants Team by the closing date: 19 June 2023 at 4pm.
Please note: Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
Following submission of applications:
- Application forms received will not be reviewed until after the closing date deadline.
- All applications received will be acknowledged in writing, within one week of the closing date.
- Eligible and fully completed applications, received by the closing time/date, will be assessed by a grant assessment panel against the criteria outlined.
- Late or incomplete applications will not be scored.
- The recommendations of the assessment panel will be presented to the Community and Wellbeing Committee and Full Council for consideration/approval.
If your application is successful, you should be aware that if the festival is to be held on Council land, that appropriate permission must be applied for. To apply for permission please contact the Compliance Section, email@example.com
If your application is successful, you should be aware that if a road is to be closed as part of your festival, that appropriate permission must be applied for. To seek further advice and apply for Road Closure permission, please contact the Licensing and Regulatory Services Section, firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0300 013 3333.
Completed applications should be returned to
Completed applications should be returned preferably via email in pdf format with supporting documentation to the Community Development Grants Team at email address email@example.com
Community Development Grants Team, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Unit 5, Conway Buildings, 16 South Street , Newtownards , BT23 4JT
Please mark the name of your organisation in the subject line followed by “Christmas Festival Grant 2023.
If you have any queries, contact Stephen Archibald – Community Development Officer 0300 013 3333 ext 40351 or alternatively firstname.lastname@example.org