Funding: Challenge Fund 2016-2017

RIO as Arts Council bridge organisation for the south west is pleased to announce the launch of the latest round of the Challenge Fund, for 2016-17. RIO is not a grant-giving body, however we do recognise the need to develop new forms of cultural investment. As such this fund will provide leveraged investment to support organisations, commissioners and partnerships who are unlocking income that has never before supported cultural education activity for young people.

This year, the Challenge Fund seeks to support cultural education, health and wellbeing in children and young people, and we will look for proposals which can demonstrate an evidenced need to support this target group in this area. Organisations wanting to put forward an expression of interest can work in any sector within the Arts Council defined region of the south west, at either strategic or grassroots level, as long as they can demonstrate that their proposal seeks to support high quality arts for children and young people, with a particular emphasis on health and wellbeing.

Culture and creativity are renowned for having much to offer in the context of health and wellbeing, and arts and cultural organisations have proven results around developing and delivering transformational work in this area, supporting children and young people.

For this round, we have developed a new relationship with the South West Academic Health and Science Network, Resonance and the Access Foundation. This relationship is separate from but sits alongside the South West Challenge Fund. However, for those who are interested, it offers the option to consider possible social investment in order to grow activity, provision and services.

We are looking for match funding requests of £25,000-£75,000. Your proposal must demonstrate how any money allocated through the Challenge Fund unlocks new investment which has not previously supported cultural activity. You should also consider and reflect the themes and considerations of the Cultural Education Partnership in your area. Take a look at the relevant infographics, which detail the various CEPs, their current status and any issues they are addressing. You can view and download these here.

Your Expression of Interest will need to demonstrate a contribution to the creative case for diversity, and engaging children and young people who are most disadvantaged, as well as:

  • communicating & sharing learning
  • co-production
  • health & wellbeing innovation
  • partnership working
  • geographic spread

There are some in-depth case studies detailing previous Challenge Fund investment, and you can take a look at these on our website. Fotonow CIC received Challenge Fund investment in 2014, which you can read more about here and Knowle West Media Centre was also supported through the Challenge Fund. Find out more about that here.

To apply: Download the Challenge Fund outline for further information

Email to request an Expression of Interest.

Submit your EOI to by the closing deadline of 18th September 2016 at 5pm.

For any queries, please call the RIO bridge team on 08458 621288 or email .


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