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Place Makers Micro-cluster Networks - Call for Applications

Posted by CHARTS


Funding and Grants

Deadline Date


We are delighted to announce that applications are now open for the Place Makers: Micro-cluster Networks fund. This £5,500 award is available for each of three creative ‘place making’ collaborations across Argyll and Bute to be delivered between January and May 2021. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 7th December 2020.

We’re looking to support innovative proposals from small groups of artists (3 people or more) to work together with local heritage, industry, cultural or community organisations in ways that would aim to enable local places to survive and thrive. The proposals would show ambition for partnerships and impacts to last beyond the funding period, with funded collaborations also able to access additional expert support when delivering their projects.

Priority will be given to applicants who have taken part in any of our Place Makers events, or the Mapping Your Creative Growth workshops, which have been delivered by CHARTS working with The Glasgow School of Art’s Innovation School, supported by Creative Scotland’s Create:Networks fund. Look out for our news and events pages to catch up on past activities and be sure to register for future activities exploring Island Life and Audience Development. 

For more information or to ask questions to support your proposals, please feel free to contact Dr Michael Pierre Johnson, Research Fellow at The Glasgow School of Art: e:, or Kathleen O’Neill, Development Manager at CHARTS: e: 

Q&As from the November support sessions: 

Q1: The guidance states proposals should work together with local heritage, industry, cultural or community organisations – can this be multiple organisations?
Yes, though there needs to be a clear rationale for why each organisation is involved and the role or benefits they expect to have through the proposal.

Q2: What do you mean by Micro-cluster?
A cluster is a term that has gained increased usage recently in relation to regional development. Regional clusters refer to groupings of businesses or organisations that not only share a geographic location, but share interests socially, culturally and economically and will often organise to collaborate around those interests. (e.g. a whisky trail of distilleries may share the same water source, but also organise as a shared tourism experience or support training and local employment). This project recognises that some aspects of the creative and cultural sector naturally form such clusters at the sole trader and microenterprise scale (e.g. craft trails or open studios) and seek to expand and build on such models.

Q3. How do you define 'placemaking'?
In the broadest terms, when creative or cultural work contributes to a sense of place and identity for people. However, we are keen to hear how our members define or propose placemaking to be, as we feel this is highly subjective depending on the context but there should be a clear sense of impact for a local context.

Q4: Can a large network that covers more than one of the identified areas apply for the fund, or do they need to specify a local area?
We want to be as open as possible to what applicants see as viable and exciting creative place making proposals, so we wouldn’t want to limit who you see as relevant to bring together for your projects. However, like the organisations you may select to work with, there needs to be a clear rationale for how the project aims to enable local places to survive and thrive within budget.

Q5: Are there artform priorities for awards?
Artists working in any artform are welcome to apply, there are no priorities.

Q6: How can roles be defined within the budget?
The applicants are expected to define roles suited to the project and the support worker can be an artist, and this role may also be allocated to more than one person with clear rationale.

Q7: Is it ok to include the potential for income generation in the project budget to help towards sustainability, or does this need to be non-income generating?
Yes, it is acceptable to include plans for for income-generation within proposals to help sustain the project.

Q8: An information sheet states 6 places are involved in the project but there are only 3 awards. Please explain.
The 6 places listed refer to the wider project and areas included in the overall project plan. Only 3 awards will be made and the areas they take place in will depend on the quality and range of submissions.

Q9: What about the islands?
The award scheme aims to attract interest from island and mainland residents.

Q10:  Are you looking for big projects?
This award is created to pilot new approaches and collaboration; as the budget is limited we would expect small initiatives that focus on specific values as well as suggest potential for development.

Q11: Do I need to do a mapping workshop before applying?
It is preferred but not essential that applicants have engaged in the development process of the project which includes mapping and attendance to webinars; registration for mapping workshops will be taken until the end of December.

Q12: Can I attend a mapping workshop after project submission?  
Yes - registration, however should be noted as part of the application.

Q13: Why does it help to take part in a mapping workshop?
Mapping workshops assist participants to be clear on levels of need and/or strengths and ambition. Feedback is showing this and providing CHARTS with information for member-informed development of the charity.

Q14: Do I need to be a CHARTS member to apply or take part in a Micro-Cluster Placemaker Project ?
This project has been initiated and grown by CHARTS members for overall member benefits, to make introductions and build the strength of conversations and networked contact between members across the region. CHARTS exists to provide benefits to members and development of its services is guided by its members. Therefore, all participants must be members. Membership is free.

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