Bank of Ireland Launches €1 Million Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts


September 2020 – The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with Business to Arts was launched today. The Fund will distribute a total of €1 million between 2020 and 2022 and is designed to support artists and arts projects across the island of Ireland.  Today’s announcement brings the Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together community investment to €3million. 

The Arts Fund will support or commission artists and arts organisationsto develop arts projects, enhancing the wellbeing of the participants, audiences and communities involved.  All art forms are eligible and the aim is for the projects to benefit a range of audiences. The Fund will also support arts projects that have been adapted due to COVID-19, or are inspired by or respond to COVID-19.

Francesca McDonagh, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland said, “Our wellbeing as a country depends on our rich culture and heritage continuing to thrive.  Through this Fund we are building on Bank of Ireland’s long history of supporting the arts. There is no better time than when artists, like communities across the island, are struggling in the face of the pandemic.  This programme is part of our wider contribution to helping the recovery of communities and businesses across Ireland.”  

Catherine Martin, TD, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht said, “The arts sector has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and the Government has been working to support artists over the past six months.    The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in the great tradition of business supporting creative communities, is a very welcome programme that will be embraced by artists and their local communities.” 

Andrew Hetherington, CEO, Business to Arts said, “We are acutely aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the revenue sources for the arts sector. The establishment of this fund with Bank of Ireland sets a new way for businesses to support arts projects in their local communities. We look forward to partnering with Bank of Ireland and seeing the arts projects that have been supported by the fund realised throughout 2021.”

The Begin Together Arts Fund is a new strand of the Bank of Ireland Begin Together programme and brings the Bank’s community investment to €3million.  Launched inFebruary 2020, the Begin Together programme originally had three strands – the Begin Together Fund, the Begin Together Awards and Begin Together Colleagues, all contributing to community initiatives across the Island. In April, Bank of Ireland also donated a further €1 million in emergency funding to communities with urgent needs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

About the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund:

The Fund will provide fees to artists or groups of artists to create new work and help maximise the budgets of partner organisations (e.g. arts organisations, community/voluntary organisations, etc.) for their programme of activity.

Artists or groups of artists applying must work with a partner organisation (e.g. a venue or event, arts organisation, community/voluntary organisation or another funding agency/organisation). Applicants can request funds between €3,000 – €10,000 / c. GBP£2,500 – £8,400, and average grants will be €5,000 / GBP£4,200, with maximum grants of €10,000 / GBP£8,400. Arts projects with larger budgets that have secured funds elsewhere are encouraged to apply. With each grant round, the Fund aims to provide funding to an arts project in each county on the island of Ireland.

Closing date for the first round of applications is Wednesday, 4 November at 5pm. The second round will open in April 2021. Go to for information on the application process and to complete the online application form.


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