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Digital Arts & Creative Ageing

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing is now closed for applications

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing is a collaborative grant funding programme developed by Nominet Trust and The Baring Foundation.  This programme is all about improving engagement with the creative arts by older people across the UK, with the associated benefits to general health and wellbeing which such participation brings.

This is an open grant funding programme.  We are seeking strong and innovative applications from entrepreneurial-minded organisations that have already demonstrated the distinctive value that digital technology and the internet can bring to connecting older people with the creative arts - and the beneficial social outcomes offered by this broadening of digital engagement. 

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing will provide funding and support to help you scale and sustain products or services that have already been trialled and have evidence of uptake, with the aim of developing their social, user and financial value. 

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing highlights

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing provides funding and support to enable entrepreneurial organisations to demonstrate the potential of digital technologies to bring scale to service provision focused on extending access to the creative arts for those aged 65 and over.  Applicants should be able to provide early evidence of user value already delivered and explain how funding will be used to take their existing product or service to the next stage of development.

If your application is successful, you can expect to receive:

  • Grant funding for each project of up to £90,000 - depending on the requirements and the number of projects we choose to fund.   
  • Funder support for project delivery over an 18-month period.
  • A support package including mentoring, marketing & communications advice and networking opportunities.

Unlike many other investors, Nominet Trust and The Baring Foundation:

  • Do not ask for an equity stake in your organisation, nor request loan repayments.
  • Allow successful ventures to retain any IP developed with our funding.


Who are we looking for?

We want to work with entrepreneurial organisations that share our belief in the potential of the internet and digital technology to offer innovative approaches to engaging the over 65s in the creative arts.

Your compelling proposition is more important to us than what type of organisation you are. However, organisations must be a registered legal entity to receive funding.  Applications are welcome from a wide variety of UK-based organisations, but we are unable to fund individuals.  You could be a social organisation such as a charity or Community Interest Company (CIC), or a for profit organisation (perhaps a residential care home, retirement village, a theatre, art centre, museum or community centre) - so long as you have a clear and demonstrable social purpose, and can provide evidence of social value delivery on an on-going basis. 

Do take a look at our Glossary and FAQs for further information.

Your organisation:

  • Should have a clear and demonstrable social purpose.
  • Will be UK-based, and you must be working with beneficiary groups in the UK.
  • Will already be a registered legal entity, or prepared to become one.
  • Must be able to demonstrate that your initiative can generate social, user and financial value, with the potential to be self-sustaining.
  • Should be ready to scale, having evidence that you have already piloted your product or service, gained traction from users and beneficiaries and have evaluated your existing work - and used that learning to improve your product or service.
  • You will ideally have channels to market (and potentially partnerships) already in place.

Your team:

  • Our experience shows that successful tech for good projects have access to in-house tech expertise.
  • You are likely to have experience of the creative arts and/or delivering services to older people.
  • You should have an understanding of the marketplace your digital product or service is entering and be able to explain why your proposition is differentiated from existing provision.

Your tech:

  • You must be able to demonstrate that digital technologies are critical to the delivery of your product or service. 
  • You will already have an existing digital product or service, which this fund can help to develop to its next growth stage.
  • The digital technologies you are using can include electronic tools, systems, devices and resources e.g. the internet, digital radio and TV, the internet of things, online games and applications - as well as devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones. 
  • You may be using digital technology as a tool to enhance the practice of more traditional media, often used as part of the process for creating an artwork, for example Skype-facilitated collaboration to write a play, or for dissemination of otherwise inaccessible cultural experiences, for example simultaneous online curation or technological aids that enable or enhance older people’s access to physical exhibitions.
  • You may be using digital technology as a medium if it is essential to the production of an artwork, for example the use of an iPad to record or manipulate images or sound and to display these.

What constitutes the creative arts?

  • Principally music, singing (including opera), film, dance, drama, creative writing, design (including graphic design), photography, painting, drawing, printing, craft, sculpture, or installation art. 

By the end of this funding you will have:

  • Demonstrated a model of scale and sustainability for using digital technology to engage older people in the creative arts.
  • Developed a strong evaluation methodology.
  • Provided evidence to inform decisions about the wider use of digital technology to engage older people in the creative arts.

I want to apply, what next?

If you think you have what we are looking for, then complete and submit our brief online Stage 1 application form, including a url link to a short video pitch. If you are successful, we will invite you to complete a more detailed Stage 2 application form which will also allow you to upload additional supporting information.

Application video

As part of your Stage 1 application, you will need to film a 90-second video pitch which helps to introduce us to your team and project. Your pitch should outline your proposal, its current stage of development, what evidence you have already collected to demonstrate its effectiveness, and how our funding will help it to scale or become sustainable.

Our application form prompts you to include a url link to your video (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo); this can be set as private, but please remember to include the password in your application where prompted.

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing Timeline

Applications are now closed. The deadline for Stage 2 applications, for those
invited to apply
, is 20th September 2016.

Key dates for Digital Arts & Creative Ageing are below.

Stage 1 application deadline

Stage 2 application deadline
(Invitation only)

Stage 2 assessment period Investment decision announced

16th August 2016
(12 noon)

20th September 2016
(9 am)
September - October 2016 November 2016

Note: any applications started, but not submitted, by the deadline will have their system status set as 'Abandoned' and no further action will be taken with them.