Arts Council of Wales | Project budget Help notes – Individuals

Project budget Help notes – Individuals

Project budget

Your budget must be submitted on the downloadable Project Budget template. It’s an Excel spreadsheet (".xls") file.

If you don’t have Microsoft Excel on your computer there are a number of other PC and Mac-based software solutions available on the internet, for example some applicants have told us that Open Office works well, as long as you save any ".ods" files as ".xls" before you upload them. (Please note this is only an example; the Arts Council of Wales cannot accept any responsibility for any software that you install on your computer or download from third party websites.)

It’s easy to download our Project Budget template. Simply save it to your designated folder using the ‘SAVE AS’ command. Please make sure you include your own name in the new filename.

The Project Budget template has separate pages (or tabs) for your Income and Expenditure figures, a Balance summary page and a handy Checklist page. We’ve embedded some formulae to create totals, offer useful prompts, and help ensure your budget balances.

You’ll see that some of the boxes in the spreadsheet are grey – you can insert your own text and figures here. Some of the boxes ask you to select from a dropdown menu. The white boxes can’t be changed.

Please read these notes carefully before starting to fill in the Project Budget.

Checking that your costs are eligible

As you build your project budget you need to consider which project costs we can support and which we cannot. We call these eligible or ineligible costs.

No list can be exhaustive, but we do get asked what type of costs might ‘tick the box’:

  • Examples of eligible costs include: your fee to carry out the project, fees for project staff or freelance artists that you employ, training costs, production costs including materials, touring costs, marketing costs, translation costs, public engagement costs such as audience development, costs for making your project more inclusive and accessible such as signed performances
  • We’ll also consider project-specific capital equipment, and up to £2,000 of your grant amount can be used as a contribution towards this. You’ll need to demonstrate how you will use this equipment during and after your project. You’ll also need to provide copies of receipts before any payment can be made
  • For Business and market development applications we’ll consider up to £1,000 for website and hosting costs. You’ll need to demonstrate how you will use this during and after your project
  • We know that good projects require good management, but we’re also keen to see as much money as possible going towards artistic activity. So we’ll consider up to 20% of the total eligible project cost for administration and overheads relating directly to delivery of the project. We’ll require full details of these costs
  • We also require a breakdown of any costs that amount to more than 5% of the total eligible project cost

And equally, those that do not:

  • Examples of ineligible costs include: accountancy fees, food, refreshments or hospitality costs, prizes, fundraising activities, launch costs, promotional t-shirts and other merchandise, gifts such as flowers, fireworks or other pyrotechnics
  • And we cannot consider any costs you have already paid or agreed to pay before we’ve received your ‘signed’ grant acceptance (we call these "retrospective" costs)

Checking that your partnership or match funding is eligible

Our funding is offered as a certain percentage of total eligible project cost. You’re expected to generate or provide the rest in the form of partnership funding. It’s also sometimes called match funding.

This is a requirement of the National Lottery, but we do believe that partnership funding also demonstrates the strength and potential of a project idea. It means that other individuals or organisations or funding partners share some form of commitment to the aims and objectives of your project and are prepared to invest money in it. It also means they can help share some of the financial risk.

The percentages we talk about are, of course, upper limits. At least 10% should be from a non-Arts Council of Wales source, but that’s a minimum percentage and we’d like to see you raise more. You’re expected to maximise financial contributions from other partners, including any earned income. And we’re keen to support projects that are funded collaboratively rather than those which rely on us to be the major – or at times the only – funder. The more partnership funding you can secure, the stronger your project becomes. It also allows us to spread our funding more widely to support more projects.

Partnership or match funding may include:

  • Your own funds, although these must have come from a non-Lottery and non-Arts Council of Wales source
  • Cash contributions from other partners in the project (such as fees)
  • Earned income (such as from performance fees, tickets or exhibition sales)
  • Grants from other organisations (at least 10% must be from non-Lottery sources)
  • In kind contributions (such as donated rehearsal space, volunteer time, or loans of equipment) are also eligible as partnership funding, but these cannot be from your own resources. Suppliers’ discounts are not eligible. You’ll need to provide written evidence of all in kind contributions (these can be uploaded in section 5 of the application form)

Filling in your project budget

Page 1 – Balance

All you have to do on this page is enter your name, project title and the grant figure (in full £) that you’re applying for. The other figures will update automatically.

Page 2 – Income

Please give details of all the income that will help pay for your project, under the headings given. You should tell us which income sources are confirmed and which are being applied for. Tell us the name of each funding partner. Please use full £ amounts only. If you need additional lines please use the lower section of the page to give us those details and select an income heading for each line.

Arts Council of Wales grant request

  • This figure is now already there for you

Your own funds

  • This might include your own funds that you’ve generated from previous work or will generate during the lifetime of the project

Earned income

  • List any income you expect to earn from your project activity – for example from ticket sales or catalogue/programme sales – and give us details, including any assumptions you’ve made in reaching these figures. You’ll have demonstrated your track record of previous income generation in your response to the assessment question on Management
  • To illustrate the level of detail we need, an example would be five performances each with an audience of 210 at £5 per ticket = £5,250

Local authority funding

  • List all grants from local authorities. Please give us the name of each local authority, the amount they’re giving, and whether it’s been confirmed

Other public funding

  • List all grants from any other public organisations, such as the Welsh Government or European Union. Again please give us the name of each funder, the amount they’re giving, and whether it’s been confirmed

Support in kind - no maximum

  • Estimate the cost/value for any items or services given to you by other organisations that you would otherwise have to pay for. These count as income for your project, but cannot be from your own resources and cannot be suppliers’ discounts. Please give us the details and the value, for example, hire of a space for 6 days at £50 per day = an in kind value of £300
  • List each provider of in kind support, the value of what they’re giving and whether it's been confirmed (letters of support from each provider are a good way of showing this and can be uploaded in section 5 of the application form). Using the same example it could be a letter from the owner of the space confirming the value of £300
  • See above for details of what in kind costs are eligible.

Additional income sources

  • Include income from any other source in the lower section of the page. You might include sponsorship, donations, or grants from trusts and foundations. Again please give us the name of each source, the amount they’re giving, and if possible whether it’s been confirmed

When you’re done, click ‘Finished’ to go back to the Balance page, where your income total is now showing

You may decide you want to give us more detailed budgetary information or more detail about the assumptions you’ve made in arriving at your figures. Feel free to upload this as an Other Supporting Information document in section 5 of the application form.

Page 3 – Expenditure/Costs

Please give details of all the items you will be paying for as part of your project, under the headings given. All costs must be eligible (see above). If you need additional lines please use the lower section of the page to give us those details and select an expenditure heading for each line.

We often get asked about what level of detail is needed. This example shows you the kind of thing we’re looking for:

Artistic activity costs

3 actors @ £350 per week for 10 weeks, 1 stage manager @ £400 per week for 10 weeks


Subsistence for 4 staff @ £50 per day x 20 days


Hire of van @ £60 per day x 20 days


Hire of rehearsal space at ABC Theatre, 10 sessions @ £150 per session


Artistic activity costs

  • List the fees and wages of all artists and practitioners who’ll work on your project, for example, actors, musicians, composers, stage managers, choreographers and curators. As a minimum you need to ensure that industry standard rates of pay are used. You can get advice about this from organisations like Equity, the Musician’s Union, the Theatrical Management Association and the Independent Theatre Council
  • List the costs of the rehearsals, studio time, events and productions, along with any materials you need
  • Include all costs that directly support your artistic activity, for example travel, transport, accommodation and daily subsistence (sometimes called per diems)

Marketing and audience development costs

  • List marketing and promotional costs that directly support your artistic activity, for example freelancer marketing fees, data analysis, mailing lists, postage, translation, design and print costs, and electronic mailing costs

Purchase of equipment [not available for Training, mentoring and continuing professional development applications or Research and development applications]

  • Some of our grants can include up to £2,000 as a contribution to a project-specific capital element such as a piece of equipment that you need to purchase so you can deliver the project.
  • For any single item costing more than £500 you should submit three written quotations from separate suppliers for identical or comparable equipment. The template will prompt you about this. The quotation figure you choose to include in your project budget should then be the one that represents the best value.

Costs of making your activity more accessible

  • We expect you to make your activity accessible to disabled people. Our Funding Guidelines outline sources of advice and best practice guidance to help you consider how you will deliver this
  • There are many things you can do to make your project more accessible without incurring additional project costs, but you should plan for any necessary access costs and list them
  • If you’re disabled, we’ll consider these costs on top of the artistic project costs. This means we may allow your application to exceed the maximum grant level. Contact us if you’d like to discuss this

Additional Expenditure/Costs

  • List any other project costs that don’t fit under the other headings and provide details

Project running costs (administration and overheads) – maximum 20%

  • We’ll only consider funding project running costs that are not paid for by other funding and that are clearly additional. You can apply for additional time-limited running costs that are directly related to the project activity you’re asking us to support, such as project administration, payments to additional staff and project-specific ‘phone, postage and insurance costs
  • The figure you use must relate directly to the amount of time spent on the activity you are asking us to fund, so please explain how you’ve worked this out
  • We can consider project running costs up to a maximum of 20% (twenty percent) of the total eligible project cost. However you should try to keep this percentage as low as possible, so that more of our funding goes towards artistic activity

Value of support in kind – no maximum

  • The Support in kind total from the Income page is already there for you

Contingency – maximum 5%

  • You should also include an amount to cover unexpected costs of up to 5% (five percent) of your total eligible project cost (usually called a contingency). The template will tell you if your figure is too high

When you’re done, click ‘Finished’ to go back to the Balance page, where your expenditure total is now showing.

You may decide you want to give us more detailed figures or assumptions you’ve made in arriving at your figures. Feel free to upload this as an Other Supporting Information document.

Page 4 – Checklist

Use this handy checklist to help you double-check that you’ve done everything you need to do, for example breaking down any costs that amount to more than 5% (five percent) of the total eligible project cost.

Now you can save the final version and upload it to our online system when you’re ready.

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