erasmus plus uk

Extra Erasmus Plus funding unlocked for creative, cultural & heritage organisations

The Culture team at Creative Europe Desk UK are here to update you on new EU funding opportunities available to the UK cultural and creative sectors...

UPDATE: we hosted an advice webinar on 30 September to talk through the new call and opportunities available to the Culture sector, which featured Galway Community Circus' insights on their long history of Erasmus+ strategic partnerships. You can view a recording of this event on our YouTube channel: 

Following on from our 2020 round-up of EU funding opportunities still coming up, we now have more news to share on the extra €200 million announced under the current Erasmus Plus 2014 – 2020 programme. Here’s our overview of this new call answering some key questions, and if you need further information there is a dedicated Erasmus Plus UK contact point for support.

New Erasmus Plus Call – apply by 29 October

There will be extra ‘Strategic Partnership’ calls under Erasmus Plus, in response to the Covid-19 situation. Erasmus Plus’s 2020 Programme Guide has now been updated to reflect this and includes two new exceptional actions, one of which particularly constructed to support the creative, cultural and heritage sectors.

What is Erasmus Plus?

Like Creative Europe, Erasmus Plus is an EU funding programme. As with all EU funded programmes it also runs from 2014 – 2020 as part of the current EU budget (new EU programmes and their calls will begin in 2021 part of the EU’s new budget for 2021 – 2027). Erasmus Plus focuses on lifelong learning, education, training, youth and sport, so there has always been a bit of overlap between Creative Europe’s opportunities, which specifically focus on the creative and cultural sector, with a priority focusing on supporting training & education projects; and Erasmus Plus’s overall aims of strengthening training and education across all sector, including the creative, cultural and heritage sectors.

Erasmus Plus’s opportunities include mobility programmes, strategic partnerships and policy dialogue. These intersect with the different types of groups that can apply to these opportunities – schools, adult education providers, vocational training providers, organisations working with young people, and universities. There’s also the European Solidarity Corps which offers opportunities for young people. 

Tell me more about this new call

While the application forms still need to be published, there’s a lot of information already available in the updated Erasmus Plus Programme Guide on page 115 onwards. Here is the main description from the programme guide.

“Partnerships for Creativity (in the fields of youth, school education and adult education): The COVID-19 crisis has hit the cultural and creative sectors particularly hard. Partnerships for Creativity [will] aim to engage organisations in the fields of formal, informal and non-formal education, together with those from the creative and cultural sectors to stimulate European awareness and empower people of current and future generations – regardless of social and cultural background – to be successful innovators in their local environment. One of the goals is also to equip young people and adults with the necessary tools and competences [skills] needed to come up with creative and innovative solutions to face unprecedented risks and societal challenges as well as to unveil opportunities that can be sought in a critical context. This action aims to enhance skills development and competences that reinforce creativity, as well as to boost quality, innovation and recognition of youth work that support the creative potential of youth, thus contributing to the recovery resilience of the cultural and creative sectors."

These projects reinforce cross-sectoral cooperation with a focus on creativity, European citizenship and cultural awareness of all citizens; through this action, the Programme can also enhance social inclusion through arts, by fostering innovative participatory and intercultural dialogue approaches linking education, training and youth stakeholders with the cultural and creative sector grassroots organisations."

What are Strategic Partnerships?

Strategic Partnerships are not dissimilar in structure in many ways to Creative Europe’s small-scale Cooperation Projects, although there are differences in the specificities, including which countries are eligible; what costs can be used for; what the partnerships need to focus on, etc. They are collaborations of at least 3 different organisations from 3 different eligible countries, working together for up to 2 years to achieve an aim together collectively and to learn from each other.

Following January’s Withdrawal Agreement, the UK is fully eligible to participate in calls under the current Erasmus Plus programme (2014 – 2020), and this means that projects supported by this programme will be supported until their completion. Under the current call, this means projects will be starting between March and June 2021 and continuing for up to 2 years.

What’s the deadline?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 29 October at 11:00 BST (midday Brussels time) for projects starting between 1 March and 30 June 2021.

How much can the partnership apply for?

Up to €300,000

Who can apply? Which countries are eligible?

For Partnerships for Creativity, the call is open to organisations active in the cultural and creative sectors, meaning all sectors whose activities are based on cultural values and/or artistic and other creative expressions. Those activities include the development, the creation, the production, the dissemination and the preservation of goods and services which embody cultural, artistic or other creative expressions, as well as related functions such as education or management.  Main partners can be from the EU member states, the UK, and from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Republic of North Macedonia, Turkey and Serbia

What kinds of activities will be supported?

Some examples include:
• activities linked to reinforce all aspects of creativity in non-formal and formal education, by enhancing the development of skills and competences;
• activities to nurture talents and foster entrepreneurship (including social entrepreneurship) in cultural and creative domains; and
learning tools and resources, materials, courses and training modules to foster creativity, culture and multiculturalism.

What else do I need to know?

Don’t forget that there is a dedicated UK contact point for Erasmus Plus funding, and you can find out more information about their advice and services at Erasmus Plus UK. Do keep in mind though that they work across all sectors, not just creative, cultural and heritage.

Further information on how to apply and guides for applicants will be made available over the coming weeks so make sure you sign up to Erasmus Plus UK’s newsletter, and keep an eye on their website and social media channels.

Image: Erasmus Plus UK