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Cultural and Evening Economy Support Fund

Support for small businesses and social enterprises in the Cultural and Evening Economy sectors

Our Additional Restrictions Grant funding will be expanded to provide further help for Islington businesses hardest hit by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Cultural and evening economy businesses that have been affected by local and national restrictions due to Coronavirus, that have ongoing fixed premises costs, could be eligible for a one-off grant of £15,000 or £30,000.

These grants are to support independent pubs and cultural venues operating in the borough and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis.

Qualifying business types

  1. Independent cultural venue operators with fewer than five venues in the borough (theatre, cabaret, comedy, dance, live music venues).


  2. Independent licensee for a public house with no more than five venues in the borough. Businesses with more than five premises (including National chains) are able to apply, but only for those venues that can demonstrate an existing cultural use, (comedy, live music, theatre, dance) and show a commitment to using the funds to support the continuation of that activity for the next two years.

Grant amounts will be awarded based on the rateable value as of 12 April 2021. (NB unlike previous grants, this scheme is not exclusive to rate payers).

 Rateable value  Amount of award for grant 1 and 2
 Less than £51,000  £15,000
 Exactly £51,000 and over  £30,000

For the Cultural and Evening Economy Grants, there is currently a total anticipated fund of £1.8 million. 

Applications open Tuesday 25 May at midday and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

We reserve the right to close applications at any time.


To be eligible for a Cultural and Evening Economy Grant, applicants must:

  • be a public house or theatre, cabaret, comedy, dance, live music venue
  • be registered on Companies House or the Charity Register
  • offer in-person services open to the public (under normal circumstances) where the main service and activity takes place in the fixed rate-paying premises.
  • have a physical trading address in Islington (i.e., an operating or trading address in Islington from which the bulk of business’ activities take place)
  • have applied for and received COVID-19 related grant aid, such as an Arts Council England Culture Recovery FundLocal Restrictions Support Grant or Additional Restrictions Grant
  • be the ratepayer, licensee, or have a legal agreement to occupy the property
  • Licensed by London Borough of Islington Council where applicable

Cultural venues must also:

  • be able to demonstrate a track record in hosting regular live music and/or live cultural events in Islington before March 2020
  • have a dedicated performance area for live cultural activities that are open to the public.

A supporting statement will be required along with your application that describes your trading or cultural activity, the impact of Covid-19 on your business and the preparations you have taken to restart your business.

Application timeline 

Grants will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide updates on the progress of your application. We know how important these grants are and are working as quickly as possible to distribute them.

We will aim to assess complete applications within 15 working days, but processing times may take longer.

Information required to complete your application

Before making your online application, please make sure you have the following information to hand where applicable:

  1. Certificate of company incorporation or charity registration number
  2. Business Rates account number
  3. Premise Licence number from Islington Council
  4. Reference of your Additional Restrictions Grant or Local Restrictions Grant Support 

Due to the expected levels of demand, incomplete applications or applications that are missing evidence documents will be rejected. We will not enter into correspondence on your application. Please ensure you have all your documentation and necessary information ready before applying and only submit your application if you have completed it in full.  

Successful applicants will be asked to commit to supporting social value outcomes and to return monitoring information. You will be asked to make this commitment at application stage. This is to ensure businesses who are able to support initiatives that benefit the wider community are able to do so. The council would not expect successful applicants to deliver these outcomes where it is unreasonable to do so (i.e. where you do not employ staff).

  • Commitment to fair treatment of performers such as Equity, Musicians Union, PRS or equivalent organisation.
  • Sign up to the Islington Council and Mayor Women’s Night Safety Charter.
  • Commitment to sustain your cultural activity for the next two years.
  • Be members of their local Pub Watch Group
  • An affiliated member of a relevant recognised cultural institution – Music Venue Trust, Society of London Theatre, British Comedy Society, Theatre Trust or equivalent.
  • Committed to supporting 100 Hours World of Work
  • Where applicable will endorse the London Living Wage

Examples of Council employment initiatives


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