Millions of pounds worth of grants are available for
heritage, cultural and arts organisations and projects….but the key is in
finding the best way to unlock them.

That was the message for representatives from organisations
across the Midlands and beyond who were given an insight into how to go about
sourcing funding for capital schemes.

Experts from Focus Consultants and architects Purcell staged
a seminar aimed at unravelling the process of applying for grants and other
funds. As well as highlighting the opportunities, the event turned the
spotlight on how to overcome challenges and obstacles.
The seminar, which was held at Nottingham’s Council House,
also focused on creative ways of maximising assets to help towards resourcing

It attracted delegates from cultural organisations across
the Midlands and beyond that are involved in the conservation, restoration,
regeneration and development of arts and heritage projects and initiatives.

Kevin Osbon, a partner at Focus Consultants, whose head
office is based at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, and a speaker at the
event, said afterwards: “Over the past 20 years, Focus Consultants has helped
to secure £1 billion worth of grant
assistance for a range of projects and businesses across the UK. We specialise
in creative approaches to securing funding packages, and have worked to help
many significant heritage, ecclesiastical, arts, culture and leisure schemes
gain grants from a range of funding sources.
“Via the seminar,
we wanted to share some of the expertise we have built up over the years and
offer some signposts to organisations that could benefit from the funding

The audience of around 120 delegates also heard from Niall
Phillips, head of design at Purcell, who focused on several schemes that the
company had worked on and highlighted the importance of partnership working, as
well as the key role that volunteers could play in projects.

The company has studios across the UK and in Asia Pacific,
and the seminar marked a year since Purcell opened a studio in Nottingham.
Purcell is working on a number of schemes in the area, providing heritage
consultancy advice and architectural services. Most recently, the practice
prepared a Conservation Management Plan for the Malt Cross which contributed to
its successful Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid. Focus Consultants led the
process to secure £1.8m for the original complete restoration and refurbishment
of the Music Hall.

Service manager for museums and galleries at Nottingham City
Council, Ron Inglis, shared the grant-seeking experiences he had been involved
in for a number of Nottingham projects, including the multi-million pound improvements
at Wollaton Hall.

The seminar was told by Kevin Osbon that Focus dealt with
around 100 different sources of capital and revenue funding, and outlined some
of the key ones. He explained that the role of LEPs (Local Enterprise
Partnerships) was very important, as European funding awards would be
considered and approved by these organisations.

“Now is the time to liaise with and make your case for
funding support to your LEPs as European funding is likely to come on stream in
the summer,” he added.

Kevin highlighted some of the Nottingham projects that Focus
had been involved in, including the Nottingham Playhouse Sky Mirror, Broadway
Media Centre and the New Art Exchange, and talked about the funding packages
that the firm had helped to secure for these schemes.

“Funding opportunities come and go,” he told the audience.
“Keep your networks. Keep looking. I am pleased to say that we have had lots of
success and I hope we can help you with securing funding for your projects and

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR