Through its Support for Ambition (SfA) scheme, we support Dumfries & Galloway based performing arts venues to programme productions or events for the benefit of the audiences in their communities.

Productions or programmes of events in the following disciplines – theatre, music, dance, film, spoken word and comedy – are eligible for SfA financial, promotional and advisory support.

What we fund

We are interested in applications to the SfA scheme from Dumfries & Galloway based performing arts venues which describe how the inclusion of a production or event (a series of workshops provided by a leading performing arts practitioner, for example) in a venue’s programme, which otherwise it could not afford safely, will provide significant benefit to audiences and/or participants in the local community.

You may want to programme work which enables you to reach out to a potential new audience or re-establish links with one you have engaged with successfully in the past. You may wish to try something which is a bit more ambitious and carries a potential financial risk your venue cannot support.

SfA will support the following costs:

  • Production’s performance or workshop leader’s fees (All personnel involved in your application should be remunerated at the least at minimum ITC/Equity/Musicians Union, or other relevant trade bodies’ rates)
  • Relevant technical costs
  • Relevant travel, accommodation and per diem expenditure for contracted artists
  • Venue hire.

What we do not fund

  • Promoters’ or venues’ staff time
  • Catering for the public
  • Cancellation charges
  • Increases in event expenditure once an SfA award has been made
  • Rented items which are not returned.

How to apply

We will award a total of £2,000 for 2023-2024. The maximum you can apply for is £1,000. To apply, you must complete the application form which you will find on our website – – as well as the accompanying confidential anonymised equalities and diversity monitoring form – 

Please send your application as a pdf. All applications submitted will be acknowledged and each applicant will be informed of the outcome of their submission. If you require the application form in another format, or require support or assistance, please contact us:

Application Form & Example Budget Downloads: 

D&GAF Application form SfA VENUES 12Sep2023

D&GAF Specimen budget SfA VENUES 12Sep2023

Where a venue charges admission for an event, and depending on the detailed breakdown of a budget, SfA will provide up to a maximum of 70% of total event costs, made up of eligible expenditure items.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants will also receive free publicity across on our website, social media and marketing platforms as well as, if requested, a maximum of three hours advisory and bespoke marketing support from our organisation’s team.


To make this fund as useful as possible to venues as they plan their programmes, we provide the following series of deadlines. After each deadline we will announce how much of the fund is left for future applications, until the monies have all been awarded.

  • SfA submissions’ deadline 1 Monday 30th October, 12.00pm
  • SfA awards announced Friday 13th November, 12.00pm


  • SfA submissions’ deadline 2 Monday 5th February, 12.00pm
  • SfA awards announced Friday 16th February, 12.00pm


  • SfA submissions’ deadline 3 Monday 10th June, 12.00pm
  • SfA awards announced Friday 21st June, 12.00pm

Successful applicants will receive their award after the event on receipt of a short report and comprehensive box office income information. An end of project report template will be provided to successful applicants.

If requested, we will provide feedback to those applicants who have not been successful. There will also be an opportunity for applicants to provide us with feedback, to help us refine the SfA and its processes.

Our selection process

Our selection panel will consist of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival’s Director & CEO and Projects & Communications Manager and an independent regionally based performing arts practitioner. Based on the information an applicant provides, we will discuss each submission in detail and assess them on the following criteria with a points-based system:

  • The artistic quality and ambition of the proposal
  • Given a venue’s track record to date, how successfully will they be able to deliver their proposal?
  • What benefits does proposal provide for audiences or participants in the local community, how strong is its potential to engage with new audiences, or re-energise and enthuse existing ones?
  • How realistic is the proposal’s timeframe and what the applicant wishes to achieve?
  • Is the budget realistic and is everyone paid appropriately?
  • How does the proposal balance with our organisation’s activities and commitments to reaching as wide and diverse an audience as possible across Dumfries & Galloway?

SFA Scheme conditions

  • It is the responsibility of venues in receipt of SfA support to do everything they can to make the event a success
  • Venues will be primarily responsible for the promotion and marketing of their event
  • Venues should be confident of achieving their financial and audience attendance targets, SfA funding will ensure that all agreed event costs are covered, provided minimum financial objectives are reached.
  • When box office ticket income is higher than the agreed minimum, the venue will retain all of the balance
  • SfA support will underwrite a venue’s event up to an agreed maximum against a balanced income and expenditure budget
  • By accepting an offer of SfA award, the venue understands and accepts that this not a GRANT but support against specified minimum ticket income and maximum expenditure figures
  • Subsequent to an award being made, if a venue’s costs increase and/or agreed minimum income is not reached, SfA will not cover any budgetary shortfall
  • SfA does not cover any cancellation costs and, in the event of such, an award will not be paid to a venue
  • SfA awardees have read and agree to the scheme’s conditions
  • Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival signage, provided by ourselves, is displayed prominently at SfA supported events
  • Successful applicants must supply 78-100 words of copy and a good quality image about their event for our website, social media and marketing platforms.