Near Now Ideas Fund

Applications closed

Get your creative project off the ground with support from Broadway's Near Now Ideas Fund

The Near Now Ideas Fund can help you start a new creative project that is enabled or inspired by technology.

We are offering £2,000 per proposal to support the important research and development (R&D) activity that is needed when a project is just getting started.

Key information

Total fund amount

  • £12,000


  • £2,000 per proposal

Fund opens

  • Thursday 18 August 2022

Fund closes

  • Monday 26th September 2022
  • Deadline extended due to 19.9.22 bank holiday announcement.

R&D activity

  • By end of March 2023

Who can apply?

  • Artists and creatives based in Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, who are not in full-time or part-time education.

This is an opportunity for you to prove that your ideas are feasible, exciting, innovative and interesting.

You might be looking to do something short and simple, or you could have an idea for something more ambitious that needs extra time and resources to achieve.

What does your project need to get started?

The R&D activity you propose should involve any, or all, of the following types of activity:


Taking part in a workshop, course, or tutorial to understand something new. Working with a mentor or collaborator who will help you gain new skills and knowledge.


Spending time experimenting with tools, techniques or technologies in new ways.


Making quick, rough examples to test your ideas, validate your project and put new skills into practice.


Presenting your ideas, prototypes or work-in-progress to people who can give critical feedback.

Testing prototypes early creates valuable insights that shape the project vision.

Testing ideas in the open with potential users or audiences can be the fastest way to get real insights about how your idea fits in people's lives.

We will support creative projects that are enabled or inspired by technology.

This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Digital and visual artworks
  • Interactive and immersive experiences or performance
  • New forms of storytelling
  • Video or audio works
  • Products and services

The project you are applying for should be either:

  • A new project, or
  • An extension of an existing project that explores technology in a way that is new to the project.

We want to know how you will use the next few months.

Your R&D activity must take place by the end of March 2023. What will you do during that time to get your project off the ground?

We want to share your work with audiences.

We are especially interested in funding projects that could be shared online or safely in-person at Broadway, or elsewhere in Nottingham/Nottinghamshire (UK). We'll work with you to decide how to showcase your project, either in its early-stage or through demonstrating ambition for further development.

We are looking for projects that have wider potential.

Does your project have the potential to go beyond the scope of the R&D activity we can support?

We'd like to know what you think the future of your project could be and what you would do if you were offered the opportunity to continue developing it. If you're not quite sure, that's okay. We'll help you to think about it as part of your application.

We can support R&D costs up to £2,000.

You cannot use the award as match funding for other opportunities supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

You can put other money towards your project but we want you to clearly describe how the award will be used towards R&D activity you're planning to do.

We anticipate you might not previously have received much, or any, support from major funders.

How can we help?

We can also help you with:

  • Support to identify mentors, collaborators and learning opportunities.
  • Guidance and practical advice on project management, finance, budgeting and purchasing.
  • Production support.
  • Support to promote your project and create opportunities to reach audiences and test your idea.
  • Ongoing profile and promotion from Near Now, Broadway and our partners.
  • Flexibility to work safely from your home, studio, or other location of your choosing.

Who can apply?

The Near Now Ideas Fund is open to individuals or groups who can meet the following criteria:

  • You are not currently in education.
  • You are aged 18 or over.
  • You (or the majority of you if working collaboratively) live or are professionally based in Nottingham/Nottinghamshire (UK).

How to apply

Applications to the Near Now Ideas Fund are closed.

How do we choose who gets an award?

We aim to make up to 6 awards.

Your application will be assessed by Broadway staff and a panel of experienced creative practitioners, against the following criteria:


The proposed activity is enabled or inspired by technology. The activity is clear and achievable in the fund’s timescale and award amount.

Value for Money

The activity demonstrates value for money. Activity costs have been carefully considered, are reasonable and justifiable, and are of clear benefit to you and your creative practice.


The activity is culturally relevant. The activity will significantly benefit your creative practice. You demonstrate ambition to progress your project beyond this initial R&D activity.


Consideration has been given to what audience the project could reach beyond its R&D.

Banner image: Near Now Ideas Fund identity by Near Now Studio Member Sian Morrell.