In March 2018, Arts Council England revised their previous Grants For The Arts scheme, renaming it Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants. After the massive success of (and feedback from) the original #ACECheatsheet in 2016, here’s a revised ACE Project Grants application cheatsheet for the new Project Grants scheme (2018 onwards).

If you find it useful, let me know in the comments below, or on twitter @RachelDobbs1. All of the resources I produce are available to download for FREE, but if you’d like to contribute to my future projects, say thank you or just do something nice for a fellow creative practitioner, feel free to donate by clicking the button below…

ACE Project Grants application cheatsheet – helping you complete the Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants application

Below you'll find links to 2 documents to be used in parallel:

1. Overview

This document shows the whole Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants application form on 3 sheets.
TIP: Print out at A3 to use for notes, brainstorming and planning.

ACE Project Grants application cheatsheet


Click here to download PDF & Google Docs versions…


2. Application Questions

This document gives you the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants application questions in full. These are colour coded with the overview so that you can fill in the application form more easily.
TIP: Use this document to work on your drafts before completing the online process via the ACE online portal.

ACE Project Grants application cheatsheet


Click here to download PDF & Google Docs versions…

These cheatsheets are not intended to replace the existing advice and information available from Arts Council England, merely as a re-formatting of the info available to make the process a little easier! You can find all the information you need on the Arts Council England site –

Also, because this version is released under a creative commons licence (CC-BY-SA) it means you (anyone) can improve and adapt it – I’d really love it if you could… Drop me a line in the comments or on twitter @RachelDobbs1 with the heads up!!


What’s changed in the new ACE Project Grants application cheatsheet?

Luckily, for those of you familiar with the previous ACE Grants For the Arts scheme (2016-2018), the questions and word counts for each question are very familiar. If you had previously been working on an ACE application using the Grants For The Arts questions, you should easily be able to translate your answers into the corresponding questions for the new form (most of the questions retain exactly the same focus and are simply re-worded).

The main changes to the questions issued by Arts Council England are:

  • Slight rewording of questions for improved clarity – this makes the questions more direct (and many may find them easier to answer).
  • Clarification of how ACE will judge & consider your project – this information is now included in-line on the online version of the form (and is included in the revised ACE Project Grants application cheatsheet). It is a useful reference point for how best to form your answers to ensure a better chance of success.
  • Slight re-ordering of questions for improved clarity – the questions have been re-grouped into a more intuitive order under 4 headings – Quality, Public Engagement, Finance & Management.


Due to changes in the Arts Council online application process, be aware that you have to request access to the online application process (which can take up to 5 days)… See the Arts Council England site for more details –


ACE Grants for the arts – key steps to applying for funding image


Please feel free to comment below or tweet me with your own experiences, observations and top tips.



If you are new to applying for Arts Council grants, I would particularly recommend Applying to Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts Programme: an unofficial guide by producer, director and dramaturg Simon Day for Theatre Bristol on writing funding applications. Although aimed at theatre makers, the advice included is very relevant for all involved in DIY artist-led activity…

If you are new to arts & community fundraising in general, or looking to improve your skills & understanding, I’d recommend having a look at this collection of useful resources to get you started…

Fundraising - Arts & Community - Useful Resources

If you are thinking about crowdfunding to raise match-funding for your project, I’d highly recommend you check out my quick start guide to crowdfunding!!

Quick start crowdfunding beginners guide



Rachel Dobbs is an artist and educator & one half of artist collaboration LOW PROFILE. Rachel works on a range of arts and education projects, has a long-term interest in creative approaches to community development and runs workshops, teaching & training sessions for a range of formal & informal groups including students, arts practitioners and communities – contact me for more details.