Public art grants

Chesterton MuralChesterton Mural by Sa’adiah and Samirah Khan, and Dan Biggs (2017)

Last updated: 22 February 2018

You can now apply for up to £15,000 to support a small-scale public art project in Cambridge. We encourage applications from community groups partnered with artists or arts organisations.

Applications must be submitted by 3 April 2018 (please note that the application period has now been extended).

Selection criteria

Grant awards will depend on the availability of local S106 funding and meeting the S106 selection criteria (particularly, the quality of proposed public art). The grant process is competitive and not all applicants will be awarded S106 funding.

Our guidance pack explains the selection criteria in more detail. The key points are that applications must:

  • be within the city of Cambridge
  • be publicly accessible
  • engage local communities
  • be new and original
  • be led by a professional artist or craftsperson
  • involve the appropriate remuneration of professional artists
  • be site or context sensitive
  • demonstrate excellent artistic quality
  • have a lasting legacy
  • be feasible, deliverable and have appropriate project management plans in place

Agreements for successful applicants are unlikely to be finalised before July 2018. We cannot provide grants for proposals planned to take place before then.

S106 funding availability

The availability of public art S106 funding varies from ward to ward. Although it will depend on the quality of the proposed public art....

  • There is sufficient funding available in each of the following wards for a grant of up to £15,000: Abbey, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington and West Chesterton.
  • A public art grant between £10,000 and £15,000 may be possible in each of Arbury, East Chesterton and Petersfield.
  • It is not worth applying for a public art proposal focussed on Castle ward - all public art S106 contributions from that ward have already been allocated.
  • Applicants may seek a grant of up to £15,000 for a proposal which relates to more than one ward of the city.  

At the same time as the 2018 small-scale, public art grant round, the Council is also inviting applications for community facilities S106 grants. See S106 priority setting for more details.

Recent grants

More than £160,000 of S106 public art contributions were allocated to nine small-scale public art projects in 2017.

Applications were invited in late 2016, and we assessed the 22 proposals we received against criteria based on our Public Art Strategy. The funding recommendations were agreed by the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces in March 2017.

Funding was given to the following public art projects (based on off-site contributions agreed before April 2015), subject to conditions:

  • Cambridge Junction for ‘Radio Local’ (£15,000)
  • Kettle's Yard for performance art relating to the temporary installation of an Antony Gormley sculpture (£15,000)
  • Cambridge Live for (what is now called) the ‘We' project’ (£16,500)
  • University of Cambridge Primary School for the ‘Eddington Flag Parade’ in 2018 (£25,000)
  • Pink Festival Group for the ‘Showcase of Queer Arts’ (£15,000 to £30,000)
  • Menagerie Theatre Company for ‘Trumpington Voices’ (£19,000)
  • £13,000 grant to Oblique Arts for (what is now called) the ‘Bright Lights of CB4’ in various locations in West Chesterton (£13,000)
  • Historyworks for ‘Rhythm, Rhyme and Railways’ (£15,000)
  • Historyworks for ‘History Walking Trails 2’ involving various primary schools (£15,000)

Visit our S106 priority-setting page to see the applications and more detail about the assessment and decisions.

Contact us

Leave feedback