ARFOR Challenge Fund: Information for applicants

August 2023 | Arfor, Featured

With ARFOR’s Challenge Fund having been formally launched at the National Eisteddfod and following an information session for those who showed an interest in making an application for the grant on the 4th of August, this article is designed as a guide for those who wish to make a bid for a grant from the fund.

If you aren’t familiar with the ARFOR Challenge fund, you can learn more about the purpose of the grant by reading our previous guide to the fundamentals of the fund. This article outlines the process of making an application for a grant as well as some key dates to make a note of if you are considering starting the process.

Making an application for the ARFOR Challenge Fund is a multi-step process. First, applicants need to complete a Declaration of Interest by filling in a form that will ask for a broad outline of their idea that will then be assessed by the Challenge Fund’s Development Officers. Once applicants have declared an interest, a member of the team will be in touch to contact them to see what assistance they require. The ARFOR team will then provide support to applicants and provide them with valuable advice for the final application, as par of this step there are planned workshops designed to help applicants through different parts of the process. Attendance at these workshops isn’t mandatory but they could be very useful for applicants unsure about how to develop their ideas. The last step of the process is formally presenting an application form outlining that which you aim to achieve as part of your project.

As mentioned already, part of the support that the Challenge Fund Development Officers will provide comes in the form of a series of workshops for applicant to attend. The first of these workshops is named ‘Identify the Challenge’ and is a means of helping applicants consider that which they see as the problems that need solving in their local area, and to think about the nature of the challenge that their project will attempt to rectify. The second workshop is a ‘Spark Ideas’ session with the aim of trying to find innovative and original solutions to the challenges that the project aims to solve. The third workshop is called ‘Pilot Development’ and is a means of developing ideas for the project so that they can be realised as part of a competent completion plan.

Once applicants have submitted their application, they will be assessed by ARFOR’s regional panel. Every application round lasts two months and runs until 24 September 2024, so there is plenty of time to make an application. More information about specific deadlines and submission dates will be provided in the coming weeks.

For those who are interested in making an application there are several workshops being held in the next few weeks.

  • On 7 September there will be a virtual ‘Pilot Development’ session that is open to everyone across all of ARFOR’s regions.
  • On 13 September 2023 there will be an ‘Identify the Challenge’ workshop held for applicants from Gwynedd in Galeri in Caernarfon (Meeting Room C1) between 10am and 12pm. The same workshop will be held for applicants from Ynys Môn later the same say in the Town Hall in Llangefni (Swtan Room) between 2 and 4pm.
  • On 20 September 2023 the ‘Identify the Challenge’ workshop will be held for Carmarthenshire applicants in Yr Egin between 10am and 12pm. The workshop will then be held for applicants from Ceredigion in Menter a Busnes’s meeting rooms in Aberystwyth.
  • On 5 October 2023 the same ‘Identify the Challenge’ session will be held for applicants in Meirionydd on the Glan-llyn Urdd Site between 10am and 12pm.

You can declare and interest and start the process of making an application to the ARFOR Challenge Fund by following this link. If you would like more information about any events or workshops you can contact the fund’s team directly by emailing Cronfa@menterabusnes.co.uk.  

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