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University of York Launches Innovation Fund for York Festival of Ideas 2015

Posted on 19 November 2014

The York Festival of Ideas will launch a new Innovation Fund providing support for organisations and individuals wishing to develop activities for the 2015 programme, funded by the Holbeck Trust.

The festival committee is inviting applications for funding support of up to £2,000 for next year’s programme, running from 9 – 21 June 2015 on the theme of ‘Secrets and Discoveries’.

In 2014 the festival held 140 events over ten days and reached an audience of more than 40,000. The festival’s mission is to ‘educate, entertain and inspire’ and due to this inclusive agenda the Holbeck Trust has agreed to support the creation of an Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Fund will offer grants of up to £2,000, with an average grant of £1,000, for any activity which is creative, innovative and links to the 2015 festival theme. This could include a talk or panel discussion, hands-on activity, performance or exhibition.

Applications will be assessed against four criteria: creativity; effectiveness in engaging young people and/or hard-to-reach audiences; quality of project planning; and the ability of project proposals to link with the festival theme of ‘Secrets and Discoveries’. Projects must be delivered in the city of York during the festival period, and applications are welcomed from individuals and organisations, including student and community groups, and festival partners.

Joan Concannon, Director of the York Festival of Ideas, said: “We are deeply grateful to the Holbeck Trust who were a pioneer in helping to support the creation and development of the Festival. The Festival of Ideas has been able to grow so rapidly because so many local and national organisations have wanted to deliver elements of the festival programme. This additional funding will enable us to support new innovative programme development and we hope very much will inspire new organisations to participate in the Festival of Ideas.”

The York Festival of Ideas was created in 2011 by the University of York in partnership with three city partners. Now the largest free festival in the UK, it has grown to encompass partnerships with more than 40 national and city organisations. Enhancing York’s reputation as a city of ideas and innovation, the festival offers a high calibre of public events to local, regional and visitor audiences to demonstrate the transformative power of education and ideas.

The deadline for applications to the Innovation Fund is 5pm, Monday 8 December 2014. To find out more and to download the application form please visit

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