People Dancing FAQ

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Types of activity we are looking to commission

Q. Does my proposed People Dancing activity have to be a completely new idea?

A. No, but it does need to show how it is either extending existing practice or reaching new people

Q. I think my commission will cross two of the activity areas you have highlighted; do I need to put in two separate bids?

A. No, the activity areas are detailed to provide you with an idea of the programmes and projects we are looking to commission. It is expected that some commissions may cross more than one area but bids dont need to break down which areas the commission fits into as this will be done by the People Dancing delivery team.

Q. Does my project need to be collaborative to be considered for a People Dancing commission?

A. No, however we want People Dancing commissions to make a significant impact, reaching extensively into communities, which is often achieved most effectively by working with other organisations to extend reach. If you decide to bid as a single organisation you will need to demonstrate clearly that you have the breadth, reach and resources to deliver a wide-reaching programme.

Q. Do all projects have to involve young people as participants and/or consultants?

A. The challenge for the People Dancing programme is to get people of all ages and abilities dancing, so we are seeking projects that will reach a broad audience. However, young people are central to the Cultural Olympiad and to People Dancing, so projects that involve young people not only as recipients and audiences, but as contributors to the design and delivery of the programme where appropriate, will be prioritised.

Q. What is your definition of young people in age range?

A. Young People are defined as aged 16 to 25.

Q. Will you commission projects with activity taking place outside of the region?

A. We understand that in addressing local needs, your project may involve working outside of the West Midlands, but for your commission to be successful the main beneficiaries of your work will be people living in the West Midlands and it is on the reaching the people of the West Midlands that your bid will be judged.

Q. Is there a limit to the number of projects that could potentially be funded in a particular geographical area?

A. No. However People Dancing is a West Midlands-wide programme and the team will be seeking to address all parts of the region across the three years of the programme.

Q. Can People Dancing commissions include other art forms integral to dance such as music and film?

A. The main focus for this programme is obviously dance, however we will consider commissions that include other complementary art forms where they can enhance the dance offer and increase its reach.

Q. Is the People Dancing funding pot spread across the 3 years or is it possible it could all go in the first year?

A. We have split the overall funding across the three years leading up to London 2012 so we will be commissioning activity throughout this period. It is however possible that in some cases we will make commitments to fund programmes out of future years funds where activity reaches into future years.


Partnership funding

Q. Is it essential to obtain partnership funding for People Dancing?

A. Its not a pre-requisite for successful commissions; however one of the criteria for decision-making will be value for money and partnership buy-in represented by partnership funding.

Q. Would in-kind support be included in the partnership funding we are asking for?

A. Absolutely. The additional funding needs to show that we are getting maximum value for money so any extra support will help demonstrate this. We are also looking to see that other organisations have bought into your project thereby increasing the chances of its success.

Q. How does People Dancing work practically alongside Grants for the Arts or other lottery programmes?

A. Organisations and collectives bidding for People Dancing commissions are encouraged to apply for Grants for the Arts funding, although it is important to state that we dont have a say in how these grants are allocated. If projects are also applying for Grants for the Arts funding, project activities should not start earlier than at least 3 months after the People Dancing proposal submission date for which they are being considered.

Q. I have a Grants for the Arts application pending, which is detailed as my partnership funding, but havent received a response yet. What happens if this application is refused after my People Dancing bid has been submitted?

A. You should include details of the pending bid in your People Dancing application and let the People Dancing delivery team know about the decision as soon as you receive it. People Dancing commissions will be awarded based on obtaining the partnership funding detailed in your proposal and this may be a condition of your agreement with People Dancing.

Q. Is there a minimum % requirement for partnership funding?

A. As outlined previously partnership funding isnt absolutely essential, although it will help your application if you can show additional support for your project or activity. There is therefore no minimum or maximum requirement on the partnership funding you obtain.

The commissioning process

Q. How long does it take for a decision to be reached once I have submitted my proposal?

A. It will usually take 6 weeks from the proposal submission closing date for a decision to be reached.

Q. Is there a limit on the number of bids I can submit and the amount I can bid for?

A. The guideline value of commissions for which we are inviting bids is 30,000 to 100,000. An organisation, or collective of individuals, can submit any number of bids for different projects to People Dancing, provided the combined total of those bids over the life of the People Dancing programme does not exceed 100,000.

100,000 over the 3.5 years of the programme is the maximum value of a People Dancing commission. The higher value commissions will be wide-reaching consortium bids. Bids from separate partners for activities under the same project will not be accepted. It is intended that the People Dancing commission will act as a catalyst to leverage match funds from other project partners.

For exceptional, wide-reaching and high impact projects which benefit the whole West Midlands region, commissions may exceed the guideline maximum value of 100,000. We are able to commission Dance Leadership projects at values less than 30,000.

Q. If my bid is declined can I reapply and if so when?

A. If your People Dancing bid is declined then you will be given clear reasons for this and are welcome to resubmit in the next commission round. This typically opens 8 weeks after you have received your decision.

Organisations that can bid for funding

Q. Can individuals bid for People Dancing commissions?

A. We are primarily seeking proposals from collectives of individuals, and from companies, not sole individuals. We use the term collective to mean a partnership of two or more individuals. The collective should select a lead partner to submit the proposal on its behalf; to be responsible for the management of the project budget; delivery of the project; and to be the main point of contact. It is not necessary for collective or organisations to be registered companies, but it should be noted that only registered companies which are not for profit can apply for the Cultural Olympiad Inspire mark.

Other points

Q. Has the open air touring stage been made/ contracted yet? When will it be available?

A. We will be issuing a tender for this part of the People Dancing programme by June 2009. This will be a fair and open process ensuring we get the best commission possible. If you are interested in receiving the tender for this piece of work please email

Q. What is the portal for information on dance? Will this be created centrally or are you expecting to commission this as one of the bids?

A. as above

Q. Will the amounts awarded need to include VAT?

A. This will depend on the organisation, the type of activity the funds are being used for, and whether the individual/organisation can recover their VAT costs. Advice should be sought from the People Dancing delivery team.

Q. Will it jeopardise this bid if my project has sponsors that prevent it from applying for the Cultural Olympiad badging?

A. Whilst we are keen that People Dancing programmes apply for the Cultural Olympiad Inspire mark this is not a pre-requisite. You are bidding to be part of People Dancing firstly, therefore programmes which obtain sponsorship will be considered fairly.

Q. Is there some way of flagging my interest in submitting a bid so if there are others in the same area we could be linked up rather than putting in competing bids?

A. The best way to find out about other interested parties in your area is to speak to the 2012 co-coordinator in your region, or the People Dancing delivery team.

Q. Is there the opportunity to discuss my idea with someone before I submit my proposal?

A. Yes. We are holding regional surgeries throughout the region over the next few weeks where you can discuss your idea with a member of the People Dancing delivery team. Alternatively you can email

For further information please contact:
Kerry Endsor/Nicola Saunders
Interim Programme Managers
People Dancing
Arts Council England West Midlands
82 Granville Street, Birmingham B1 2LH

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