Proposals Call Out: Investment Programme

Call Out Short summary:

The Investment Programme aims to invest in a diverse range of projects that make dance a vibrant and resilient contributor to the artistic and economic life of Birmingham and the West Midlands, achieving significant long-term benefits.

  • The investment programme totals £500,000
  • We will be operating 3 application rounds across 2021-23.
  • Deadline / Monday 27 February 2023
  • Proposals for investment should be a minimum of £30,000
  • Proposals must carefully address the key criteria listed below.
  • Applications must consist of a written or recorded proposal, plus budget and equal opportunities form
  • The investment programme will be fully committed by June 2023

DHB are particularly looking for proposals that embrace and intersect across more than one of the four investment priorities; bring together multiple partners in new and unexpected collaborations; are from a diverse range of companies working in dance practices and styles, representative of the wider cultural community; and have national and/or international significance.

DHB encourages larger organisations to consult with local artists in order to bring people and ideas together and for local artists to be meaningfully engaged. DHB will support with making introductions where possible.

We welcome proposals which engage with partners outside dance, however dance must be the focus.

Key Criteria

Proposals should articulate how your project will:

  • Address more than one of the four investment priorities
  • Address any DHB cross-cutting themes
  • Demonstrate partnership working and sector connectivity
  • Support DHB’s ambition to position Birmingham and the West Midlands as a globally significant area for dance
  • Achieve national/international significance (where appropriate to your project)
  • Generate learning, knowledge or research that will benefit the future of the sector
  • Provide work opportunities, exposure and/or professional development opportunities for West Midlands Artists, Producers and/or Practitioners
  • Generate added value through strategic partnerships, investment and in-kind support

Proposals will also need to:

  • Demonstrate the experience, expertise and capacity of your team and partners to deliver the project effectively
  • Outline plans for monitoring and evaluation, articulating how you will assess the benefits, reach and impact of your project, and disseminate learning
  • Include an appropriate budget, showing income and in-kind support, in line with the Match Funding policy below
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the context of the city of Birmingham and the wider region
  • Have at least one person working on the project based in the West Midlands

What this Investment Programme is not for:

  • Applications from individual artists or companies with no partnership working
  • COVID-19 recovery projects
  • Applications from employed artists where the investment would be used to double up on salaried time – or applications from organisations to cover core salaries

Match Funding Policy

In order to maximise DHB investment, successful projects will be expected to generate added value through strategic partnerships, funding, investment, earned income, in-kind support and/or other means. At least 30% of the total project value must come from sources other than DHB investment, of which no more than 10% should be in kind. ACE Project Funds cannot be used as match.

Additional investment and funding levered will be tracked as part of the DHB monitoring and evaluation processes to demonstrate the added value of the investment fund.

You can download the full brief here

read a condensed brief here

or listen to an audio version here

Watch an Information session here

Please use the brief above to submit a proposal consisting of:

  • Up to 2000 words or a short video or audio file (max. 15 minutes) outlining your project and how it meets the above criteria
  • A project timeline
  • A budget that clearly shows income (funded, earned and in-kind support) and planned project expenditure
  • Names and contact details of two suitable referees
  • DHB’s Equal Opportunities Monitoring form (this is anonymous and kept separate from the proposal)
  • You may also add one optional attachment of up to 2 further sides of A4 for additional supporting information  (eg for further company and partnership details, video links, images etc).

Please send your proposal to Charlotte Mackie (DHB Project Manager) at

Shortlisting will be completed within 4 weeks of the deadline by a sub-committee of DHB Steering Group members. We may come back to shortlisted applicants with additional questions to refine our understanding of the proposed project and its added value to the sector. There may also be a process of negotiation and refinement.