A portal fit for purpose

Posted By Althea Efunshile on 26 January 2016

Althea Efunshile, our Deputy Chief Executive, writes on the launch of our new grant management system, and what it means for applicants.

Dancer from Balbir Singh Dance Company performs underwater.
Balbir Singh Dance Company’s Syncronised. Photo © Maya De Almeida Araujo

Today marks an important milestone for the Arts Council. Back in 2012, we were charged with reducing our overheads by a hefty 50%. We had to find ways to continue to serve the cultural sector well, while cutting cost from our administration and processes.

...With Grantium, we’ll now save around £1 million each year; money that we will re-use to invest directly in arts and culture.

Today we’re launching our new grant management system, Grantium.  In the first instance, we’re only using it for our Grants for the Arts programme, and not for any of our other funding programmes.  But it’s a major piece in the jigsaw that supports the Arts Council’s work. Behind the scenes we’ve already replaced our finance system, and with Grantium, we’ll now save around £1 million each year; money that we will re-use to invest directly in arts and culture. But it’s not just about saving money. Grantium will help to bring us into the 21st Century.

We’re all familiar now with registering for online services – whether that be your bank account, a new tax disc or grocery shopping. With Grantium, once you have created an account, all activities are managed online. You can make a funding application, receive our decision about your application, and, if successful, accept your offer and upload any required documentation for your payment request. We’re cutting out the cost of producing, processing and posting paper letters.

A performer from Access All Areas removes the hood covering his head.
Acess All Areas: Eye Queue Hear. Photo © Caroline Moore / Access All Areas

One word that keeps coming up from the organisations we tested the system with is intuitive. We’re hoping that all our applicants will find it an improvement to the way we work with the sector. And we’ve plenty of support in place if applicants get stuck, such as guidance, step by step videos and of course, our Customer Services team. Do not fear; we’re not changing your ability to talk to a Relationship Manager about your project. And although we’re introducing a new grants management system, we’re not making any changes to the actual Grants for the Arts programme. 

All our staff who have any contact with the sector (including Darren and me) have been trained on the new system, so that we could see what it was like from an applicant’s perspective – personally I found this re-assuring and helpful. I hope you get on with Grantium – it’s saving us money that we can plough back into arts and culture!

If you have any questions, or would like more information about the new grants management system, please visit: our grantium portal – and see the highlights of the new system below.