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The Community Creative Tech Fund, in partnership with the Creative Communities Hub project

The Community Creative Tech Fund is part of the Creative Informatics programme, which aims to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together, utilising innovative data-driven technologies to develop ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences.

Creative Informatics is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Industrial Strategy Creative Clusters programme, the Scottish Funding Council and the City Region Deal Data Driven Innovation Programme. Creative Informatics is delivered by the University of Edinburgh working in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, CodeBase and Creative Edinburgh.

Creative Informatics has been awarded additional funding by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (part of UK Research & Innovation) to support investment in capital projects (buildings and/or rent, facilities, equipment and maintenance, etc.) which support our legacy as a project and further the equality, diversity, and inclusion impact of creative data driven innovation in our region.

The Community Creative Tech Fund, in partnership with the Creative Community Hubs Project, is a fund for significant (£5k – £50k) capital investments in community based projects and organisations/groups that enable innovative creative activities, projects and entrepreneurship with data and data driven technologies. We have a total of £110k funding to allocate to these projects and hope to see proposals at a range of costs and ambitions, so that we can fund between 5 and 15 proposals. We will only be supporting proposals with a clear equality, diversity and inclusion impact, and particularly encourage and hope to see applications from communities and organisations that are under-represented and overlooked in the creative industries and/or in the technology and innovation space.

We have created this call in partnership with the Creative Community Hubs Project. This network supports and champions creative community hubs in Edinburgh that are based in and responsive to diverse communities, including communities that have been underserved and as a result often face a range of intersectional challenges and barriers to opportunities and participation. The Creative Informatics team and the Creative Community Hubs team want to ensure this funding has the maximum benefit for such communities, and will be happy to provide guidance and support on making an application.

In this call we are looking for proposals that meet the following key criteria:

  • Ideas which will support new creative work and innovative practices and/or entrepreneurial activities that make use of data or data driven technologies, or which enables the use of data and data driven technologies in existing creative work and/or to reach diverse audiences. We are particularly keen to see work that contributes to the overall sustainability of an organisation or community by enabling them to meet their organisational objectives more effectively and/or for more people; enable new activities to take place; enable further income to be directly generated or for new funding to be sought for activities that make use of facilities and equipment supported under this call.
  • Proposals which have a clear equality, diversity and inclusion impact. We are happy to discuss ideas with you to help you assess whether they are in scope or not, however the kinds of impact we are seeking would include:
    • facilitating new and more innovative creative activities, projects, explorations using data or data driven technologies by or for more diverse communities
    • establishing new facilities or models for inclusive creative exploration and ideation with data and data driven technologies
    • enabling your organisation to reach new and more diverse audiences using creative approaches and data or data driven technologies
    • enabling data projects or activities which directly address creativity and diverse audiences or diversity as a topic
    • investment that will support people from diverse backgrounds and/or with additional needs to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship around creativity and data
  • Capital expenditure only – up to a maximum of £50k per project. Capital can include equipment and/or appropriate upgrades to facilities, including installation and maintenance costs. (See FAQs for more details)
  • Can be planned and invoiced promptly (spring 2023), although we anticipate and expect the expenditure to have a long-term impact for you.

Please be aware that there will be a further open call associated with this additional funding for inclusive capital project aimed at providing accommodation (office/hot desking space), and your idea may be a better fit for this alternative calls. We are happy to support you in deciding which is/are the most appropriate route/s to apply for this funding.

We welcome any questions you may have about this call, including any additional support you may need in making your application. You can reach us through our contact page or by emailing creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.




Applicants should be working in and/or an appropriate representative of a community organisation, community group, or similar organisation (whether registered as a CIC, charity, or not), and you must be working with communities in Edinburgh and South East Scotland. You are eligible whether registered as an organisation or not but you will need to be formally constituted, with a suitable bank account and clear credibility as an organisation (whether well-established or more recently formed).

Applicant organisations must:

  • Be undertaking creative work with communities that aligns with one of the nine recognised DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport) creative industries sectors: Advertising/Marketing, Architecture, Crafts, Design (Product, Graphic, Fashion etc.), Film, TV, Video, Radio & Photography, Tech – IT, Software, Hardware and Computer Services, Museums, Galleries and Libraries, Music, Performing & Visual Arts, Publishing. (See DCMS 2001 Mapping work for more on these subsectors.)
  • Be proposing a capital project with genuine equality, diversity, and inclusion impact (see criteria and FAQs below).
  • Be undertaking creative work with and/or in communities (place based of communities of interest e.g. Creative industry communities)
  • Be based in and/or working with communities in Edinburgh and South East Scotland.
  • Be submitting a proposal that meets the selection criteria (see below).
  • Commit to providing accurate information about business income, spend on Research and Development (R&D), etc. as per the requirements of the application form. This includes providing accurate information regarding State Aid that is required to ensure Creative Informatics meet essential reporting and due diligence requirements.

Selection Criteria – Community Creative Tech Fund

Applicants are asked to submit a proposal (using this application form, which you can also preview as a PDF), by the closing date of 13th April 2023, which must:

  • Clearly articulate how they plan to use the capital investment (of between £5k and £50k) and how it will contribute to furthering innovative creative work, creative work with data and/or data driven innovation, use of creative technology by the community, access to opportunities for creative work/skills with data or technology, or supporting creative innovation and entrepreneurship in your community.
  • Clearly articulate the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) impact this funding will enable. This impact can be for the applicant, as an organisation with staff, volunteers and/or a core mission aligned with relevant characteristics (see FAQs for more detail); or for audiences/users/beneficiaries, collaborators, or customers with relevant characteristics. Impact can include extending access or functionality through the purchase of new equipment or resources, or the impact may also arise from using the capital funding to purchase resources that will enable the applicant organisation and/or its community to create work with a focus on EDI topics as their subject.
  • Show a clear relevance to Creative Informatics core mission of supporting data driven innovation in the creative industries. (e.g., computing equipment should have a clear relevant creative and innovative purpose – this is not intended to be fund supporting general IT equipment).
  • Be deliverable within a short time period – we would like successful applicants to scope their capital spend swiftly so that they can invoice us by the end of April 2023 (please contact us if this is not likely to be possible).
  • Represent good value for money – we are looking for proposals that will genuinely make a difference to how you take your work forward in a more inclusive way, or will help you to thrive as a diverse creative organisation and community. We do not want the fund to facilitate the purchase of “nice to have” technologies that will sit unused and will expect to see a clear rationale for relevance and use in your proposal.
  • Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Creative Informatics team on monitoring, reporting, research and evaluation work around the project. Reporting and payments will be mutually agreed at the outset of successful projects.
  • Comply with ethical and legally compliant data practices. See the Creative Informatics Ethics Statement for more on our values as a programme, and our expectation of projects and organisations we support.
  • Include a realistic budget outlining how any funding will be used to purchase eligible capital items. We expect you to look at several alternative suppliers or seek multiple quotes for significant scale purchases and any building/adaptation work.

Find out more

We will be running three workshops about this funding, to which all potential applicants are welcomed and encouraged to attend. All are free to attend but we recommend booking. They will take place on:

If you have specific accessibility needs, please let us know on the booking form. The event at The Crannie is a short walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station from those applicants travelling to the workshop from Borders or Fife by rail.



Q1) What do you mean by “diverse” & “inclusive”?

A1) We want to support projects that focus on, or are led by, those from diverse backgrounds or with diverse needs. We use “protected characteristics” as a guide for this, and are also guided by work on the creative industries around groups which are under/over represented. We are therefore looking for proposals that will either address diverse people as their focus, or which come from organisations based in diverse communities, and are particularly looking for:

  • work reaching or led by people from less privileged backgrounds, including those from and/or living or working in lower socio-economic communities or areas (e.g. those in the lower SIMD deciles), and/or facing poverty
  • work benefitting people with disabilities and additional needs, including:
    • Neurodiverse people, including those with dyslexia, ADHD, with autistic spectrum conditions, Asperger’s syndrome, etc.
    • People with physical disabilities and mobility challenges/additional mobility or access needs
    • Visually impaired people
    • D/deaf people
    • People with different or additional needs associated with long-term health conditions, including e.g. ME/chronic fatigue conditions
    • People with mental health challenges
  • work benefitting underrepresented groups in both the creative industries and the tech/start up community including:
    • Women, non-binary people or others identifying with minority genders (gender diversity)
    • People from global majority/BAME backgrounds, people from other underrepresented communities e.g. the traveller community) (ethnic and racial diversity)
    • LGBTQI+ people and communities
    • People with significant caring responsibilities
    • Refugees and asylum seekers
    • Ex-offenders
    • Those with experience of the care system/care leavers
    • Those from less well represented age groups in creative and technology innovation contexts – young people (under 25), older people (over 60) (age diversity)
    • Support for language diversity (e.g. Gaelic-speaking communities)

This isn’t an exhaustive list so do contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your proposal. We would also encourage you to read more about our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion in our policy and action plan, which has informed our work and this specific set of funding calls.

Q2) What can be included in a capital project of this type?

A2) For the purposes of this call “capital” includes assets for your business or practice including:

  • technology and digital equipment – including computing equipment and devices, prototyping equipment and devices, etc.
  • equipment – including accessibility equipment, fabrication equipment, etc.
  • buildings, facilities and/or relevant adaptations to buildings and facilities
  • installation and maintenance costs associated with the above (including advance payment of maintenance costs for up to 3 years, or advance rent/fees for use of facilities and equipment)
  • software purchases and licenses (including advance payment of licenses for up to 3 years)

It does not include:

  • your time or other labour costs (outwith installation/maintenance or building costs)
  • day-to-day running costs of the business
  • operational costs, including electricity

Q3) How “new” or “innovative” does a proposed project need to be?

A3) We want this funding to enable something new and/or innovative for your organisation and/or community – but that’s new to you. Innovation means doing something new, different, smarter or better. We do want to see ambitious ideas, and clear use of data and technology, but we aren’t expecting applications at the bleeding edge of technology and innovation. We know that many organisations will be relatively new to using data in creative work and we welcome applications looking to do more with data and data driven innovation and technologies, whether or not they have prior experience of this sort of exploration. We are keen for successful applicants to learn, develop, and grow what they do through these investments and we will (to the best of our abilities) help you identify further sources of support and expertise to enable this.

Q4) Who is this call open to and why?

A4) This call is open to community organisations across Edinburgh and South East Scotland (Edinburgh, Lothians, Borders, Fife), and we are particularly keen to see applications from organisations based in and working with communities in less well represented and less privileged communities. You need to have a bank account for your organisation to apply, but we do not require that you have a particular type of legal registration – you can be a charity, a community interest company, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, or an organised group, member body or co-operative. We will ask more about your track record as an organisation in the application form as we are looking for work with real inclusive impact, and therefore want to invest in projects that can be supported by your community organisation into the future. If you have any questions about your eligibility to apply, please contact the team.

Q5) Can I apply for this funding if I have already received funding from Creative Informatics?

A5) Yes, organisations who have previously received funding, support, or in-kind support (e.g. as a Challenge Holder) are eligible to apply for this funding. We would note, however that you should read the eligibility criteria carefully as this call if focused on community organisations and work with a specific and identifiable equality, diversity and inclusion benefit.

Q6) If I apply to this funding call, will I be eligible to apply to the other Inclusive Capital calls?

A6) Yes, although each of our forthcoming calls have slightly different focuses so you may not be eligible for one or both of them. Please take a look at the criteria for the other calls as they are published, or you can contact the Creative Informatics team for more information. Please be aware that the other inclusive capital funding calls have earlier closing dates than this call.

Q7) What are the reporting requirements for work funded under this call?

A7) We may require successful applicants to provide further information about budgets and workplans at the beginning of their capital projects, but we will notify you of this early and work with you to ensure we have all the information we need for contracts, payments etc. We require you to report on how the funding has been spent and what initial impact it has had at the end of the work/purchases being made, and no later than the end of October 2023. We will provide a template for reporting but also appreciate news and updates on any further impacts that may occur in the longer run.

Q8) If my application is successful, who purchases the equipment/items under this funding – Creative Informatics or me/my business or organisation?

A8) If you are successful then we will ask you to invoice us for the total amount of your project. You will purchase and own the equipment purchased under this funding. We will require you to provide details of how the funding has been spent and the impact it is having as part of your project reporting. We expect you to undertake appropriate work to ensure value for money, including looking at multiple quotes for larger purchases or expenditure.

Q9) What is the timeline for this application process?

A9) The relevant key dates are:

Workshops for potential applicants:


  • 13th April 2023 – Application submission deadline
  • 26th April 2023 – Selection panel
  • 27th April 2023 – Notification of outcome
  • 30th April 2023 – Invoice to be provided by application to Creative Informatics (please talk to the team if this will not be possible)
  • 31st October 2023 – Deadline for project reports from successfully funded applicants.

If you have any further questions about this call, or the wider set of capital funding calls this spring, please email creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.

Q10) What additional support is available for applying to this call?

A10) We are happy to work with you to ensure you can access this funding process, including providing the application form in alternative formats, or accepting applications in alternative forms. Please contact us (creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk) to discuss the support you need – both Creative Informatics and the Creative Community Hubs Project will be happy to talk through project ideas ahead of an application.

Q11) When creating a budget for our project should it be inclusive or exclusive of VAT?

A11) Although this funding is part of a research and development programme, how you handle VAT will depend on the status of your organisation. If you usually pay VAT on purchases, you should include VAT in your project budget. The maximum budget for projects is £50k and that maximum is inclusive of VAT.

Please contact the team if you have specific VAT questions. More information on VAT is also available on Gov.uk VAT and businesses page.

Q12) What is the Creative Community Hubs Project?

A12) The Creative Community Hubs Project is a network supporting and championing creative community hubs in Edinburgh that are based in and responsive to diverse communities, including communities that have been underserved and as a result often face a range of intersectional challenges and barriers to opportunities and participation.

The Creative Community Hubs Project is based at WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes but works independently with members across Edinburgh. The project is funded by the City of Edinburgh Council. You can find out more about their work by reading the Creative Community Hubs Project report: Working Better Together, co-authored by Tiki Muir and Morvern Cunningham and published in June 2022.

Q13) How does the selection process work?

A13) Applications will be shared with a panel drawn from the Creative Informatics Team, Directorate and Steering Board, Creative Community Hubs project facilitators, and invited external members with expertise in the creative industry or tech and start up scene. For this call we have also invited reviewers with specific expertise in key equality, diversity and inclusion areas from relevant stakeholders (creative industries, academia, etc.). Applications are viewed by multiple reviewers and each application is discussed at our selection panel. There is also a Conflict of Interest declaration process to ensure a fair and transparent process.

Q14) Our organisation needs support or advice with data and/or technology in order to apply – can you help us with this and/or connect us with suitable expertise?

A14) Yes, we can provide advice and/or connect you with appropriate expertise but would ask you to get in touch as soon as possible so that we have time to do this ahead of your application. We would also strongly encourage you to attend one of our three workshops about this funding call if you do want to discuss any aspect in more detail.

Q15) Can our organisation partner with another, or form a group of organisations in order to apply to this fund?

A15) Yes. We would welcome collaboration and partnership across organisations – whether in how this investment is made, or in how the resources it pays for are shared and used. We ask that a single lead partner submit the application, but please indicate any partnerships as part of your written responses to the questions about your idea.




  • 13.04.2023
    Application submission deadline
  • 26.04.2023
    Selection panel
  • 27.04.2023
    Notification of outcome
  • 30.04.2023
    Invoicing date