Arts Derbyshire


Near Now Ideas Fund: Project Opportunity

Near Now Ideas Fund: Project Opportunity

The Near Now Ideas Fund can help you start a new creative project that is enabled or inspired by technology.

The NN team are offering up to £2,000 per proposal to support the important research and development (R&D) activity that is needed when a project is just getting started.

You might be looking to do something short and simple, or you could have an idea for something more ambitious that needs extra time and resources to achieve. This is an opportunity for you to prove that your ideas are feasible, exciting, innovative and interesting.


What does your project need to get started?

The R&D activity you propose should involve any, or all, of the following types of activity:

Taking part in a workshop, course, or tutorial to understand something new. Working with a mentor or collaborator who will help you gain new skills and knowledge.

Spending time experimenting with tools, techniques or technologies in new ways.

Making quick, rough examples to test your ideas, validate your project and put new skills into practice.

Presenting your ideas, prototypes or work-in-progress to people who can give critical feedback.

Testing prototypes early creates valuable insights that shape the project vision. Testing ideas in the open with potential users or audiences can be the fastest way to get real insights about how your idea fits in people’s lives.


Near Now will support creative projects that are enabled or inspired by technology. This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Digital and visual artworks
  • Interactive and immersive experiences or performance
  • New forms of storytelling
  • Video or audio works
  • Products and services

The project you are applying for should be either:

  • A new project to be started between now and March 2022.
  • An extension of an existing project that explores the use of technology in a way that is new to the project.


Near Now want to share your work with audiences

The NN team are especially interested in funding projects that could be shared online or safely in-person at Broadway, or elsewhere in Nottingham. They’ll work with you to decide how to showcase your project, either in its early-stage or through demonstrating ambition for further development.


They are looking for projects that have wider potential

Does your project have the potential to go beyond the scope of the R&D activity we can support?

Near Now like to know what you think the future of your project could be and what you would do if you were offered the opportunity to continue developing it. If you’re not quite sure, that’s okay. They’ll help you to think about it as part of your application.


How to apply

Complete our online application form: Apply Online

Or download a Word document version of the application form and send it, along with any supporting files, to using the subject heading ‘Ideas Fund 2021’.

We will also accept applications in the form of video or audio links/files using the application form as a guide to what content to include.

Download application form


Key information

  • Total amount available: £12,000
  • Awards: Up to £2,000
  • Fund opens: Thursday 30th September 2021 | Open call launching soon
  • Fund closes: Tuesday 30th November 2021 or when funds are exhausted
  • R&D activity: Up to end of March 2022
  • Who can apply? Artists and creatives based in the Midlands, UK, who are not in full-time or part-time education.


For further information, please visit the Near Now Ideas Fund website:

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