Emergency Response Fund Evaluation

The Emergency Response Fund was launched by Arts Council England the day after the first national Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. It was open to creative and cultural people and organisations, with the aim to protect businesses and jobs, and allow people to continue their creative practice and plan for the future.

SQW research explored whether it achieved those objectives.  We found that:

  • The Fund helped business survival with 42% of funded applicants believing they would not have survived financially for six months without it
  • Jobs were protected as 75% of organisations employed the same number of people around 18 months later
  • Grant recipients used their funding to adapt to new ways of working and connecting with their communities and audiences. For many applicants, this involved investing in digital technology and upskilling their staff.

Arts Council England were also keen to learn lessons from this grant award process that could be applied to subsequent mainstream practice, and we suggested a range of actions for their consideration. 

The report can be found on Arts Council England’s website here.

If you want to more about this, or similar SQW work, please contact Jo Hutchinson.