Apply today for the Dock Local Venues Fund

Art & Culture

Apply today for the Dock Local Venues Fund

After the Royal Docks closed in the 1980s, thousands of people moved away, with the former network of cinemas, pubs, pleasure gardens, and music halls all but disappearing. The Dock Local Venues seed fund aims to help reverse this decline by supporting local spaces to increase the amount of entertainment and social activities they provide, thus ensuring the Royal Docks is a welcoming place where people want to socialise and spend time.

The Royal Docks team will support the initial or set up costs to help provide a ‘risk-free’ opportunity for venues to build audiences, with the objective of the activity becoming financially viable, so that it continues on an ongoing basis. Activity can be free or to pay for (affordable/low cost).

For this funding round, the Royal Docks Team is particularly interested in supporting evening activities, especially those with popular/mainstream appeal, that will help to increase local footfall and spend in the local area.

Organisations can apply for a maximum of £4000 for activities delivered over a maximum of six months. £2000 will be made available on successful application, with the remaining £2000 released following a period of review.

If you are interested in applying, then please complete this short form.

You will need to demonstrate how your proposed activity will:

  • Test new activity that could become regular and ongoing e.g., a new music programme, or activation of a currently unused space/venue.
  • Explain who the anticipated audience is and how the proposed activity will appeal to them (this could include pricing details).
  • Propose a reasonable period over which the new activity is tested e.g., a comedy night, programmed over 3 months.
  • Demonstrate how success of the activity will be monitored e.g., via attendance and/or bar spend.
  • Demonstrate how the activity aims to become self-sustaining, including the key indicators and timescale for this. A budget will be required.

In addition to the criteria above, the panel will consider location and geographical spread across the Royal Docks, in funding decisions.

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on Monday 14th November. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your application in advance of submitting, please contact Alex Jamieson on

Please Note - this fund is aimed at generating new activities and/or new venues. It is a pilot project and will be subject to evaluation and review. It is strongly recommended that applicant venues do not anticipate long-term subsidy for any programme of activities.