Delivered by Herefordshire's a Great Place and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, Hidden Gems is a new grant scheme that will bring arts, heritage, digital and rural communities closer together.

We want you to identify ‘hidden gems’ of heritage and to work with diverse Herefordshire communities to produce a creative interpretation of the gem's story that will help raise its profile.

You can apply for funding of between £6,000 and £12,000.

Four grants will be awarded in 2018.  The Hidden Gems grant scheme will run again in 2019 when five further grants will be awarded.

Successful applicants will have nine months to complete their Hidden Gems project.

1. Who can apply?

Hidden Gems is open to a wide-variety of different organisations - not just Herefordshire based arts and heritage organisations. You don’t strictly need to be within the county border – it’s more important that the project directly benefits significant numbers of people in Herefordshire.

We will consider applications from any formally recognised organisation, including charities, trusts, registered companies, schools and colleges, and statutory bodies including town, parish or community councils.

If you are a voluntary or community organisation you must be one of the following:

  • A registered charity
  • Constituted group or club
  • Community interest company (CIC)
  • Social enterprise

We cannot accept applications from:

  • Individuals
  • Sole traders
  • Informal or non-constituted groups
  • Organisations based outside of the UK
  • Applications made by one organisation on behalf of another

2. When is the deadline to apply?

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted to greatplace@ruralmedia.co.uk by 6pm on August 12, 2018.

3. Can I seek match funding or use Hidden Gems as match funding?

Yes. If you are applying as part- or match-funding for an existing or proposed larger project, it is crucial that:

  • Your Hidden Gems project, its aims and outputs are clearly additional and complimentary, adding value and bringing something new and different to your wider project 
  • You clearly demonstrate how your Hidden Gems grant will be used specifically for the purposes and objectives laid out in the Hidden Gems guidelines, and that the Hidden Gem element of your project meets all of the requirements of this grant
  • Funds you receive for Hidden Gems are not be used to fund elements of the wider project that you have already planned and allocated funding for, whether they are relevant Hidden Gems or not 
  • You must provide a letter of endorsement from your Grants Manager or awarding body, attesting to the discreet and additional contribution that Hidden Gems will make towards the wider project 

4. Who decides which projects get funded?

Herefordshire’s a Great Place has invited a panel of dynamic mid-career Herefordshire professionals who work in arts, heritage and culture to work with us on the funding criteria, to shortlist applications and decide which projects are funded.

Working with a panel will help to make the process collaborative and fair.

When deciding which programmes to fund, the panel will consider things like making sure that we have a good spread geographic of projects across the county and that we have a manageable balance of projects delivered by organisations of different kinds.

5. If we are not successful, where else can I seek funding?

 The pot’s not bottomless and there will be projects that we cannot fund.

We will do all we can, however, to provide applicants with feedback and signpost unsuccessful proposals to alternative sources of funding.

6. What happens to the Gems after the projects are completed?

We have designed Hidden Gems so that, through your project, the Gems can become focus points for the communities and important markers of local identify and pride of place.

We hope most of all that the Gems will contribute in meaningful way to the social life of the communities they belong to, and to stimulate wider interest, visits, and boost the local economy.

We will encourage you publish as much about your project as possible to help raise awareness and build legacy.

We are keen to document the progress of the Hidden Gems projects and will help successful projects to produce blog posts, video and other rich media content that can be shared with stakeholders, funders and the wider public.


If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Great Place team on 01432 344039 or greatplace@ruralmedia.co.uk.