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Funding & Supporters

Swindon Borough Council (SBC) have a Service Level Agreement with Reach Inclusive Arts. This describes the activities that RIA will undertake in the Borough and the range of services provided. The SLA is reviewed twice a year to ensure that RIA is delivering on the undertakings it has made and advise key dates. It is also a chance for the SBC contract manager to advise any opportunities that have arisen to become involved in other Swindon projects. SBC has a history of valuing both it’s cultural and leisure investment in the town. SBC has been a progressive local authority in that it has seen a robust cultural environment as a mechanism for increasing quality of life and the desirability of living in the town. The trajectory of Swindon’s growth has followed the influx of large companies into the town looking for affordable housing and a range of amenities for its workforce. In recent years the grant received from SBC pays for a third of the core running costs.

The support of SBC is much appreciated and has been the foundation of the survival of RIA. Building on that foundation, RIA has been successful in attracting funding from other local organisations including AFL and Anderson Wealth management.

RIA began with support from Allied Dunbar which has since become Zurich. That relationship is another that has sustained over the years. RIA still receives regular financial support from Zurich and also benefits from their vigorous community involvement which has created a number of opportunities for the participants to show their work. Zurich have also been helpful with other cost saving activities such as staff training, IT and printing.

RIA, like so many other charities, faces challenges to secure funds in the coming years. There are significant shortfalls between the costs of running the charity and the monies which have been secured. This means that a significant amount of staff time needs to be devoted to fund raising – additional grants, gifts and donations.

RIA generates income from participants by requesting a weekly donation. This helps with running costs and also puts a value on the workshops provided. The shows are also charged out to the venues, but the monies received are not representative of actual costs incurred and are a tokenistic gesture of the value derived.

A key source of funding throughout the history of RIA has been Arts Council grants. Reach Inclusive Arts is not of sufficient size to become regularly funded and so applies for funding through the Grants for the Arts scheme. In order to retain Arts Council support then RIA must remain a quality focused organization that develops, tries new things and creates exciting art for diverse audiences.

Another funder who has been helpful with core costs is Lloyds TSB Foundation whose charitable aims are a good fit with those of the charity. It is envisaged that RIA will apply for a multi-year core cost grant when unrestricted funds have reduced to less than 6 months running costs (a condition of success).

The organisation has employed paid part-time administration staff for some years. The staff salaries are the most significant element of the core running costs of the charity. The level of activity is such that the charity would not function without paid staff and their retention is vital for the ongoing success of RIA.