​This section has all the latest arts related commissions in Cambridge and the surrounding area.   To share an opportunity with the network, simply log in using your member profile or to join CAN click here.

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Contact name
Kate Hall

Market Place

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Title of position advertised
Market Place Development Commissions Programme - Round 2

Maximum of £2000 per commission



Market Place is building audiences for the arts by supporting new activity that reaches new audiences in the market towns of Brandon, Mildenhall, Newmarket, Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech. The Development Commissions Programme supports new ideas that encourage participation in the arts, that reach new audiences, develop new programmes or arts organisations, or kick-start new partnerships, including collaborations between voluntary and professional or community organisations.

Potential applications for activity could include, for instance:

Developing your programme and/or marketing in new ways to reach a new audience.
Running pilot sessions of activities to develop your membership or audience.
Building a working relationship with a community group through arts participation.

The Development Commissions Programme will provide up to £2000 per commission. In some instances the panel may not award the full amount which is applied for.


Monday 25th April 2016: Commissions announced. Initial draft proposals can be sent at any time. It is advisable to send an initial application at least a week before the final deadline so the Project Director can raise any questions, or give advice to strengthen final proposals, to increase the likelihood of success.
Tuesday 26th April – Thursday 17th May 2016: one telephone consultation per applicant is available. Contact Kate Hall at to book.
Monday 23rd May 2016, 9am: deadline for final applications for Round 2
Tuesday 31st May 2016: Commissions offered
Commissions start no earlier then 18th July 2016. In order for there to be sufficient time for project planning and for Market Place marketing support to be put in place projects should not start before this date.


Development Commissions are open to anyone wanting to contribute to building the creative offer in the market towns of Forest Heath and Fenland. Creative businesses and professional artists are eligible to apply alongside voluntary arts groups, community organisations and young people. In developing your commission we would encourage you to collaborate with project partners to ensure that you have the capacity and skills to deliver your proposed idea.


Successful applications for Round 1 included:

Taster animation workshops in Whittlesey alongside an existing art exhibition
The staging of a professional theatre show for children in Mildenhall Library
A workshop on self-publishing in March run by Bird’s Nest Books
Volunteer skills development programme for Fenland BIG Weekender in March
The programming of street music to raise the profile of Newmarket Music Festival
The creation of a new folk group in Brandon for local amateur & professional musicians
Under-writing a ticketed poetry event alongside an awards ceremony in March
A pilot story-telling project in Chatteris with a number of community groups

Applications for Round 1 that were unsuccessful were scored* down because:

They failed to identify a specific local audience in a Market Place town that they were going to work with.
The quality of the artistic experience was judged as weak compared to other opportunities.
The proposal was not sustainable, either in its impact on the audience or in strengthening local infrastructure.
Projects did not have sufficient time between the submission deadline and starting delivery to be effectively marketed (an 8 week turnaround is expected.)
Proposals for mainly capital costs (i.e. equipment) were not successful.
Proposals were unrealistic in their aims or unconvincing in their ambitions to reach new audiences.

For more information on the guidance for scoring, terms and conditions, and how to apply; please click here.

There is £20,000 in total for the whole Market Place region in this round. A spread across the towns is sought and awards will be made considering local need and strength of applications. Another round of Development Commissions is to be scheduled in November 2016. Criteria may change.

If you have an idea for an arts activity which will develop arts audiences within the Market Place area but are not sure it fits the Development Commissions please do contact Kate Hall, Project Director, at or call 01353 611 591.

Posted by CAN network on 16th May 2016.