A year in review - Creative United Annual Impact Report 2016/17

Acting on ambitious plans of programme development, 2016/17 has been our most successful year on record.

 Through the development of new programmes, continued support of existing schemes and undertaking market research, 2016/17 was full of notable achievements. 

Take it away

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Take it away and to date the programme has given over 88,000 people the opportunity to purchase more than £61 million worth of musical instruments. Take it away remains incredibly important for introducing children and young people to music. Here’s how Take it away performed in 2016/17:

  • 4,931 loans processed
  • £4,168,150 worth of musical instruments and lessons delivered
  • 51% of customers earn less than £25,000pa
  • 99% would recommend Take it away to others

Own Art

Since 2004 Own Art has helped people nationwide purchase over 47,000 pieces of contemporary art and craft worth more than £39 million! Own Art supports galleries and individual artists by introducing young and first-time buyers to art collecting. Here’s how Own Art performed in 2016/17:

  • 5,248 loans processed
  • £4,979,026 worth of art purchased
  • 34% of customers are aged under 35
  • 100% would use Own Art again
  • 88% of galleries strongly agree that Own Art is important to their business

Creative Industry Finance

Supporting the growth and development of cultural and creative enterprises, Creative Industry Finance provided access to business advice and financing. In 2016/17 Creative Industry Finance supported 111 additional businesses of which 54% were based outside London. The programme came to an end in March 2017.

  • £411,500 worth successful loan applications made
  • 93% of businesses gained increased confidence in skills
  • 87% came away with an improved or strengthened business plan

Research and Insights

In July 2016 we published “Making Space: Developing and Sustaining Affordable Artists’ Studios and Creative Workspaces.” Funded by Arts Council England and Mayor of London’s office, this report helped build our network across the sector and received coverage by several sector publications.

The goal of this research initiative was to investigate the existing workspace provisions in the UK documenting ongoing challenges and identifying the emergence of potential new funding models.

We worked with over 75 organisations ranging from studio providers, local authorities, art agencies, property developers, higher education and finance businesses.

Read the executive summary here

To request a copy of the full report please email info@creativeunited.org.uk


2016/2017 has been a successful year for both our consumer credit and business support programmes. This success will allow us to further deliver on our mission of supporting economic growth and social impact of the UK’s arts, cultural and creative industries in the new year.

  • 606 businesses supported across the UK across all our programmes
  • 80% of businesses supported operate outside of London 
  • 10,000+ customers supported through Own Art and Take it away
  • 99% would use Own Art or Take it away again
  • 87% of Own Art and Take it away customers live outside London

During the 2017/18 financial year, Own Art and Take it away will cross a notable milestone cumulatively delivering £100 million worth of art and musical instruments to 100,000 customers across the UK. This represents a return of £10 for every £1 of public investment since the Own Art and Take it away programmes first launched.  

Download a full copy of the Creative United Annual Impact Report 2016/17


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