The Creative Industry Finance Programme provided business advice and access to finance for creative and cultural enterprises, of all shapes and sizes, across England.

The programme began as a pilot programme in London and Yorkshire and the Humber in 2012. We expanded the programme and delivered it across England with support from Arts Council England until March 2017.

The programme supported the growth and talent development of a wide range of cultural and creative enterprises from micro enterprises through to large scale institutions. It provided free business advice and access to finance to enable them to develop and grow into valuable sustainable businesses.

“It was great to have someone to talk through our business journey with, particularly as our advisor had a background in a similar industry. The finance we gained enabled us to attend a trade show abroad which has opened many links with the international stockists.” One we made earlier

We delivered the programme in partnership with a specially selected group of lenders and a network of expert business advisors.

The creative business received up to 12 free hours of one-to-one business advice and support with a view to enabling them to apply for a business loan from one of our lending partners.

We worked with lenders which included Arts Impact Fund, Big Issue Invest, Fredericks Foundation, Hitachi Capital, Key Fund, London Small Business Centre, Responsible Finance and Triodos Bank.

In 2016/17 111 companies benefited from this support, enabling them to progress towards investment readiness and growth.

This support allowed creatives and artists from across the sector to strengthen their business plans, improve their business skills and become more confident about their financial future. Because of this support, programme beneficiaries were able to find investment, develop strategies to boost production, reach new audiences and markets and become more resilient.

Here are some outcomes from the 2016/17 Creative Industry Finance year:

  • 111 businesses supported
  • 1,240 hours of business advice
  • £411,500 worth of successful loan applications made
  • 1 in 4 businesses said their turnover improved
  • 93% gained more confidence in their business skills
  • 87%came away with an improved or strengthened business plan

What’s next?

As funding for Creative Industry Finance has come to an end, we will look to see what we can learn from our experience running the programme and from those who participated. This will help us develop future programmes and insights that support the growth of the sector.

Industry Partners

  • AIM logo
  • AIF logo
  • Attitude is Everything logo
  • British Phonographic Industry logo
  • Association of British Orchestras
  • Independent Theatre Council
  • Music Industries Association
  • One Dance UK logo
  • PACT logo
  • Theatre Trust
  • UKIE logo
  • UK Fashion Council logo