Creative United is delighted to confirm that the recently announced changes to the Take it away scheme are now live.
Following a new funding agreement with Arts Council England, the update to our flagship programme comes into effect on Friday 10 November 2023. This means that our revised and highly competitive rates are now available for Take it away’s network of independent music retailers to offer to customers of all ages.
This ensures that the scheme continues to support affordable access to musical instruments for musicians across the country, from complete beginners to accomplished professional and amateur players of all ages*.
This strategic move will provide increased support for high-street musical instrument retailers across England, directly addressing the financial challenges faced by both businesses and consumers due to the current cost of living crisis.
Creative United is proud to maintain its longstanding partnership with Omni Capital Retail Finance, who will continue to serve as our trusted scheme credit provider. As part of these exciting developments, updates to their online portal have now been implemented, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly experience for our valued customers.
This announcement marks a significant milestone in the history of the Take it away scheme, which was first launched by the Arts Council on an ‘open to all’ basis in 2007. To date, it has supported nearly 100,000 customers with the purchase of £72 million worth of musical instruments and equipment. The early success of the scheme was followed by a period of 12 years during which the Arts Council’s funding for the program became focused on supporting access to musical instruments for children and young people only.
The new agreement reflects the Arts Council’s commitment to lifelong creativity and helps achieve the organization’s 2020-30 strategy, Let’s Create, by enabling people of all ages, from all parts of the country, to access and enjoy music.
*subject to status and credit check
Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “Affordable access to the right equipment is key in ensuring creativity can flourish. Alongside our £151 million investment this year in music organizations and projects, our increased support of Take it away means even more people can access the musical instruments they need, helping us build a country where everyone can enjoy music and the benefits it brings.”
Alexander Tucker, Chief Operating Officer at Creative United, said: “We are delighted that the Take it away scheme is being relaunched on an enhanced basis to enable all customers over the age of 18 to purchase a musical instrument. Thanks to the continued commitment of our funding partner, Arts Council England, Take it away will once again be available to people across England who may be picking up a musical instrument later in life, rekindling their passion for music, or simply wanting to take their music-making to the next level with a new instrument or piece of equipment.
This is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Take it away scheme. We will be looking to grow and develop the scheme over the coming years in partnership with other organizations that share our commitment to ensuring equitable and affordable access to music making for everyone across England.”