Last week the Guardian Culture Professionals Network came together with our programme Creative Industry Finance in a live webchat discussing the pertinent issue of the future of arts, culture and creative industries funding.

Sarah Thirtle, Head of Business Lending Programmes for Creative Industry Finance led the expert panel which also included key professionals from Creative England, British Council, Arts Council England, Cockpit Arts, Chickenshed Theatre, RateSetter, The Audience Agency, University Of Kent and OperaUpClose.

The discussion answered questions from the public and Matthew Caines, Editor of the Guardian Culture Professionals Network steered the panel across the various issues surrounding the future of arts and creative industries funding. The panel and webchat participants delved into the importance for different arts funding organisations to work together, the London/regional imbalance of access to funding, as well as the immediate need for policymakers to treat creative businesses as the new driver of growth, were all discussed in the lively conversation.

Sarah Thirtle highlighted the importance of being able to clearly articulate your organisation’s offer and outcomes and the power of a strong business plan when seeking access to finance. She also mentioned that there is a need for some finance providers “to do more to fully understand the inherent value, artistic excellence and brilliant competencies of our country’s creative businesses and organisations.”

If you missed out on the thought-provoking conversation, you can read a roundup or the full version here.