Access to both finance and mentoring is being opened up to the creative industries in a new programme launching next month following the completion of a pilot scheme in Yorkshire.
Creative Industry Finance is an Arts Council funded initiative intended to enable the growth and development of cultural and creative industries.
During the two years of the trial to micro, small and medium size creative industry enterprises in London, Yorkshire and the Humber,57 businesses received direct loans and more than 30 accessed additional finance elsewhere. In total the value of business growth to businesses supported in the first year of the pilot was £1,000,000.
Now it is to be opened to all across England.
“Our mission is to build a sustainable and resilient creative economy in the UK and to make the arts accessible to all,” said Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United.
“Creative industries are a hotbed of talent with ample opportunity for investment. Through the development of the CIF initiative we are proud to support the growth of this crucial sector of the UK economy.”
One of those who benefitted during the pilot was Lee Steele of The Potter Man in East Yorkshire who received a loan.
“I applied to the Creative Industry Finance programme because I wanted to work with an organisation that understood the needs of artists as well as providing financial support, expertise and encouragement. The application process […] gave me confidence in my business idea and its viability,”
Chief Executive Arts Council England Alan Davey, said, “The roll-out of a nationwide Creative Industry Finance programme is fantastic news for the creative industries and even better news for the economy and those of us that reap the benefits of a well-funded creative sector. This programme gets right to the heart of creating opportunities for young and fresh talent to bring their creative ambitions to life and to find the seed-funding and much needed capital to support innovation.”
The initiative comes after official statistics released from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in January showed that creative industries are worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy.
Then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller said “These incredible statistics are confirmation that the Creative Industries consistently punch well above their weight, outperforming all the other main industry sectors, and are a powerhouse within the UK economy.”