Arts organisations share £1m investment
Arts Impact Fund announces three loans
Three arts organisations have become the first to benefit from a new social investment fund backed by Arts Council England. Brighton's South East Dance agency, Titchfield Festival Theatre and Bow Arts Trusts will all get loans from the £7million Arts Impact Fund.
The Fund brings together public, private and philanthropic investment from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Nesta, Arts Council England and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It offers finance to arts and cultural organisations for capital and non-capital projects that show social, artistic and financial return.
The first Arts Impact Fund investees are:
- South East Dance - £350,000:The Brighton based dance agency will use the loan to bridge fundraising and allow work to start on its new hub The Dance Space which will provide a rental income from its studio and office space.
- Titchfield Festival Theatre - £150,000: The volunteer-run theatre group will use the funding to repair and improve one of its two venues to grow its rental income and allow it to install solar panels. These will not only save running costs but also generate income from excess energy sold back to the grid. The improvements will support the group’s theatre education programme and free ticketing to local schools.
- Bow Arts Trust - £600,000:A London based organisation providing affordable studio space for artists and education programmes in local schools will use their loan from to purchase and develop property.
The three organisations will document their artistic, social and financial impact every quarter for the duration of their loans, with the Fund sharing the findings from all of the investees.
More than 60 organisations have already applied for the Fund, spanning theatre, visual arts and music among others sectors. The Arts Impact Fund hopes to support a total of 20-30 organisations, which can apply for an unsecured loan ranging from £150,000 - £600,000 with an interest rate of between 4 and 7 per cent. Recipients of the next funding round will be announced in June 2016.
Jamie Watton, CEO and Artistic Director, South East Dance: “Arts organisations are facing continuing shifts in the funding landscape so it is incredibly valuable to have a fund which helps temporarily bridge gaps in income streams for important projects like The Dance Space. This fund allows us to move full steam ahead with our plans at a crucial moment.”
Helen Goulden, executive director at Nesta said: “We are hugely pleased to announce these first recipients of loans from the Arts Impact Fund. We know that social investment has proved to be successful in other sectors, such as health and energy, and we hope this unique fund can further demonstrate the role of different kinds of finance to strengthen the resilience of arts organisations.”
The Arts Impact Fund is hosting the Arts & Culture Finance Fair on Wednesday 4th May.