Arts Impact Fund puts £7m available to arts organisations in low-cost loans

The fund will be open for a trial two years for unsecured loans of between £150,000 and £600,000 from April 2015. Initiated by the Cabinet Office, it has been brought together by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Nesta, with support from Arts Council England and additional funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The three way funding model – called comingling – mixes expert knowledge from the arts, charitable foundations and investors and follows research showing there could be an investment demand of £28m from arts based organisations for social projects.

‘Articulating how, and by how much, arts organisations benefit people’s lives is a relatively under-developed capability in the arts. By demonstrating how ambitious organisations can grow and have greater impact using social investment, we want to attract more social investors to the arts to benefit the wider sector,’ read a statement from the organisation.

‘It has never been more important to think imaginatively about how to increase access to finance for arts organisations,’ said Helen Goulden, executive director of Nesta. ‘The Arts Impact Fund not only opens up opportunities for social investment for the whole sector, but brings together public, charitable and private finance in support of that mission. These first two years will be critical to understanding the long-term potential of impact funds of this kind to support the arts.”

Source: Classical Music Magazine – 11/03/15

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