A £23m loan fund that backs socially-motivated cultural activity is looking for more takers.
The Arts & Culture Impact Fund, led by Nesta’s Arts & Culture Finance team, opened in March 2020. It is backed by a combination of public money, philanthropic funders and private social investors including Big Society Capital and Bank of America. Visual arts philanthropist Freelands Foundation is the latest, contributing £3m.
Fewer organisations have sought investment to grow their activities and experiment with new revenue models during the pandemic, but five cultural organisations are already sharing the first £1.2m in loans to buy and develop new spaces for activity to enrich their local communities.
Kurious Arts will fit out a new post production facility based in Castle House, Sheffield; Future Yard CIC will buy a building dedicated to live music in Birkenhead and the Wirral; East London Dance and UD will create the Talent House, a creative hub on East London’s Sugar House Island; and Friends of the Pipe Factory CIC will buy and renovate the 19th century Pipe Factory in Glasgow’s East End as a creative hub for microbusinesses and social enterprises.
This new fund builds on the success of the previous Arts Impact Fund, which delivered over £7m in loans to 27 organisations including Studio Wayne McGregor, the National Holocaust Centre & Museum, Soho Theatre Company and Walk the Plank.