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Arts Council England announces changes to ArtCo Trading Ltd


Arts Council England is today announcing the creation of a new Community Interest Company (CIC) – an independent enterprise which will continue and develop the work currently delivered by ArtCo Trading Ltd.

ArtCo Trading Ltd currently delivers three Arts Council programmes - Creative Industry Finance, Own Art and Take it away. Creative Sector Services CIC will now offer these services, which are of particular benefit to small businesses (including individual artists and creative practitioners) operating within the cultural and creative industries.

The move places the existing programmes of work in a more flexible funding environment where, for example, they will be eligible for funding through Lottery income – something that is not possible under the current arrangements with ArtCo.

Creative Sector Services CIC will also have the ability to operate in a more entrepreneurial way than is possible for a wholly owned subsidiary of Arts Council England. This will open up new opportunities for the company to develop additional income streams to support its activity – including private giving, equity investment, and commercial income.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “ArtCo Trading has been a hugely successful initiative for the Arts Council and the time is now ripe to maximise its potential by giving it independence.

“The changes announced today are good news for the enterprises currently benefitting from ArtCo funding and for the many more who will do so in the future. These are companies at the heart of culture’s economic and creative growth.”

David Gilbert, Chair, Creative Sector Services CIC, said: “Having served as a Director of ArtCo Trading Ltd for the past seven years, I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to Chair the new CIC, and to take forward the development of both existing and new initiatives designed to generate business growth alongside increased public engagement in the UK’s exceptional creative and cultural offer.”

Creative Sector Services CIC, which is now up and running, is based at Somerset House.

Creative Sector Services CIC programmes

In October 2012 the Arts Council approved the ArtCo Trading Ltd budget of £1.285m for the delivery of the Own Art, Take it Away and Creative Industry Finance programmes for 2013/14. This funding has been transferred to Creative Sector Services CIC and has been allocated as follows:

• A budget of £350,000 for the Own Art scheme
• A budget of £400,000 for the Take it away scheme
• A budget of £500,000 for the Creative Industry Finance programme

The Creative Industry Finance pilot programme, which was due to end on 31 March 2013 has now been extended for a further 12 month period to end in March 2014.

Work on the pilot programme in the London and Yorkshire regions will continue and Creative Sector Services CIC has been tasked with looking in to the possibility of scaling the programme up to create a national offer.

Arts Council England’s Creative Industry Finance is an initiative offering business development support and access to loans of between £5,000 and £25,000 for small to medium creative industry enterprises.

In its initial pilot year, Creative Industry Finance has lent £414,000 to 27 small creative businesses across London and Yorkshire. In addition to these Arts Council loans, the business support received by Creative Industry Finance applicants has successfully leveraged a further £245,500 of loan funding from other sources.

The work supports the Arts Council’s goal, set out in Achieving great art for everyone, to explore new business models in the arts. It aims to provide access to finance for small and medium scale enterprises, improve business skills and commercial experience, to enable business growth and support talent development.

More information on how to apply for a Creative Industry Finance loan, including eligibility criteria, can be found here.

Notes to Editors:

Creative Sector Services

Email enquiries related to specific programmes of work managed by Creative Sector Services CIC should be directed as follows:

• Own Art -
• Take it away –
• Creative Industry Finance –

Creative Sector Services CIC can be contacted at the following addresses/numbers:

Creative Sector Services CIC

Room T3

Third Floor, West Wing

Somerset House


London WC2R 1LA


Telephone: 020 7759 1111

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


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