£20m arts impact fund invites applications 


A £20 million fund is offering loans of between £150,000 and £1 million to help arts, cultural and heritage organisations innovate and grow.

Building on the success of the Arts Impact Fund, the new fund has been launched by Nesta and partners, and is thought to be the most ambitious of its kind globally.

The new £20 million Arts & Culture Impact Fund has been launched with Big Society Capital, Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Bank of America, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

It will back organisations of all sizes in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors demonstrating a clear social impact, from arts and heritage organisations to museums and libraries.

Socially driven arts and cultural organisations of all sizes across the UK are invited to apply for loans between £150,000 and £1 million, with a 10-year repayment period.

Alongside the investment capital, investees can also benefit from a tailored package of support from Nesta and our partners, including business insights and opportunities.

By focusing on both artistic and social outcomes, the fund's organisers want to promote the wider positive impact art has on society and support more organisations to benefit individuals and communities through their work.

Find out more and apply on the Arts & Culture Finance website.

The Arts Impact Fund was the first of its kind to focus on the social, artistic and financial return created by arts-based organisations. It provided repayable finance between £150,000 and £600,000 to arts organisations in England with ambitions to grow, achieve great artistic quality and have a positive impact on society.

Between July 2015 and September 2019 it committed £8.8 million across 27 enterprising arts organisations, spanning dance, theatre, museums and more. The Arts Impact Fund was created and funded by Bank of America, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Nesta, supported by Arts Council England and additional funding from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Previous investees have been supported by the fund to deliver social impact at scale. For example, Titchfield Festival Theatre took a loan from the Arts Impact Fund in 2015 to embark on a renovation programme of its theatre space, a former warehouse dating back to the 1960s.

The renovations included installation of an energy-efficient heating system, a new roof and an array of interior refurbishments to make the theatre a more comfortable venue. In the years between drawing down the loan and its repayment, which came one year ahead of schedule, Titchfield Festival Theatre has more than doubled its income, grown the value of its fixed assets by more than 25 per cent and its reserves by 20 per cent.