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RIO welcomes new fund for arts ventures

By 14th December 2013 No Comments

RIO Director Matt Little has welcomed a new fund for arts ventures.

Arts ventures looking to raise investment can apply for an investment readiness grant as part of a new initiative to bring more capital into the arts sector.

Investing for Good and Cabinet Office are developing a new social investment fund for the arts sector. The Arts Ventures Fund will open in 2014 and aims to increase access to and participation in arts and culture amongst older people, establish education projects for young people and support projects in the wider community.

The arts sector makes a huge difference to the UK’s economy and society, with a turnover of £12.4 billion and generated more per pound invested than the health, wholesale and retail, and professional and business services sectors (see Arts Council website). However, there is a wide gap between the availability of grant funding and access to long-term commercial capital. Social investment, provided by investors seeking to generate artistic, social and financial returns could provide capital in this space to ensure that growth can be realised.

To support the new Arts Ventures Fund, Investing for Good, Social Investment Business and the Cabinet Office have designed a tailored programme of investment readiness support for arts ventures within the already successful Investment and Contract Readiness Fund.

Applying for tailored investment readiness funding

Social ventures that work in the arts sector, have a commercial model, and are committed to report on their artistic and social impacts are welcome to apply for an investment readiness grant. Applicants should be looking to raise investment of over £500,000 over the next 12 months.

To apply, social ventures will be required to partner with one of the approved providers of support on the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund. Applications must be sent before 4pm on Tuesday 14 January 2014.


More information on applying to the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund including an application pack is available on the Fund website. You can also talk to the grants team on 0207 842 7788 or email info@sibgroup.org.uk


Still to come is the new Arts Ventures Fund, a fund for social ventures working in the arts sector, which will be launching in 2014.

Source: www.beinvestmentready.org.uk

It is great to see this type of opportunity becoming available for the arts and cultural sector. RIO were fortunate enough to receive some Investment Contract Readiness Fund support earlier in 2013 and we have been working with our excellent friends Resonance on a diverse programme of development across the organisation as a result. This has been a massive help to us, and has seen us make great strides in terms of our business planning processes, operations and ways we measure and account for our overall impact.

In our bridge role, we have been working with a number of arts and cultural organisations to support business innovation, leading to the development of increasingly sustainable business and operating models, and children and young people engaging with art and culture in new ways. It will be a natural next step for some of these organisations to begin to look at these type of investment opportunities. Within the arts and cultural sector there is much scope for socially enterprising approaches and business models, with strong social impact and some clear links between paying customers, artistic and cultural activity, the development of intellectual property and commercial value, and the wider creative industries.

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