Investment and Contract Readiness Fund for the Arts
Through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, we are seeing amazing experimentation. One of our aims is that, through development and testing, new products and services will emerge. For example, LSO Pulse, which offers discounted tickets to students, was one of our pilot projects which has gone on to thrive.
But it can be hard for arts organisations that want to expand into new areas of growth to know how to do so. As highlighted at the brilliant Remix London summit for the Arts a few weeks ago, there is often 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.
Step forward the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund, into which social ventures looking to raise investment can apply for an investment readiness grant. The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund is supporting arts ventures in January as part of a new initiative to bring more capital into the arts sector.
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.
This form of funding, which recognises the public and social good that arts organisations can play, might just provide a vital link between grant funding and commercial growth.
But arts organisations will need to be quick to apply. The grants, of between ￡50-150k must be jointly applied for with one of the approved providers and joint applications made before 14th January 2014.