This event took place on 18 October. The recording is available below.

The UK’s arts, culture and heritage sectors are facing an unprecedented mix of economic challenges: from the lasting impact of the pandemic to rising inflation and cost of living crisis. There’s also significant uncertainty about which organisations will qualify as part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio, with the news being announced in October.

These factors have prompted organisations to look more broadly at their funding options, including the possible role for social investment. So, what is the role for social investment and other forms of repayable finance in this challenging context?

This webinar covered:

  • What is social investment and how it work
  • How arts & culture organisations can use it to help them deliver their missions
  • The misconceptions and risks around it – and how these can be mitigated

The opinions expressed in this event recording are those of the speaker. For more information, view our full statement on external contributors.


Marcel Baettig, Founder and Chief Executive, Bow Arts Trust


Originally training and worked as an artist, Marcel had a successful early career creating exhibitions and public commissions. In 1993 he was the BP International Young Artist of the Year completing several high profile commissions and Residencies. The following year he established Bow Arts, which soon became recognised as a leading education and arts charity and one of the very first real Social Enterprise Models. In 2013 Marcel was award a prize for Social Entrepreneur of the Year, at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards for his innovative, independent business model that invests around £3 to £4 million annually back into cultural and educational opportunities for residents in east London. Previous positions include Director of Bow Arts Trading, Founder and Director of London’s Artist Quarter, Founder and Director for the Artist Studio Finder, Founder and Director, the National Federation of Artist Studio Providers. Marcel was also a member of the Greater London Authority’s Creative Workspace Committee.

Steve Mannix, Executive Director, Mercury Theatre Colchester


Steve was appointed Executive Director of the Mercury Theatre in 2014. He was part of the Culture and Ceremonies Team for London 2012 and was responsible for establishing several of the major projects within the Cultural Olympiad. Following 2012 he left to pursue a freelance career with clients including Artillery, Vital Xposure, Deaf Men Dancing, Hackney Empire, Pacitti Company, DaDa and Ministry of Stories. Throughout his career Steve has been an advisor and board member to various strategic bodies, arts and voluntary sector organisations. These have included Arts Council England, The Albany (Vice Chair), Oval House (Vice Chair), the Independent Theatre Council (Vice Chair), Graeae Theatre Company (Chair), Association of London Government and The British Council.