About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Who are we investing in?

Project INC is an arts education social enterprise that promotes and provides inclusive, creative learning for 11-19 year olds situated within cultural buildings to give a truly alternative, contextualized experience with element of work/life skills. It works with learners who need extra support as they are at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), and uses art, design and creativity to improve student engagement and attainment.

After starting-up at the end of 2016, Project INC has delivered over 400 sessions to learners with additional needs, with the aim of creating an initial connection between young learners and ‘Arts Places and Spaces’ in their community. It is fostering a new audience of young people as well as providing a permanent base to access art qualifications through to A Level and skills in the arts and heritage sector that could lead to employment.

What are we investing in?

The vision is for Project INC to become a strong partner in education for the North West’s most hard-to-reach learners. To do this, it is looking to scale up and widen its reach. Project INC approached Arts Impact Fund for investment of £208,000 to fund the start-up costs of four learning bases in galleries or museums over the next two years.

Scaling offers an opportunity for Project INC to grow its customer base and boost its financial resilience and sustainability in an innovative and productive way, whilst retaining alignment with its core mission. The organisation’s model keeps the cost for schools and councils low to ensure courses can attract the widest possible demographic; the economics of this are enabled by partnership agreements with the arts and heritage venues, which include low-cost rent, access to the entire building and collections as well as in-house expert teams and advice. Project INC’s programme contributes in this way to the revenues of the arts and heritage venues, whilst also improving the accessibility and diversity of their audience base.

Read the full case study on Project INC on the Arts Impact Fund website.