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?

Founded in 2007, Village Underground is a landmark venue in Shoreditch, which provides affordable studio space for artists and creative industry tenants. The business started life with an artist and community-led ethos, but economic realities meant that ticketed performing arts events - focused primarily on contemporary live and electronic music - took centre stage.

With an annual audience of 150,000 people across more than 500 performances featuring 1,500 artists, Village Underground is a venue of choice for spring-boarding the careers of up-and-coming artists.

What are we investing in?

Village Underground approached the Arts Impact Fund for a £600,000 loan to contribute towards the new Hackney Arts Centre, a 2,500+ capacity multi-arts centre in a disused art deco cinema in Dalston, which would not just be a commercial venue but would include a detailed partnership with music education charity Community Music.

Community Music has a 30-year track record in improving the lives of young people, particularly those who are socially excluded or disengaged from education, through music production and learning.

Working with Village Underground at Hackney Arts Centre, Community Music will receive a number of benefits, including extensive access to performance space, equipment and technical support from venue staff, at no cost to the charity. In effect, this will give the young people that Community Music works with immediate access to professional, real-world experience.

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