Creative United host vibrant and engaging launch party for Creative Industry Finance | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Creative United host vibrant and engaging launch party for Creative Industry Finance

01 October 2014

The evening of Tuesday 23 September saw the launch of Creative Industry Finance (CIF), a ground-breaking programme providing business support and access to finance to enable the growth and development of England’s cultural and creative industries.

Bl-nk Space in Shoreditch was filled with over two hundred guests in support of this exciting new initiative and there were speeches from the Chair of Arts Council England, Sir Peter Bazalgette and the Chair of Creative United, David Gilbert.

“Arts Council England is proud to support the launch of Creative Industry Finance,” said Sir Peter Bazalgette. “This innovative programme represents a crucial step in the support of creative businesses and one that I believe will mark the beginning of a strong and sustainable creative economy in England.”

Several recipients of support through Creative Industry Finance’s pilot programme also spoke about their experiences. These included Rhian Kempadoo-Millar, of Kempadoo Millar, designer and maker of Yorkshire flatcaps; Balistiq, the duo behind production company Ulteria; and Dominic Haddock, Executive Director of Opera Up Close, a company that takes opera out of the concert halls and into fringe settings and pop-up venues. The business owners offered their individual and insightful perspectives into the contribution of Creative Industry Finance to their own business growth.

Guests were treated to a surprise performance by Opera Up Close: a scene from La Bohème that brought an energetic edge to the launch party, leaving the audience wowed by the talent on display. Later in the night a raffle offered prizes from Creative Industry Finance supported businesses including a pair of tickets to Opera Up Close’s newest production, Marriage of Figaro at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington. A selection of mini burger sliders were served alongside wine and craft beers from East London favourites, Crate Brewery, with the night’s music provided by Brownswood Recordings’ DJs.

The Creative Industry Finance programme offers up to twelve hours of free sector-specific business support for creative enterprises and the opportunity to access loans from a range of lending partners starting from £2,500 up to £1 million, or more. The programme is open to creative and cultural organisations that have been trading for at least eighteen months and are looking for loan finance to support their growth and development.

The innovative organisation behind this programme is Creative United, an Arts Council England backed Community Interest Company that provides a range of financial products and services designed to enable the growth and development of the UK’s cultural and creative industries.

Website | @CIFinance | Facebook

About Creative Industry Finance
Creative Industry Finance (“CIF”) is an Arts Council England funded initiative offering business development support and access to finance for creative industry enterprises. The programme is operated by Creative United, a Community Interest Company established to provide support to cultural and creative businesses. Sectors that are supported by the initiative include; architecture, crafts, games, fashion, design, digital media, web, film, festivals and events, TV, radio, music, performing arts, publishing, literature, visual arts and photography.

CIF’s pilot programme ran for two years and provided free business development support and loans to micro, small and medium size creative industry enterprises in London, Yorkshire and the Humber. Fifty seven businesses received direct loans and more than thirty accessed additional finance elsewhere. In total the value of business growth to businesses supported in the first year of the programme was £1,000,000. Loans were delivered in partnership with the East London Small Business Centre and Key Fund in Yorkshire, which support the development and growth of creative businesses in their regions.

Following the success of the pilot, with the support of Arts Council England, CIF will launch across England on 23 September 2014 with applications available online. A commission of 1% of all approved loans will be reinvested into Creative United to fund further programmes supporting the creative industries in the UK.

Creative Industry Finance’s lending partners are Big Issue Invest, Community Development Finance Association (CDFA), East London Small Business Centre, Fredericks Foundation, Hitachi Capital (UK) plc, Key Fund and Triodos Bank.

Please visit for more information.

About Creative United
Creative United has been established with support from Arts Council England to provide a range of financial products and services designed to enable the growth and development of the UK’s cultural and creative industries. Their mission is to build a sustainable and resilient creative economy, making the arts accessible to all. In doing so, they help the creative sector to understand how best to take advantage of the finance opportunities open to them, and enable their finance partners to build their experience and interest in working with creative and cultural enterprises.

They provide creative businesses and cultural organisations with access to a range of commercial tools, finance options, business skills and marketing channels designed to drive up sales revenues and allow them to maximise their commercial potential.

As a Community Interest Company, Creative United’s focus is on delivering a combination of strong social and financial returns.

Creative United’s publicly funded programmes include:

• Own Art – interest free loans for the purchase of contemporary art and craft

• Take it away – interest free loans for the purchase of musical instruments

•  Creative Industry Finance – business support and access to finance for creative enterprises

Please visit for more information

About Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Please visit for more information.