The decision-making process and timetable
We will contact you within five working days of submitting your application to inform you whether or not you have been successful in being referred to the business support programme.
Successful applications will be referred to our delivery partner. In London, this is East London Small Business Centre and in the Yorkshire and Humber region this is The Key Fund. They will arrange an initial business consultation with you.
If your application is unsuccessful, we may be able to recommend alternative sources of business support and access to finance that may be appropriate for you to consider.
The business assessment
Once your application has been referred to our delivery partner, they will need to meet with you in order to assess in more detail the needs of your business with regard to support and access to finance.
The delivery partner will work with you to decide how best to support your business going forward. This may include a recommendation to be put forward for our Creative Industry Finance business support package.
Business support package
For those businesses that are ready to take the next step, a further 10 hours advice will be made available to help develop and refine a business plan which can be used to support an application to our investment panel for a business development loan.
Please note that places for this programme are limited and we will be taking into account the following criteria when deciding which businesses to offer the Business Support Package to:
- viability of the business
- level of finance required
- diversity of creative industry enterprises across the programme
Access to finance
We will work closely with companies on the Business Support Package programme to develop and refine a business plan and set of financials that can be presented to a range of lenders in order to secure support.
'Lender of last resort' principle
The Arts Council's Creative Industry Finance fund has been established in line with the 'lender of last resort' principle. That is to say, any business applying for finance under this programme must be able to demonstrate that they have already applied unsuccessfully for finance from their own bank or an equivalent mainstream lender.
Proposals from businesses that have completed the business support package will be considered by an investment panel at regular intervals (normally every 6-8 weeks). The panels are made up of independent business people, with representation also from Arts Council England and the delivery partner's senior management teams.
Loans of £5,000-25,000 will be loaned under this programme, repayable over a period of up to 36 months (three years). Investment panel decisions will be normally be communicated to applicants within 24 hours.
Please note that an interest rate of 10% APR will apply to all loans approved under the Creative Industry Finance programme. Further details on this, including some examples to illustrate the cost of repayments, can be found in our FAQs section.