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Arts & Culture Impact Fund

Key Information

Currently accepting applications
Funding available £150,000 - £1,000,000
Loan type Secured and unsecured
Repayment period Until May 2032
Interest rates 3% - 8.5%
Fees 1% completion fee
2% per annum, pro rata holding fee (when funds are held longer than 3 months)
No early repayment fee
Geographic area covered UK

Background and History

The Arts & Culture Impact Fund brings together a mix of public, private and philanthropic investors – Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Big Society Capital, Bank of America, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Freelands Foundation and Nesta. The fund is the world’s biggest impact investment fund for the creative arts.

The fund builds on the success of the Arts Impact Fund, a pilot initiative launched in 2015 to demonstrate how impact investment could transform the arts and cultural sector.

The Arts & Culture Impact Fund sets out to achieve several objectives for the arts, cultural and heritage sectors:


The Arts & Culture Impact Fund offers secured and unsecured finance between £150,000 and £1,000,000 with repayment term available until May 2032 and interest rates ranging between 3% and 8.5%.

Eligibility criteria

Your organisation’s primary activity is in arts, culture and heritage

Your organisation’s core operations or activity should be based in the arts, culture and heritage. For example, a dementia charity using art to engage its beneficiaries would not be eligible to apply for investment. However, a theatre providing outreach performances in local schools to target disadvantaged children would meet our criteria.

Eligible organisations must work in one of the following disciplines:

  • Architecture
  • Combined arts 
  • Crafts
  • Culture and heritage in the natural environment
  • Dance 
  • Fashion design & textiles
  • Film
  • Graphic design
  • Heritage




  • Libraries & archives
  • Literature 
  • Museums 
  • Music
  • Sector support organisation
  • Theatre and performance 
  • Visual arts
  • Workspace provider
Your organisation is registered and operating in the UK

We can only work with organisations registered in the UK and primarily benefiting communities in the UK. Digital organisations will need to demonstrate their primary audiences are based in the UK.

We do not make loans to individuals, sole traders, partnerships or unincorporated bodies (unless their partners/members are exclusively corporate bodies).

Your organisation has a clear social mission, reflected in its structure and governance

To be eligible, your organisation has to demonstrate that has a clear social mission. This may include asset-lock and a restriction of the personal gain derived from its work. Charities, community interest companies and community benefit societies with a recognised charitable purpose are eligible for investment. Other incorporated entities, such as companies limited by shares, will be considered based on the strength of their social mission and whether the majority of their profit will be reinvested into that mission.

Your organisation is able to demonstrate measurable social impact on individuals or communities in the UK

When applying, you will need to show how your organisation delivers specific positive outcomes for individuals or communities. The expectation is that a plan will be put in place to evaluate progress towards these outcomes throughout the life of the investment. In general, we expect organisations to have articulated their theory of change either formally or implicitly as well as to have developed (or be in the process of developing) appropriate tools and processes for impact management.


For fund-specific enquiries, please contact Rachel Green.

Investment Committee

Chair Richard Brass, Managing Director UK Wealth Management, Rothschild & Co (independent)

Amy Walker, Chief Operating Officer, Freelands Foundation

Nathan Elstub, Chief Investment Officer, Nesta

Alison Holdom, Grants Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Nicola Saunders, Director, Business Improvement & Innovation, Arts Council England

Mauricio Preciado-Awad, Big Society Capital

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation (independent)

Oluwaseun Soyemi, Social Investment Manager, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Andrea Sullivan, Head of International Environment, Social & Governance, Bank of America

Julie Nicola Wright, VP, Arts Programme Manager, Bank of America (non-voting)

Anna Carter, Interim Director of Strategy and Innovation, The National Lottery Heritage Fund (non-voting)


Arts & Culture Impact Fund loans are administered by Arts & Culture Finance on behalf of Nesta Arts & Culture Impact LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC423779. Arts & Culture Impact Fund is managed by Nesta Investment Management LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Investors and Partners