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Webinar: Social investment in times of uncertainty

Learn about the role of social investment and other forms of repayable finance during an unprecedented mix of economic challenges, in this panel discussion and Q&A with Marcel Baettig, of Bow Arts Trust, and Steve Mannix, of Colchester's Mercury Theatre.

The UK’s arts, culture and heritage sectors are facing an unprecedented mix of economic challenges: from the lasting impact of the pandemic to the looming cost of living crisis; from the increased cost of borrowing to rising inflation. There’s also significant uncertainty around which organisations will qualify as part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio, with the news being announced in October or early November.

These factors have understandably prompted organisations to look more broadly at their funding options, including the possible role for social investment. So, what is the role for social investment and other forms of repayable finance in this challenging context?

In this webinar and panel discussion we explored what social investment is (and how it works), how arts and culture organisations can use it to help them deliver on their missions, and the misconceptions and risks around it – along with how these can be mitigated. The Arts & Culture Finance (ACF) team were joined by Marcel Baettig, Founder and CEO of Bow Arts Trust, and Steve Mannix, Executive Director of Mercury Theatre Colchester.

Bow Arts Trust is an arts and education charity and a social enterprise; their services support the growth of sustainable local creative economies. Over 500 artists, designers and makers are affiliated with Bow Arts through their workspaces, Nunnery Gallery, affordable housing for creatives, and award-winning schools and young people’s learning programme. Mercury Theatre is a major producing theatre for Colchester, focusing on developing new talent and supporting young people. An artistic powerhouse in the East, Mercury Theatre connects with its community through a variety of activities, some of which are discussed within this webinar.

The panel discussion begins at 19:00, preceded by an introduction from the ACF team that explains social investment, its advantages and risks, how it can be used and the processes involved. 

The session featured some highly relevant and thought-provoking questions from attendees and sought to clarify the position of social investment in the development and resilience of arts and culture organisations in the UK, particularly given the current economic climate.

Read more about the potential benefits of fixed rate interest social investment or find out about financial resilience in arts and culture organisations in our recent blogs.

The recording is available above and you can access the slides here. You can access a full transcript of the webinar here.

See also