Consultancy news /

29 May 12

Creative Industry Finance Pilot Programme launched by Arts Council England

Arts Council England (ACE) has launched a new loan scheme for cultural and creative businesses - the Creative Industry Finance programme in response to our 2011 report for ACE 'Supporting growth in the arts economy'.

The Creative Industry Finance pilot programme offers a combination of business development support and access to loan finance for creative industry enterprises. The pilot supports the ACE's Goal 3 priorities by exploring new business models to help the arts sector become more sustainable, resilient and innovative and has been set up with the following aims:

- To provide access to finance for SMEs operating within the cultural/creative industries, enabling business growth and supporting talent development

- To provide an evidence base for the demand and effectiveness of loan finance as an alternative to grant funding for commercially viable cultural and creative industry enterprises

- To improve the business skills and commercial experience of SMEs operating within the cultural/creative industries

- To improve the financial profile/lending history of creative industry SMEs with growth potential, enabling them to attract further investment from the private sector, thereby becoming more sustainable as independent enterprises

The pilot programme will launch initially for businesses located in the London region, and will be delivered by ArtCo Trading Ltd (ACE's trading subsidiary company) in partnership with East London Small Business Centre - a not-for-profit organisation with more than 30 years of experience in providing support for small businesses.

Creative Industry Finance website:

Supporting Growth in the Arts Economy publication:

09 May 12

Guimaraes European Capital of Culture 2012: FASHION HUB launch party, 11 May

This Friday will see the launch of FASHION HUB, part of Guimaraes European Capital of Culture 2012. FASHION HUB forms part of the Cidade (Cities) programmed by Tom Fleming. Friday's launch will introduce the six designers who have been selected to take part in the FASHION HUB Programme and will coincide with the British Council's Young Creative Fashion Entrepreneur Award presentation.

FASHION HUB (Plataforma de Moda) will showcase fashion and textile design talent from across the northern region of Portugal to international markets as part of Guimaraes European Capital of Culture 2012. As part of the Fashion Hub, one of the six designers will be selected to represent Portugal in the British Council's Young Creative Fashion Entrepreneur Award. The chosen designer will participate in a visit to the UK, in September 2012, where they will take part in valuable networking opportunities with the UK fashion industry and their international peers. The tour will comprise of visits, meetings, seminars and events at London Fashion Week.

08 May 12

Tom Fleming speaking at Creative Economies seminar in London, 20 June

Creative Economies, the high profile national seminar organised by Arts Development UK in partnership with Arts Council England (and hosted by the London Borough of Camden), will investigate the role that arts can play in economic development and the regeneration of communities in the current challenging economic climate. Tom Fleming will deliver a key note presentation on 'Supporting growth in the arts economy' following on from TFCC's homonymous paper for the Arts Council.

'It is commonly acknowledged that the arts are the bedrock of the creative economy, making a considerable contribution to the nation's prosperity and its international reputation.' Extract from 'Supporting growth in the arts economy'.

Creative Economies will explore three integrated themes designed to provide topical examples and case studies; suggest ways of understanding and communicating directly with the business sector about the economic importance of arts and culture; suggest tools to provide evidence of impact and value; all of which will help to scope the future arts and culture landscape.

The day's themes will be:

- the role of arts and culture as economic anchors and drivers in cultural regeneration
- how the wider business sector values and uses the role of arts and culture
- practical ways of measuring and capturing the economic value of the arts and culture

The full programme for the day can be found here:

The 'Supporting growth in the arts economy' report can be downloaded here:

27 Apr 12

Culture Hack Scotland taking place in Glasgow 27/28 April

Our research into digital developments for the arts and culture sector in Scotland kicks off with Culture Hack Scotland - a 24 hour event where digital and design talent collaborate with cultural organisations to make new and exciting innovation prototypes. Culture Hack brings together an array of creative technologists, designers and organisations to create new culture-related projects in just 24 hours.

This is the first in a series of events forming part of our evaluation of digital developments in Scotland's arts and culture sector with NESTA. Culture Hack is run by Sync - one of the three digital development programmes being run in Scotland throughout 2012-2013 designed to facilitate making, prototyping and innovation in the space where culture, technology and design meet.

18 Apr 12

Evaluating digital developments for the arts and culture sector in Scotland

Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy has been appointed as NESTA's learning and evaluation partner to look at digital developments in Scotland's arts and culture sector.

NESTA, in partnership with Creative Scotland and the AHRC, is testing new innovation models for the cultural sector in Scotland through a Digital R&D Fund. The Fund's overarching purpose is 'to enable the use of digital technologies in the arts and cultural sector to engage audiences in new ways and to create opportunities for new business models'. One of the fund's key elements is to support collaborative partnerships between arts and cultural organisations and technology providers; and to provide a body of rich research evidence, data and case studies that inspires and supports the capacity of the wider arts and cultural sector to innovate.

We will be working with NESTA to support the wider evaluation, impacts and data capture from this programme. This will include an international overview of best practice digital cultural initiatives and an evaluation of the Scottish digital development programmes themselves.