Last week we launched our exciting new partnership with the Guardian Culture Professional Network, a hub which explores alternative finance within the arts, culture and creative industries. 

Sarah Thirtle, our Head of Business Lending Programmes participated as a member of an expert panel which came together to discuss the pertinent issue of the future of arts and creative industries funding in a live webchat.Panellists included key professionals from Creative England, British Council, Arts Council England, Cockpit Arts, Chickenshed Theatre, RateSetter, The Audience Agency, University Of Kent and OperaUpClose

The discussion answered questions from the public and Editor of the Guardian Culture Professional Network, Matthew Caines steered the conversation across the various issues facing the industry’s future. The importance for different arts funding organisations to work together, the London/regional imbalance of access to funding and the need for policy makers to treat creative businesses as the new driver of growth were all discussed in the lively debate. 

Many tangible actions were also suggested. Sarah Thirtle highlighted the prominence of being able to clearly articulate your organisation’s offer and outcomes as well as the power of a strong business plan when seeking access to finance. She also pinpointed that there is a need for some finance providers “to do more to fully understand the inherent value, artistic excellence and brilliant competencies of our country’s creative businesses and organisations.” 

If you missed out on the stimulating conversation, you can read a round up or the full version here.