Creative England launches £24m debt fund for creative businesses

Creative Growth Fund will offer loans of up to £500,000 to post revenue, IP-rich creative businesses which need finance to scale up

Creative England has launched a £24m Creative Growth Finance fund for growth businesses in the creative industries in partnership with Triodos Bank.

The fund will provide loans of up to £500,000 to creative IP-rich firms already generating revenue with potential for growth and scaling.

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It is estimated that, with proper funding, the £100bn creative industries could grow by 50pc and create 60,000 new jobs by 2023. Yet, at present, the length of time it takes for creative industry SMEs to scale up sees 72pc suffering from lack of growth capital.

Triodos Bank is providing £10m of the debt fund, with £5m coming from Creative England and another £9m of funds coming from Creative England’s returns reinvested over the four years.

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The Creative Growth Finance fund will offer one of the most competitive interest rates available on the SME lending market, with each loan’s repayment structure being individually tailored.

A regional network of investment and sector specialists will be on hand to advise businesses that have taken loans.

The fund will be the first investment product to be launched under the Creative Growth Finance banner, which will offer a range of financial facilities.

Since 2012, Creative England has invested £20m in creative businesses, with loan repayment rates of over 95pc since 2014. Eighty-one percent of this investment has been deployed outside of London and the South East. And 83pc of creative businesses supported by Creative England have succeeded past year three, compared with a national average of 60pc.

Mehjabeen Patrick, chief finance officer of Creative England, said: “The prevalent issue of the UK’s scale-up gap is rife, partnered with a traditional lending structure that is hugely risk averse, imminent change is required to catalyse growth at what is a critical stage of leap-finance.”

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