A new Growth Loan Fund is to be launched this month by Cockpit Arts in partnership with Ingenious, an investment and advisory group renowned for their work in Media & Entertainment. Cockpit Arts is an award winning Social Enterprise and the fund aims to support the growth of independent craft businesses based at its London incubators.
The Cockpit Arts & Ingenious Growth Loan Fund will provide low interest loans, coupled with intensive one to one business support to studio holders at Cockpit Arts, the UK’s only creative incubator for designer makers. Talented, ambitious designers and artisans from a broad range of disciplines including ceramics, printing, glass, jewellery, millinery, shoemaking, couture fashion and textiles will be eligible to apply.
Loans of up to £10,000 can be accessed to support developments such as improved production processes, new routes to market and taking on staff. In each case, the loans support the owner-manager to create a more sustainable business, capable of economies of scale and increased profits as the business continues to grow and develop.
The new fund comes after a successful 3 year pilot loan scheme supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The pilot loan scheme achieved zero bad debt and loan recipients have reported an average increase in turnover of 28%, and an average increase in profits of 75%. A Social Return on Investment (SROI) approach was used to understand the wider impacts of the pilot and demonstrate the value created by the programme. The full report can be downloaded at www.cockpitarts.com.
Vanessa Swann, CEO of Cockpit Arts says: “The partnership with Ingenious will enable Cockpit to provide affordable loan finance, allied with tailored, one to one business development support for another five years. It’s a unique aspect of our incubation package and we’re thrilled to be working with Ingenious to deliver it.”.
Patrick McKenna, CEO of Ingenious, welcomed the new partnership with Cockpit Arts. “I am delighted that we are going to be able to help Cockpit to carry on providing growth finance as part of its successful package of support to growing craft businesses.”
“High quality, design-led crafts are an increasingly sought after element in the wider UK creative industries’ landscape. Cockpit provides a model template for nurturing young businesses in this sector”, he added, “and I’m glad to be associated with their organisation”.