Creative United is pleased to announce a significant enhancement and expansion to the Take it away scheme, its flagship programme offering interest-free loans to customers for the purchase of musical instruments.
Following the award of a new funding agreement by Arts Council England, this national initiative will be re-launched by Creative United on 10 November 2023 with revised and highly competitive benefits for its network of member retailers, ensuring that the scheme is supporting affordable access to musical instruments for musicians across the country, from complete beginners to accomplished professional and amateur players of all ages*.
This strategic move will provide increased support for high-street musical instrument retailers across England, directly addressing the financial challenges faced by both businesses and consumers due to the current cost of living crisis.
Creative United is proud to maintain its longstanding partnership with Omni Capital Retail Finance, which will continue to serve as our trusted scheme credit provider. Furthermore, as part of these exciting developments, updates to their online portal will be implemented, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly experience for our valued customers.
This announcement marks a significant milestone in the history of the Take it away scheme which was first launched by the Arts Council on an ‘open to all’ basis in 2007, and to date has supported nearly 100,000 customers with the purchase of £72m worth of musical instruments and equipment.
The early success of the scheme was followed by a period of 12 years during which the Arts Council’s funding for the programme became focused on supporting access to musical instruments for children and young people only.
Today’s announcement is reflective of the Arts Council’s commitment to lifelong creativity and helps to achieve the organisation’s 2020-30 strategy, Let’s Create, by helping people of all ages, from all parts of the country, access and enjoy music.
Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “Affordable access to the right equipment is key in ensuring creativity can flourish. Alongside our £151 million investment this year in music organisations and projects, our increased support of Take it away means even more people can access the musical instruments they need, and helps us build a country where everyone can enjoy music and the benefits it brings.”
Alexander Tucker, Chief Operating Officer at Creative United said: “We are delighted that the Take it away scheme is being relaunched on an enhanced basis to enable all customers over the age of 18 to purchase a musical instrument. Thanks to the continued commitment of our funding partner, Arts Council England, Take it away will once again be available to people across England who may be picking up a musical instrument later in life, rekindling their passion for music, or simply wanting to take their music making to the next level with a new instrument or piece of equipment.
This is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Take it away scheme. We will be looking to grow and develop the scheme over the coming years in partnership with other organisations that share our commitment to ensuring equitable and affordable access to music-making for everyone across England.”
*subject to status and credit check