ART (Aston Reinvestment Trust)

When was the business established:1997

Business stage: Growing substantially having achieved a record year of loan delivery in 2013/2014 and with further growth plans.

Located: Innovation Birmingham Campus, Faraday Wharf

The ART offering:
ART is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) which provides business loans of between £10,000 and £100,000 to businesses and social enterprises in the West Midlands that are unable to receive their full funding requirements from their bank.

What makesART unique:
ART is an additional source of finance operating as a sustainable social enterprise using a mixture of public and private sector funding.

The ART story so far:
ART has a remit to boost the local economy, helping to support enterprise and create or preserve local jobs. It operates with a voluntary board and small experienced staff team.

ART’s portfolio of borrowers includes registered charities, sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, operating in a wide variety of sectors ,  including manufacturing, services, food and care industries, education and skills training.

ART lends on its own, or with others – including the banks – to make up a finance package.  Its terms and conditions are more flexible than the banks’ and every loan is assessed personally. The process for application is straightforward and money can be made available quickly if necessary.  Loans are for start-up and existing businesses and can be used for any business purpose, including to support cash flow.

When and whyART moved to Innovation Birmingham Campus:
After eight years at the Birmingham Enterprise Hub in Aston Road North, ART moved to new premises in January 2014.  The choice of Birmingham Science Park Aston’s Innovation Birmingham Campus, was linked to ART’s plans for significant growth in 2014/15.

“We looked at a variety of options before choosing to re-locate to the Innovation Birmingham Campus,” Chief Executive Dr Steve Walker explains.  “In the end we felt it best met our needs in terms of space, facilities and accessibility.  There is a vibrant community here, with business, growth and innovation at the heart of what the Campus does – a perfect fit with our own mission and values.”

Best business tip we have to offer OR Best business lesson learned so far:
Businesses have a greater chance of success with a combination of the appropriate finance and quality support.

How to see more of ART including business tips and resources. 

Read ART press releases here:
Business Loan Application Reach Record High


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