June 01, 2021
The Triodos bank is launching, in partnership with the European Investment Fund, a guarantee mechanism for cultural projects in several countries, including Belgium.
While culture is still waiting for its (smooth) restart on June 9, Triodos launches a new mechanism to finance players in the sector. The bank has just signed a guarantee agreement with the European Investment Fund (FEI), the subsidiary of the European Investment Bank specializing in improving economic growth in the EU.
Thanks to this program, Triodos will be able to grant, during the next two years, loans up to 200 million euros to cultural and creative entrepreneurs in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. Of this total, 50 million euros will go to our country alone. The company aims to support 250 companies.
Entrepreneurs will thus have access to financing at lower interest rates or with more limited warranty requirements. “Triodos will use these funds to fund a wide range of initiatives, primarily aimed at film industry, media, art schools, music festivals, theater and musical productions, “said the bank in a statement.
“This guarantee mechanism is an important incentive, especially with the successive lockdowns which have a considerable impact on the cultural sector.”
Thomas Van Craen
Director of Triodos Bank in Belgium
Back to social life
In practice, this guarantee scheme is covered by the Guarantee facility for the cultural and creative sectors of the European Union (CCS GF), an initiative led by the European Fund for Strategic Investments on behalf of the European Commission. It is not, moreover, the first partnership of this kind between Triodos and the FEI, since they have already collaborated for social enterprises in 2018.
“This new partnership with the European Investment Fund will allow Triodos to finance more creative and cultural initiatives, including those that would normally have difficulty accessing traditional loans“, explains Thomas Van Craen, director of Triodos Belgium.
“This guarantee mechanism is an important incentive, especially with the successive confinements which have a considerable impact on the cultural sector. We fund the arts and culture because they contribute to social life by connecting ideas and people, ”he adds.
The project was approved by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, “so that cultural businesses can continue to contribute to the rich cultural landscape of Europe“.
Projects in Ghent and Brussels
In Belgium, Triodos announces that it has already funded two projects in partnership with the FEI. It is first of all the project “The Skater”, a production house in Ghent that produces small-scale circus shows with which it tours street theater and circus festivals in Europe – especially this summer in Antwerp – and also sets up ephemeral ice rinks.
The other funded project, “Free time”, is “the first cooperative bookshop in Brussels”, says the bank. “Thanks to the Triodos loan, Quartier Libre was able to open its first ‘corner’ in the Altitude 100 district in Uccle.”
According to the lines drawn by the summer plan, the events (especially cultural performances and shows) can resume on June 9 in limited capacity. Inside, up to 200 people (or 75% of the capacity of the room) will be admitted, and up to 400 people outside.
From the 1st of July, this capacity should be extended to 2,000 people indoors (or 80% of the room’s capacity) and up to 2,500 people outdoors.