Creative Europe, a €1.46bn European Union programme for supporting culture between 2014 and 2020, has launched an initiative to support around 10,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including those from the publishing sector.
The €121m initiative launched yesterday (30th June), after an agreement was signed between the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Commission. Other creative sectors it will go towards supporting include film, television, animation and video games as well as performing and visual arts.
According to Europa, the €121m "guarantee facility" - which is effectively earmarked as insurance for financial intermediaries, like banks - is expected to create €600m in loans for financing cultural and creative sector initiatives. Its aim, it says, is "strengthening cultural and creative sectors companies' financial capacity and competitiveness".
It is not clear what access UK publishers may have to the initiative in light of Britain's vote for Brexit last week. However, while the guarantee was designed only to benefit countries participating in the Creative Europe programme, non-EU countries including Iceland, Albania, Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey are eligible to apply. It follows a stipulation that countries other than EU Member States may participate in the programme.
In the next couple of weeks a call for interest from banks and leasing companies will be issued, and SMEs should be able to apply for first loans by the end of this year.