The Own Art Scheme


The Own Art Scheme has been designed to make it easy and affordable for everyone to buy contemporary works of art and craft with an interest free loan.  Arts Council England aims to put the arts at the heart of national life and one of the ways they do this is to encourage people to live with art they love. The Arts Council want to help artists live by their creative output and support galleries who sell high quality contemporary art.  You can borrow up to £2,500 and pay back the loan in 10 monthly instalments - with no interest to pay*   The scheme is available through a network of over 250 participating venues across the country.    OWN ART PLUS >>>

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Own Art is an Arts Council England initiative operated by Creative United, a registered trademark of Creative Sector Services CIC, a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales under number 08280539. Registered office: 10 Queen Street Place, London EC4R 1BE.Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ® The Own Art logo is a registered trademark of Arts Council England.


You can buy almost anything by a living artist which you see in a participating gallery.

As soon as you have found something that you want to buy from a gallery that participates in the scheme, you can apply straight away  for an Own Art loan to finance your purchase. You may visit the gallery in person to arrange a loan or email/telephone to gallery to set up an agreement.

To be eligible to apply for a loan you need to :

• be over 18 years old
• be a permanent UK resident
• be in possession of a bank or building society account that can operate direct debit payments
• you will also need to bring two proofs of identification with you - one for proof of signature, such as a debit or credit card, and the other for proof of address. This could be a bank statement, utility bill or driver's licence.

The gallery will take you through an on-line application process which takes about 10 minutes to complete. If your application is successful, you'll be able to sign the agreement and take the work home with you. Please ask gallery staff if you would like to make a purchase without visiting the gallery in person, as in certain cases an Own Art application may be completed by "Distance Marketing, where you would complete an agreement yourself online from home".


Loans are available from £100 up to £2,500

The loan amount can be a part-payment towards
an item that costs more than £2,500 or you can buy
several lower value items at a time with a combined
value of up to £2,500 or less.

The amount you borrow is then paid back over 10 months in equal interest free instalments.

Example: Cost of Art work = £495
Pay by 10 equal monthly instalments of £49.50
Total Cost = £495

There is no administrative charge or handling fee when you take out the loan so you will never be paying more for your purchase than the ticket price. (The interest is shared by the Arts Council and the participating Gallery).


If you would like to purchase a piece of artwork but can't make it into the gallery, we may be able to set up an Own Art Agreement for you  via a Distance Marketing Agreement.  Just EMAIL    with the following information:

a) the title and price of the artwork you would like to purchase
b) your full name and address
c) a home or mobile telephone number

Once a Distance Marketing Own Art Application has been created by gallery staff, you would receive an email notification giving you instructions to securely complete an online application directly with the Own Art finance provider Hitachi Capital Ltd.  You will have 10 days to complete the agreement.

Once you have successfully completed the agreement,  you would need the facility to print off the agreement and correspondence and then just sign and post the agreement to Hitachi.  When they receive the agreement,  the gallery is informed that the application has been accepted and we would then contact you to arrange collection of your artwork (or delivery to you).


Who runs Own Art? Arts Council England runs the scheme through its trading company ArtCo Trading Ltd. Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance is the credit provider.If the customer doesn't pay interest on the loan, who does? The scheme is subsidised by Arts Council England. The Arts Council pays the interest to the bank instead of the customer.

Do I need to take photo ID with me to apply for a loan? No, you don't need photo ID. However, you will need to provide proof of signature (e.g. a debit or credit card) and proof of your home address (e.g. a driver's licence, bank statement or utility bill).

Can I use the scheme if I am a student or unemployed? No. However, if you living with a partner who is employed, then you are able to apply as a 'house person' quoting your partner's employment details. You may also apply if you are a student nurse, or a part-time student provided that you have regular paid employment of at least 16 hours per week.

Can I use Own Art to buy a piece of work directly from an artist? No. Own Art is only available through galleries, museums and other arts organisations that have been approved by Arts Council England (or Scottish Arts Council) as registered members of the scheme.

Can the loan be used when the value of the piece of art is higher than £2,500? Yes – the loan can go towards the payment of a piece of art that costs more than £2,500.

Will I be able to take my purchase home with me immediately? Yes, you can take your purchase home as soon as you have been approved and signed the loan agreement. If you have purchased something which is being presented as part of a special exhibition, the gallery may ask you to leave the work on display until the end of the show, for the benefit of other visitors.

Can I use the scheme more than once? Yes, there is no limit to the number of times that you can use the scheme. However, you will normally have to allow at least 4 months between loan applications in order to establish a repayment record with the bank.

Can I take out more than one loan at a time? You can borrow up to £2,500 at any one time, and this can be towards the cost of one or more pieces. You can also have different loans with different galleries running concurrently.

When will my first payment be made? Your first payment will normally be debited from you account around 4 weeks after the date on which you signed the agreement.

Can I change my monthly payment date? Yes. You'll need to contact Hitachi Capital directly in order to arrange this.

Can I pay off the loan early, i.e. before the 10 months have passed? Yes. You can pay off the balance of your Own Art loan at any time by contacting Hitachi Capital directly. There are no penalties for early settlement.

Can I cancel the loan once I've signed the agreement? No. Unless you have made a purchase by mail order without first seeing the goods, in which case you can cancel the agreement within 14 days.