Take it away scheme: interest-free finance when buying a musical instrument

Lanched in 2007, the 'Take it away' scheme works with music retailers to provide interest-free finance for the purchase of musical instruments and equipment, helping to ensure that more people can access instruments and learn to play. As of August 2017, the scheme has been expanded to cover all age groups and to include digital musical equipment and musical accessories like cases.

The Take it away scheme is a Creative United programme, backed by Arts Council England and Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Take it away is operated by Creative United (Creative Sector Services Community Interest Company), in partnership with Omni Capital Retail Finance

What can you buy?

As of August 2017 you can use the interest-free loan scheme to buy almost any musical instrument available at a participating music shop. That includes everything from 'traditional' instruments like violins, clarinets, guitars and pianos to contemporary equipment like synthesizers, drum machines and recording equipment.

When buying your instrument, you can also use the scheme to buy additional items to go with it like a case, strings, reeds, sheet music or even tuition (if the shop offers it)!

How does it work?

  1. Check if you're eligible
  2. Find a participating store
  3. Pick your instrument and/or equipment
  4. Inform store staff you'd like to use the scheme (they'll take you through the loan application process and run a credit check)
  5. Pay a deposit (10% of the cost)
  6. Take it away!

How much will it cost?

You pay 10% of the cost up-front, and then repay the rest of the loan over 9 monthly installments (on goods of £100-£2,000) or 18 monthly installments (on goods of £800 - £25,000).

An acoustic guitar costing £170:

  • £17 up-front
  • £17 per month for 9 months

A clarinet costing £320 + a clarinet case costing £40:

  • £36 up-front
  • £36 per month for 9 months

A tuba costing £1,500:

  • £150 up-front
  • £150 per month for 9 months

OR

  • £150 up-front
  • £75 per month for 18 months

Find out more

What about insurance?

Once you've bought an instrument, don't forget to insure it!

Including it in your household contents insurance might seem simplest, but many policies won't cover common situations (like loss or theft outside the home, hiring a replacement) and some will require that you get a professional valuation quote.

At Making Music, we can offer our tailored instrument insurance, specially-created for amateur musicians, from just £46 per year. That includes:

  • All your household's musical gear covered in one policy (instruments, accessories, sheet music, electronic equipment)
  • No need to specify items or ask for quotes - just pick the total value you want to cover and go!
  • Cover for losses or damage anywhere in the UK or Europe (not just at home!)
  • Hire costs covered for a temporary replacement instrument
  • Cover in locked vehicles
  • No excess (except for computer equipment)

Find out more


We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.