At our most recent Council meeting, we resolved to support an interest-free art purchasing scheme called Art Money.
The scheme will help remove barriers to buying art by providing a 10-month interest-free loan to buy a work priced between $750 and $20,000 from a participating gallery.
This is an exciting initiative which will open the opportunity for more people to have art in their homes and grow Sydney's creative sector.
Tasmania runs a similar scheme called Collect, which has made loans totalling over $4.57 million since it was launched over five years ago. It has increased the demand for work by Tasmanian artists and ensured their work is now part of collections around Australia.
And Research for a UK scheme, Own Art, reveals that over a quarter of participants identify themselves as first-time buyers, and over 80 per cent of all buyers said that Own Art had enabled them to make their purchase.
It is one of the first actions to be implemented from the City's newly adopted Creative City Policy - and one that received strong support during consultation.
Apart from the obvious cultural benefits, this scheme will help sustain and grow the City's economy, particularly the small business sector - many of the likely participating galleries will be small businesses.
With the Commonwealth and State governments retreating from support for the arts, it is imperative that the City show leadership.