Spanish Heat, Oil on canvas by Louise Davies RE

How to apply for Own Art

You’ve heard the term and seen the leaflets, but what is this Own Art scheme that everyone talks about; are you eligible and how do you apply?

What is Own Art?

First things first, Own Art is a legitimate scheme that is not a scam. It allows customers the opportunity to buy a piece of contemporary art or craft and pay for it over 10 months, in equal instalments at 0% finance. That means there is no interest to pay.

Own Art is a national scheme that is run by an organisation called Creative United who are in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

If you apply to pay for a piece of art using the scheme you would fill out a form, either in the gallery or sent to you by email. Your credit agreement would be with a company called Novuna Finance.

Who uses Own Art?

Since 2004 over 60,000 customers have used the Own Art scheme to buy works of art from over 300 galleries in the UK. Watermark Gallery in Harrogate is one of those galleries and we had to apply to be a member which we did in 2020. You can see the full list of galleries listed here.

Although Own Art was originally set up to help make art buying more affordable and accessible to a wider group of people, the scheme is used by all types of people who recognise the benefits of spreading payments at no extra cost.


Are you eligible?

Probably yes!

You can apply to Own Art if you are over 18 and a permanent resident in the UK. You also have to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Working at least 16 hours per week (employed or self employed)
  • Retired or in receipt of a pension
  • In receipt of disability allowance

If the above doesn’t apply to you then perhaps you have a partner or family member who is willing to apply instead?

How to apply

It’s very simple and takes about 10 minutes to complete the forms. Here are the steps:

  1. Contact Watermark Gallery stating which artwork you would like to buy using Own Art.
  2. We can arrange for you to come to the gallery to fill out the application, or we can send it to you by email to fill in at home.
  3. When they receive the application, Novuna Finance completes a credit check, approves the application and let’s us know the application has been successful.
  4. We contact you to arrange collection or delivery of the artwork.

What can I buy using Own Art?

Any piece of contemporary art and craft, by a living artist, is eligible for the scheme. Our application allows you to spend from £100 up to £2500 and it is possible to buy more than one item. If you want to spend more than £2500 that is possible but you would have to make an initial payment as a deposit to cover the difference.

Unfortunately, this does mean that works of art by Modern British artists, such as John Piper and Edward Bawden, are not covered by the scheme.

Contact us

If you would like to go ahead with an Own Art application, or you need more help, please contact Liz Hawkes on + 44 (0) 1423 562659 or by email: [email protected].




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