Take it Away

The Take It Away Scheme

Take It Away is an Arts Council initiative designed to help more people get involved in learning and playing music.

The scheme allows individuals to apply for a loan from £300 to £2,000 for the purchase of a musical instrument, pay a minimum 10% deposit, and pay the balance back in nine monthly instalments, completely interest free.*

Guitarbitz are members of the scheme, giving you the opportunity to purchase instruments and accessories at 0% interest.

Example, buy a £1000 guitar, pay 10% deposit by credit or debit card, followed by 9 monthly installments of £100. Total paid, £1000. 0% interest.*

Typical 0% APR*

*Offer subject to age and status. Terms and conditions apply.  Take it away is operated by ArtCo Trading Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arts Council England and a limited liability company registered in England & Wales under No. 2758433. Registered address: Arts Council England, North East, Central Square, Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PJ

What can I buy?

You can use Take it away to finance the purchase of any kind of musical instrument, whether new or reconditioned.  You can also include any accessories, amplifiers, equipment and even sometimes tuition as part of your loan when purchased with a musical instrument.

Recorded music, PA systems and computer hardware are not eligible to purchase under the scheme.

How do I Take it away?

First, find the instrument that you want to buy in our shop or on our website. If you don't know what you're looking for, contact us and will be able to give you help and advice in selecting the right instrument for your needs.  Once you've made your decision, you can apply for a Take it away loan to finance your purchase. 

You can apply in two ways:

1) In person at our shop in Frome, Somerset, where, if approved you can take away the instrument with you. Simply bring some ID with you, a Driving Licence, Passport or Utility Bill along with your credit or debit card in order to pay the 10% deposit. The application process takes no more than a few minutes and, if approved, you can take your purchase away with you there and then.

2) By calling us on 01373 454411. We will ask for some information from you,  which we will use to complete an application over the phone and send you documentation to sign. Upon receipt of the signed documentation at Guitarbitz we will then process your application and dispatch your order as quickly as possible.  Please be aware that when applying via the telephone, we will dispatch your order until 14 days after we have received your signed documents. The process may take approx 3 weeks before dispatch of you order.

To apply for a loan you need to be:

  • Between 18 and 25 years old**
  • A permanent UK resident
  • Hold a bank or building society account capable of handling direct debit payments
  • Employed

** If you are under 18, your parent or guardian can apply for a Take it away loan on your behalf. Loans are subject to status. Terms and conditions apply.

How much can I borrow?

Loans are available up to £2,000, or as little as £300. The loan amount can be a part-payment towards an item that costs more than £2,000, or you can buy several lower value items with a combined value of up to £2,000 or more.

You will need to pay a minimum 10% of the loan amount at the point of sale. The rest is then paid back over nine months in equal instalments. 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.


If you are unclear about any aspect of Take it away, please read through the Frequently Asked Questions below. If your question is not addressed here please contact us.

Who runs Take it away?

Take it away is an Arts Council England initiative operated by its trading company, ArtCo Trading Ltd. Secure Trust Bank (trading as Moneyway) is the credit provider.

If the customer doesn't pay interest on the loan, who does?

The scheme is subsidised by Arts Council England. This means that the Arts Council pays the interest to the bank, instead of the customer.

How do I use the scheme?

Simple. Visit the Guitarbitz shop in Frome, Somerset. It's a good idea to check the website and range of stock before you visit. Once you're here, our staff will help you select an instrument appropriate to your needs, and then take you through the loan application process. Remember that you will need to have a debit card with you as well as your ID to make your deposit payment (minimum 10%).

You can also apply by calling us on 01373 454411. We will ask for some information from you to allow us to complete an application over the phone and send you documentation to sign. Upon receipt of the signed documentation at Guitarbitz we will then process your application and dispatch your order as quickly as possible.  Please be aware that when applying via the telephone, the process may take up to 3 weeks before dispatch of you order.

Do I need to take proof of address or photo ID with me?

Yes please, a driving licence, passport and a recent utility bill (we can not accept a mobile phone bill, credit card bill or bank statement as proof of ID). Please remember to bring your debit card too.

Can I use the scheme if I am unemployed?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from people who are unemployed or enemployed and in receipt of state benefits.

Can I use the scheme if I am a student?

Students are eligible to apply, provided that they have a part-time job working 16 hours a week or more. Students who don't qualify under this provision can still benefit from the scheme, but must ask a parent or guardian to apply for the loan on their behalf. Once the loan has been approved, you can contact the bank to arrange for the monthly direct debit to be changed to your bank account, rather than being charged to your parent/guardian. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU DEFAULT ON PAYMENTS THE PARENT/GUARDIAN IN WHOSE NAME THE LOAN HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT WILL REMAIN LIABLE.

Can I take my new instrument home immediately?

If you apply in store, are accepted, have signed the agreement, paid your deposit and brought your ID with you, you can take your new instrument away with you immediately.

If you apply over the phone, the process can take up to 3 weeks before your instrument is dispatched.

Can the loan be used when the value of the instrument is higher than £2,000?

Yes. The loan can go towards the payment of an instrument that costs more than £2,000. You will of course have to pay the ballance and 10% deposit.

Can I take out more than one loan at once?

You can borrow up to £2,000 at any one time, and this can be put towards the cost of one or more instruments. You can also have different loans with different outlets running concurrently.

Can I use the scheme more than once?

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

Can I use the scheme to buy instruments for other people?

Yes, you can use the scheme to buy instruments for other people including children and young people under the age of 18. However, please remember that you will remain responsible for repaying the full loan amount to the bank and that the loan is not transferable to a third party.

Can I use the scheme to purchase a second hand or reconditioned instrument?

Yes, provided that the instrument is being sold through an approved Take it away outlet.

Can I use the scheme in conjunction with the VAT free scheme operated through my Local Music Service?

No. The two schemes are distinct and because Take it away is only available to individuals (rather than through schools or other organisations). We would advise customers to make their own decision about which scheme best suits their needs based on their individual requirements and circumstances.

What happens if I don't pass the credit check?

You would need to speak with the bank directly. Our staff would give you the contact details.

Can I cancel the loan once I've signed the agreement?

If you apply in store, then you can not cancel the agreement. 

If you apply over the phone, you can cancel the agreement within 14 days. Your order will be dispatched after the 14 days have expired.

What happens if I change my mind and want to return the instrument that I have bought?

If you buy in store then there is no obligation on the shop to offer you a refund.  Some stores operate a buy-back policy allowing you to return an instrument within a certain period of time. However, please remember that you may not get a full refund. Please check the store policy with a member of staff before making your purchase.

If you apply over the phone, then once goods are received, you have a 7 day cooling off period under distance selling regulations.  Once these 7 days have expired you can not return the instrument.  If you wish to return the goods within the 7 day cooling off period, please contact us for a returns authorisation.  In this instance, Guitarbitz will cancel your loan agreement and refund your deposit, subject to the Guitarbitz terms and conditions regarding returns.

Can I pay off the loan early i.e. before the 9 months have passed?

Yes. You can pay the balance of your Take It Away loan early and there will be no penalty charge for this. You would just need to call the bank directly on 01373 454411 to arrange this. This applies to both in-store and mail order loans.

When will my first payment be made?

This will normally be around 30 days from the date of your purchase, or the expiry of the cooling off period if you have made your purchase by Mail Order.

Can I change my monthly payment date?

Yes, providing that the new date is no later in the month than the original due date.

Where can I find out more information?

Further information is available on the Take It Away website.
Full terms and conditions are available from Guitarbitz on request.


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