Established 1982

Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) is a government-funded scheme that allows eligible UK state schools to purchase musical instruments without paying VAT. The scheme is designed to make it easier for schools to provide their students with access to musical instruments, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Why Purchase via the AIPS?

Save the 20% VAT charge when purchasing an instrument.

How much will I save?

To calculate the Ex VAT-cost of your instrument, divide the cost of the instrument inclusive of VAT by 1.2. E.g., cello costs £1,000 Inc VAT (£1000 / 1.2 = £833.34 EX VAT)

To be eligible for the AIPS, a school must be:

  • A state school in the UK
  • VAT registered
  • Providing full-time education to students
  • Offering music tuition to students

Once a school has been approved for the AIPS, they can purchase musical instruments from any supplier who is registered with the scheme. The supplier will then apply for a refund of the VAT on the purchase from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The AIPS can be a valuable resource for schools that are looking to provide their students with access to musical instruments. The scheme can help to reduce the cost of purchasing instruments, which can free up schools' budgets to invest in other areas of music education.

Here are some additional details about the AIPS:

  • The scheme is administered by the Department for Education (DfE).
  • The AIPS website provides more information about the scheme, including a list of approved suppliers.
  • Schools can apply for the AIPS online.
  • The application process is usually quick and easy.

If you are a teacher or administrator at a UK state school, you can find more information about the AIPS on the DfE website.

Some common questions 

Will I own the instrument?

As the sole purchaser of an instrument through the AIPS scheme, you can rest assured that you will remain the rightful owner of the product. Additionally, you can rely on Bridgewood and Neitzert to fulfill all warranty obligations as per their standard policies.

Does it apply to all string instruments?

Yes, we understand that buying a new instrument, especially for a beginner, can be a daunting task. That's why we have designed our AIPS scheme to cater to the needs of every player, be it a beginner looking for a new instrument, or an intermediate player looking to upgrade to a higher quality mid-range or professional model, our scheme has got you covered.

When we choose the instrument in-store can we take it away with us?

We have a system in place to ensure that the specific instrument you tried is reserved for you. We provide you with the serial number of the exact instrument and hold it until we receive the official order from the school/authority. As per the requirements of the scheme, we then deliver the instrument to the school/authority, from where you can collect it."

Can I use the AIPS scheme via a Private/Fee-Paying school?

Unfortunately, the scheme can only be used by LEA schools/music centres and Academies.

Can the AIPS scheme be used on pre-owned instruments?

Unfortunately, there is no VAT on the sale price of a pre-owned instrument, so they are not included in this scheme.