Creative Scale Up is a two-year pilot programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It aims to help creative businesses in the West of England access finance through an intensive sustainable growth support programme.
One of the members of the second cohort, Podcast company Noiser, explained how the adapted scheme is helping businesses like his in the current climate.
Pascal Hughes, Director and Founder of Noiser said: “The ambition and the strategy of this programme is brilliant. Having mentors who are already business founders, and that have success and can share that knowledge have been invaluable.”
Noiser, who specialise in history and drama storytelling with immersive sound design, used the Creative Scale-Up £2,000 business grant to develop a sales team and define a clear strategy to drive sales.
“For Noiser, we are not looking for generic business support; I liked how the scheme’s supervisors made us aware that we could find our own mentors and they were able to help connect us with pertinent professionals they were in touch with. This was crucially important. We found value in the grant available as it allowed us to put finance into the business where it was needed most. Having that ‘cushion’ has been instrumental in us growing our business."
The training scheme is guided by the participants, and is able to respond to the current and emerging challenges they face due to COVID-19 pandemic. This included a Q&A session with Dick Penny on leading an organisation through difficult times, during which the businesses were able to draw on his valuable experience of leading transformations at Watershed and Bristol Old Vic.
The second cohort of businesses on the West of England Creative Scale Up programme were: Square Bird; Circe Bijou; Noiser; Bonnie Binary; Soap Creative; Mango Stone; Invisible Circus; Moonraker VFX; Village Design; Moresoda; Factory Studios; Studio Diva; Nymbl; Box2Media; Design by Victoria; Open Bionics; Funnel Music; Fleur of England; Uniquity; Motion Impossible; the collaborators.
The Creative Scale Up local steering board features a wealth of industry experience, all of whom are keen to support participants. It also draws on support available from national partners, including the Creative Industries Federation, Arts Council England, Creative England, Scale Up Institute, UK Business Angels Association and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
"The best thing about the region is the good skills set in the sector which allows you to grow employees. There's opportunity to network and talk with others plus excellent support systems and great creative facilities."