Creative businesses who want to grow are set to benefit from a new West of England Combined Authority programme.
The Creative Scale-Up programme, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, will see £4 million invested across three regions in the UK – including the West of England – giving creative businesses bespoke support to help them grow their business and become ready to take on investment. The programme will help boost opportunities for the creative industries which are worth over £100 billion to the UK economy.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles launched the West of England Creative Scale-Up programme today (22 January) and announced the 15 businesses who have been selected onto the first cohort. The programme is also running in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.
The first businesses on the West of England Creative Scale Up programme are: Arcadia; Crack Publishing, Luke Jerram Limited; Trigger Stuff; Waller and Wood; Cognitive Paths; Knowle West Media Centre (The Factory); Complete Control; Limina Immersive; Auroch Digital; Wardrobe Theatre; Encounters Film Festival, We Are Anagram, Visuable and MAYK.
Creative Scale Up will also work to increase the numbers of investors interested in investing in creative businesses, and matching these to a pipeline of high-growth businesses.
Minister for Creative Industries Nigel Adams said: “Our creative industries are a global success story but to help the next generation of innovative businesses create jobs and develop new products and experiences we need to make sure they can access the right support and investment. Creative Scale-Up will help equip creative businesses with the skills and connections they need so their firms can grow and showcase their success to the world.”
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “I want our region to become the go-to place for the creative and cultural sector. We’re already internationally renowned but I want the world to know that the West of England will welcome talented people and businesses with open arms, and help them grow into the big names of the future. That’s what our Creative Scale-Up programme is all about.
“From Arcadia, who are behind the Glastonbury Festival’s famous Pangea, to the double BAFTA winning children’s production company ‘Complete Control’, we have a huge variety of businesses in the region that are set to benefit from the programme, but they are just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a lot more to come. Creative Scale-Up will support these businesses to grow and employ more people here in the region.”
WECA is now calling out to others to bid for a place on the programme, which will run until later this year. Businesses selected will receive a package of tailored business support over six months, including mentoring, facilitated face-to-face peer support, training and workshops They will also be supported to engage with networks of investors.
There will be two further cohorts starting in April and June; applications are open to join either of these cohorts, the deadline for the April cohort is 31 March 2020.
Businesses keen to find out more and apply should visit www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/business/creative-scale-up/.