People working in the creative sector in the West of England are celebrating after the region was handed a major £1.275 million boost thanks to a successful bid to government led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
The cash, which will help businesses working in the creative industries, including film, gaming and fashion, is designed to support a sector that contributes more than £2bn to the region’s economy, Mayor Norris confirmed.
The deal will see the West of England Combined Authority, led by Mr Norris, develop a brand-new programme of support for creative firms to get the business development and mentoring support they need.
Creative companies will be able to apply for grants from the West of England Combined Authority to access specialist help to scale up and create high-quality jobs, while the programme will provide links to investors and identify other sources of finance to support growth.
Dan Norris, Metro Mayor of the West of England said: “I’m delighted to secure this funding for our truly world-leading creative industries. The West of England has so, so many brilliant creative companies, but I know many are still feeling the impact of the last few really difficult years. This cash injection builds on support from the West of England Combined Authority under my leadership, and will help even more creative companies and freelancers face the future with growing confidence, and thrive long into the future. Creativity works in the West of England. We are making amazing film and TV like The Outlaws, Poldark and natural history gems, and much, much more. Our region has always been and will always be a region of innovation and imagination, and I’m proud to back the creative talent here”.
The funding was secured from government following a successful bid led by the West of England Combined Authority - in partnership with North Somerset Council, Watershed Arts Trust, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP & Creative UK.
Jo Landsdowne, Executive Producer PM Studio, Watershed said: "Watershed are thrilled to be a partner on the Creative Growth programme, along with the West of England Combined Authority and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP. This work builds on our past successful collaborations, bringing an inclusive approach to creative business development with the West of England Combined Authority. We are excited to see what this powerful collaboration brings to the South West and Cornwall."
West of England creative firms will also be able to apply to a new £7 million investment fund, from national delivery partner Innovate UK to fuel their expansion, creating more jobs in the region’s thriving creative industries.