Creative enterprises with the potential to become booming businesses in the North East will benefit from a new national £17.5 million funding pot to help expand their operations, attract additional investment, and create jobs.
The North East has been awarded £1.275 million in grant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to develop a targeted programme of business support. Companies in the region will receive assistance through the North East Create Growth Programme (CGP) to help get themselves investment ready.
The North East CGP will be delivered through a blend of workshops and masterclasses, led by Creative UK in partnership with regional sector experts North East Screen, Creative Fuse, Generator, New Writing North, North East Growth Hub and Sunderland Software City.
Elected Metro Mayor for the North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll, said: “Fashion and design. Films and TV. Video games and VR. Whatever it is, our ‘creative industries’ are the source of so much beauty, intrigue, and emotion in our lives. Like any sector, these businesses need help to flourish and attract investment. So I’m glad that this new programme will do exactly that and support these invaluable industries to thrive in our region.”
The Chief Executive of Creative UK, Caroline Norbury said: “The North East Create Growth Programme exists to support creatives across the North East with crucial investment and development opportunities.
“We are excited to be partnering with true innovators and thought leaders in the region, including North East Screen, New Writing North, Generator, Creative Fuse North East, North East Growth Hub and Sunderland Software City to help champion growing businesses, channel investment into the region and make a real impact to support the leading creative businesses of the future.”
North of Tyne Combined Authority Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Rural and Leader of Northumberland County Council, Cllr Sanderson said: “We have established a supportive and attractive environment for creative and cultural businesses and people – supporting them to locate, start-up, grow, and flourish here in the North East.
“I am delighted that in collaboration with our partners across the region we have shown that there is real potential for our creative businesses and freelances. After a difficult time for the sector over the last couple of years, it is great that our vision for the sector is recognised and strengthened.”
The Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, John McCabe, said: “The North East Create Growth Programme is a huge opportunity for everyone in the North East. Not only will the programme boost the economic potential of this important and growing sector, but it we also help the region in its mission to build, attract and retain great talent.
“On behalf of our members across the region I’m delighted to support the success of this programme and the many businesses and leaders which will benefit.”
The Chair of the North East Culture Partnership and Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Graeme Miller said: “The creative industries represent a significant opportunity for economic growth in Sunderland and the wider North East region.
“That’s why ensuring that our businesses are well-supported to capitalise on this opportunity to access investment – enabling them to create more jobs for residents across our communities and maximising the contribution of this key sector to our economy – is of critical importance to us.
“Through this programme of support, we will seek to accelerate the growth of creative businesses, supporting the emergence of an eco-system that will ensure the North East is an increasingly attractive place to live, work and play as well as for this important sector to thrive.”
The North East will also benefit from a number of investor building activities such as networking and pitching events to attract investment and exchange ideas.
Businesses across the North East will also be able to apply to a new £7 million investment fund to fuel their expansion. Companies applying for finance will need to demonstrate their potential to grow rapidly and become sustainable through private investment. The investment fund and investor building activities will be delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
The creative industries are one of the major UK economic success stories in recent years. They have grown at twice the rate of the wider economy since 2010 – generating approximately £115.9 billion for the economy and providing more than two million jobs.
Creative Industries Minister, Julia Lopez, said: “From product design and video games to music and film, the creative industries are a stellar UK success story. Today’s plans will help get more creative businesses off the ground so they can spread jobs and wealth and help more people, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, break into these world-class sectors.”
If you are a North East creative business learn more about the North East CGP here.