North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and Creative UK launch £2.625 million investment programme to stimulate culture and creativity in the North of Tyne region

  • The £2.625m fund includes £500k for grants, £1.5m for loans and £625k for equity finance, plus expert business advice, available to creative entrepreneurs seeking to grow or diversify.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority and Creative UK have today launched the Culture and Creative Investment Programme, a two-year partnership to invest £2.625 million in the North of Tyne’s creative and cultural industries.

Open to SMEs and freelancers in the region, the Combined Authority’s investment fund will enable a more resilient and sustainable future for the creative sector in a post-Covid 19 economy.

For more information on the Culture and Creative Investment Programme visit

Various drawings on chalkboard

The bespoke programme is the first of its kind in the region and will offer a combined package of financial and business support, including £500,000 of grants, £1.5 million of loans and £625,000 of equity investment. Wraparound business support will be delivered in partnership with Creative Fuse, offering a range of specialist workshops and mentoring sessions.

Available to finance recipients and other creative practitioners, the support programme seeks to enhance business skills, aid the development of new products and services, and enable business growth.

The programme will also facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration between participants, as well as providing access to Creative UK’s wider network of national and international market stakeholders.

Applications are encouraged from ambitious organisations and practitioners looking to establish innovate products, services and business models that recognise the new trading environment for cultural and creative businesses.

The programme will position the cultural and creative industries as a key post-Covid growth sector for the North of Tyne and builds on the broader work of the Combined Authority to support a new economic future for the region. 

Woman drawing on a large sheet of paper on the floor 

Creative UK has established a local delivery team to manage the programme on behalf of the Combined Authority and will draw from the expertise and experience of local cultural and creative leaders and organisations throughout the programme.

The programme will be delivered in partnership with key regional cultural and creative organisations such Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, Tyne & Wear Community Partnership and the North-East Culture Partnership. 

This regional leadership will provide critical insight and intelligence to support the national investment expertise of Creative UK in delivering a first-class service in the region that will help realise the ambitions of the sector.  

Cllr Glen Sanderson North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Rural and Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “After this incredibly challenging period for residents and businesses in the North of Tyne it is fantastic to see this investment in a crucial sector of our economy.

“This innovative partnership with Creative UK will set the cultural and creative industries on a firm footing to grow out of the current crisis. I encourage all within the sector, particularly smaller businesses, organisations and freelancers to apply.”

CEO and Founder of Creative UK, Caroline Norbury MBE said: “Prior to the pandemic the creative industries in the North East contributed over £1 billion to the economy and will be key to driving the region’s economic growth and productivity as it looks to rebuild. But this isn’t just about the economy.

“The North of Tyne’s cultural sector and creative industries also play an important role, tackling some of the social challenges that prevent people from living full and happy lives, improving health and well-being and making the towns, cities and rural areas in the region better places to live in.

“We are delighted to launch the Culture and Creative Investment Programme and look forward to working alongside North of Tyne Combined Authority and our other partners to grow the enormous creative potential in this region.”

For more information on the Culture and Creative Investment Programme visit