Creative UK has announced two investment opportunities for talented creative companies in the North of Tyne, to further boost the region’s thriving cultural sector. The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has committed a further £2 million towards the North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme (CCIP).

The CCIP launched in 2021 and has since invested over £1.5 million in loans, equity and grants into the Creative Industries, as well as leveraging an addition £1 million through private sector investment. In addition to investment the programme has provided business support to hundreds of Creative sector business’s and freelancers working in the North of Tyne area.

Carol Bell OBE, Associate Regional Director, North, Creative UK, said: “The region’s Creative Industries are an incredibly rich prospect for investment. Between 2011 and 2020, they grew by 68% – the fastest of any UK region – and today contribute more than £1 billion to the local economy annually, employing 46,000 people.

“The creative sector helps ignite pride of place among local communities and unlocks new opportunities for young people to discover their own creativity. We are very grateful to the North of Tyne Combined Authority for recognising the sector’s economic and social value within the region and are delighted that they have committed to funding the continued success of the North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme”.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor, said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein said this and who am I to disagree. Creativity spans all areas of life. It is a vital driver of culture and commerce. This funding will help to unleash the creative talent in our region.

“The North East companies pitching for investment are great examples of what can be achieved with imagination and hard work. Investment propositions as diverse as children’s animation, esports clubs and protective sports headwear that reduces the risk of concussion.

“In partnership with Creative UK, we’re making sure bright ideas can become rewarding realities.”

Poster with image of woman and the text Investment Summit North East Wednesday 27 September

The announcement of an additional £2 million for the CCIP coincides with the launch of Creative UK’s £35 million Creative Growth Finance II (CGF II) fund.  The new nationwide Creative Industries investment fund will support the UK’s bold ambitions to grow the sector by £50 billion and create one million extra creative jobs by 2030 as set out in the UK government and Creative Industries Council’s recently published Sector Vision.

Caroline Norbury OBE, Chief Executive, Creative UK, said: “Over the past decade the UK’s Creative Industries have grown more than 1.5 times the rate of the wider economy, currently generating £108 billion in economic value and employing 2.3 million people.

“However, this country’s talented creative businesses are experiencing a significant gap between their immense growth potential and access to the vital capital they need to succeed.”

In launching the Creative Industries Sector Vision, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged the “enormous potential of our creative entrepreneurs and businesses” and said that “growing the economy means growing the creative industries”.   “However, the potential of the Creative Industries risks being unfulfilled if the creators and innovators whose talents power our growth are unable to access the capital and financing they require.

“That’s where Creative UK comes in. We know that with the right investment, the power of the sector to drive growth and innovation across all corners of the UK can be truly transformative”.

Delivered in partnership with Triodos Bank, CGF II is the largest single fund to be delivered by Creative UK, following its investment of more than £50 million into the UK’s world-leading Creative Industries over the past decade. CGF II continues the success of the first Creative Growth Finance fund, which launched in 2019 and has since invested over £17 million into more than 30 creative businesses located across the UK and operating within sectors including Film & TV, Virtual Production, narrative-based Video Games, Advertising and Software.

As of August 2023 the existing CGF fund portfolio has experienced an 108% improvement of average monthly revenues, a 39% headcount growth average with more than 225 jobs created, and nearly £19 million raised in further third party funding.

Phillip Bate, Director of Business Banking, Triodos Bank UK, said: “Four years on from the launch of the first Creative Growth Finance fund, our partnership with Creative UK goes from strength to strength and continues to support companies at the forefront of innovation. For a bank only focused on financing projects with positive impact, we can see the social importance of these organisations to the UK. Creative UK’s expertise has been key to helping us grow our funding of this important sector.”

News of additional funding for the CCIP and the launch of the new CGF II fund will be celebrated at Creative UK’s North East Investment Summit on Wednesday 27 September at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema.

The Summit will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by investment in the North East’s Creative Industries, and features a keynote speech from Lisa Opie, Manager Director of Newcastle’s Ubisoft Reflections studio. There will also be a live competition with North East creative companies Chap in the Box Studios, Rezon and Viperio pitching for up to £100,000 of equity investment.

Find out more about the NTCA Culture and Creative Investment Programme.