North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and Creative UK‘s investment programme aims to stimulate culture and creativity in the North of Tyne.

The Culture and Creative Investment Programme is a two-year partnership between NTCA and Creative UK launched in June 2021 to invest £2.625 million in the North of Tyne’s creative and cultural industries.   Open to small and medium enterprises (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.

The bespoke programme is the first of its kind in the region and offers 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 is delivered in partnership with Creative Fuse, offering a range of specialist workshops and mentoring sessions.

‘”All big names had to start somewhere, right? And what better springboard than a good old home-grown festival? They celebrate local talent. They support local businesses. They promote local arts and culture. They keep money in the region. So we’re sticking in some cash to help ensure there are even more local homegrown festivals in the future.” Mayor Jamie Driscoll

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.

“Our creative and culture programme combines business and financial support and is the first investment package of its kind. Culture and the Creative Arts brings something for everyone – and economic benefits too – like highlighting our region as well as providing jobs.” Cllr Glen Sanderson, NTCA Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Rural

Creative UK has a local delivery team who manage the programme on behalf of the Combined Authority and draw from the expertise and experience of local cultural and creative leaders and organisations throughout the programme. The programme is delivered in partnership with key regional cultural and creative organisations such as Newcastle University,  North-East Culture Partnership, Northumbria University and the Tyne & Wear Community Partnership.  This regional leadership provides 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.


  • Loans of between £50,000 – £150,000 (we may consider amounts outside this range in exceptional cases)
  • Interest rate based on risk profile, capped at 10%
  • No management fees or early repayment charges
  • Up to six-month capital repayment holiday
  • Flexible repayment terms up to a maximum of 5 years

More information

Equity Investment:

  • Equity investments of £50,000 – £100,000, up to 50% of a wider funding round
  • No management fees

More information

Unsecured business loans – Creative Boost:

  • Loans of £25k
  • 6% interest rate
  • Unsecured, no management fees, no early repayment charges
  • Repayment term of up to 3 years
  • Investment decision within 10 working days of completed application
  • Access to wrap-around business support
  • Obligation to hire 1 new employee on a full-time or part-time basis

More information


Grants up to £25,000 are available to cultural and creative businesses in the North of Tyne. Offering grants as part of our investment strategy enables enterprises to build upon their creative and commercial ideas, creating opportunity for them to become more sustainable or grow their business.

More information

Business Support:

Our bespoke business support programme is designed to support businesses and freelancers working in the culture and creative sectors throughout Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside. Led by experts in the industry there is practical and helpful business advice for everyone. Over the course of the programme, we will be hosting open access networking events and masterclasses, alongside bootcamps to support cohorts of enterprises to take a deep dive into specialist areas.

More information

Case Studies:

Venture Stream: Creative UK and the North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme announce £750,000 investment in North East e-commerce and digital marketing agency Venture Stream – Creative UK Creative UK (

Tiny Dragon Productions: North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme announces first Creative Boost investment in Tiny Dragon Productions – Creative UK Creative UK (

Do Gooder: North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme announces first investment in female-founded Newcastle marketing agency – Creative UK Creative UK (

Sugarcoat:  Business Interview – Sugarcoat, Creative Boost recipients – Creative UK (

Round 1 grant announcements: North of Tyne Grant Announcements: Round 1 – Creative UK Creative UK (

For more information on the Culture and Creative Investment Programme visit