More support for Creative Industries businesses in the East!

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For businesses in the creative sector considering raising investment the Creative East: Create Growth Programme has just been given an extra boost.

Across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, employment in the sector is increasing three times faster than the national average. Between 2015 and 2020, employment within the creative industries in the East grew by 21.8% (an additional 8115 jobs), compared to just 7.5% growth across Great Britain.

The Creative East Programme is bringing together ambitious businesses, investors and industry mentors to capitalise on the region’s specialisms within the creative sector, with a special focus on its core clusters: TV, film, and content production, plus IT, software, gaming and design. Organisations within this sector, who are keen to grow their business, can benefit from expert advice, support and one to one mentoring to help them attract investment.

The Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is already providing funding for the £1.275m specialist investment readiness programme for businesses within the creative industries and now 18 businesses in the region have also been awarded grants of up to £30,000 each to drive their growth.

The Creative East programme is being delivered by a consortium of organisations led by University of East Anglia and managed by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. It includes University of Suffolk, Anglia Ruskin University, Norwich University of the Arts, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils.

James Allen, Innovation & Sectors Manager of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Creative industries are really thriving in our region and this programme and grant funding will support their ambitions for growth and help create the high value jobs we need to retain and attract the top talent.”

Saffron Myhill of Creative East based at University of East Anglia said she is excited about the opportunities this new programme is creating: “The East is home to a lot of talent within the creative industries and by bringing together the specialist skills knowledge and contacts, especially within the gaming and film sectors, business founders are able to access a unique opportunity attract the investment they need to bring their business goals to life.”

James Lee Burgess of Urban XR who has been accepted onto both the Investment Readiness Programme and been awarded a Create Growth grant said: “We were lucky enough to be selected as part of the Create Growth fund and the Creative East support programme has come at the perfect time! The landscape of investment and market readiness is complex and not necessarily geared to the huge potential for innovation that the Creative Industries can offer.

“On the flip side, Creative Industries struggle to see the value in their skill sets often and need to be given the opportunities and platforms to be promoted, plus the personal and business tools to do that. It was great to learn that DCMS and Innovate UK are continuing to increase funding this area, but we still need more. Education of funders and investors is key to unlocking further investment for this most talented and innovative UK sector.”

Applications are now open for the next cohort of businesses to join the Investment Readiness Programme and it is expected that a second grant call will be opened in the autumn for businesses who are ready to secure private sector investment.

More details are available at

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