Dozens of creative businesses apply for £1.3m Create Growth East Midlands

Date posted: February 10, 2023
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(Image from Hubert Kotlicki)

  • East Midlands Creative Consortium leading programme to accelerate growth
  • First cohort will commence in Spring, with 100 businesses to be supported by 2025
  • Early uptake revealed during sold-out event for Leicestershire Innovation Festival

Fifty creative businesses have already applied for places on East Midlands Create Growth – just weeks after the £1.3 million programme went live.

East Midlands Creative Consortium (EMC²) began accepting applications from high-potential creative businesses on January 23 after winning Government funding.

The free programme of support will ultimately work with 100 regional businesses to help them accelerate business growth, create jobs, and prepare for investment.

It will run across four cohorts between this Spring and 2025. Successful applicants will be based in Leicester and Leicestershire, Derby and Derbyshire, Lincoln and Greater Lincolnshire, and Rutland.

The initial response to the new EMC² website was outlined last night during a sold-out event in Leicester for creative businesses staged as part of this year’s Leicestershire Innovation Festival.

HQ Recording Studios hosted a packed event about how to build an agile creative community. 

It outlined work being done at HQ to tackle the sector’s scale-up challenge through forming a collective of creative entrepreneurs working together to bridge the gap between microbusiness and SME status needed to tap into growth funding.

As well as live performances from singers Harri Georgio and Ffion Rebecca, speakers included HQ Managing Director Yasin El Ashrafi BEM, who described the vision to build a creative community that could collectively pitch for larger projects and work.

Also speaking were Dr Allan Taylor, Associate Professor of Media Production at De Montfort University Leicester, who outlined the creative opportunity in the East Midlands, and Stewart Smith, Head of Skills and Employment at the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), who summarised Create Growth.

The creative industry is worth more than £100 billion to the UK economy and accounts for 2.3 million jobs. The vast majority of regional creative jobs are with microbusinesses and the programme is intended to help them to grow and provide further employment.

EMC² was created to lead the Create Growth East Midlands programme after a LLEP-led consortium provided one of six successful regional bids for Government funding. It is backed by a coalition of partners including regional universities, Innovate UK, local businesses, and non-profit organisations.  

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