SMEs Invited To Bid For Creative Grants

Creative Small Firms Offered Cash Chance

28.08.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Creative industry SMEs have been offered the chance to enjoy a financial boost in their bids to thrive under a new initiative run by Creative England.

The Digital Accelerator scheme will offer grants of up to £12,500 of investment and help for the firms with the best ideas in the south-west, north of England and the Midlands.

It is looking for applicants involved in areas ranging from app development to gaming and special effects, but it will also accept bids from firms involved in areas such as healthcare, finance, the aerospace sector or the environment.

Under the plans, ten firms will pitch their ideas and eight of them will be chosen by a panel of experts to receive a 14-week programme of coaching, workshops and business support.

The winners will also be enrolled on a programme where they will be paired with mentors from the industry, such as the managing director of Amuzo Games Mike Hawkyard, Wildfire chief executive Simon Coulter and the boss of Bright Blue Day David Ford.

Director of business development at Creative England Jim Farmery commented: "We know that there is a wealth of creativity and business ideas bubbling under the surface in England, just waiting for the right investment to make those ideas a reality.

"At Creative England we are dedicated to providing support to start-ups from the very beginning and throughout their growth.

"Our new Accelerator programme does just that."

The cash is sourced from the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund and SMEs hoping to get their hands on some of it have until September 12th to apply.

Creative England's work has included the publication last month of its creative industries strategy. Plans include doubling the annual value of exports from the sector to £31 million by 2020 and making Britain one of the world's top five countries for digital infrastructure.

Expert Opinion
This is undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity which has come at the right time for many SMEs, which will be carefully considering how they can take advantage of the ever-improving economic climate to develop their offerings further.

"We would urge any small businesses which believe they could be eligible for initiatives such as this to examine their options and ensure they make the right step in order to push their operations to the next level.

"A central aspect of ensuring the best decisions are made is having the right support and advice to hand to help along the way. Growing pains are an inevitable part of developing a business, but legal advice and support from other third parties can often mean the difference between success and failure."
Steven Beahan, Partner