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Empowering Cornwall's Creative Businesses Through Investment

The Cornwall Create Growth Programme is a new Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) funded Initiative to create growth in the Creative Industries. Cornwall is one of six regions across the UK included in the project.

Launched in May 2023, Create Growth Programme (CGP) Cornwall will run over two years with three cohorts of up to 20 businesses each. They will commit to a nine-month programme which includes an extensive, FREE support package, to explore strategic options for making the best long-term decisions for sustainability whilst finding new ways of communicating, demystifying the world of investment and creating growth through investment. Creative UK Cornwall are currently recruiting for cohort three, looking for businesses trading or operating in the following industries:
  • advertising and marketing,
  • architecture,
  • crafts,
  • design and fashion (including textiles),
  • film,
  • TV,
  • video,
  • radio,
  • photography,
  • IT,
  • software, and computer services (including gaming),
  • publishing,
  • museums,
  • galleries and libraries,
  • music,
  • performing and visual arts.
The funding is also open to businesses which only employ freelancers, are CICs, and even those who haven’t got clear ideas about their expansion plans yet.

Cohort one is currently underway and includes these businesses:
AQA Films, ASONE Perform CIC, Awen Productions, Block Design, CoboCreative, CRD Records, Golden Wild, Internal Garden Ltd., Mind Feast Games, Nixon Design, Real Ideas, Teija Eilola, Urban Diversity CIC, Newlyn School of Art and XigXag, pictured above.
Cohort 2 is starting in October 2023.

Programme Lead, Suzie West said, “Cornish and Isles of Scilly businesses are innovative, diverse, and ambitious, with a grounded understanding of people and places. They have imaginative solutions to sustainability, high growth and export, and an innate collaborative spirit. They are simply incredible! We are now here to give them help in breaking down barriers to access markets, understand finance language and support them with seeking out networks for investment. If local creative business owners or founders are thinking about how to keep their creative business moving forward, then this is a fantastic free opportunity for them.”

The support will comprise Creative UK Cornwall diagnostic meetings with investment mentors, working one-to-one with businesses to establish what scaling-up might look like. There will also be workshops and events that provide overarching business skills and tools, but also sector specific advice and resources. Peer-to-peer learning sessions will allow businesses a regular place to share experiences, explore challenges as a wider team and consider their place in the wider creative industry ecology in Cornwall. Finally, one-to-one mentor meetings will support businesses to clarify their vision and business model, and prepare for the investment application process.

The funding is from a £17.5million project fund at the DCMS, and assistance is also being given to the project by Innovate UK, and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). In addition, sector specialists including Falmouth University, Screen Cornwall and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership are involved. You can find out more about this opportunity by visiting  the Creative UK Cornwall website https://www.wearecreative.uk/support/regional-growth-programmes/creative-ukcornwall/
or contacting Suzie West: Suzie.West@wearecreative.uk.

Suzie will be attending various networking and other events across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the coming months. Cohort two will begin in October and Creative UK will be recruiting for the third and final cohort up to April 24. There will be webinars in October and February - sign up on the Creative UK Cornwall website: www.wearecreative.uk/cornwall-create-growth-programme/


Open access events for creatives, freelancers, charities and businesses are running monthly from September - sign up to the Creative UK Cornwall mailing list to know more https://www.wearecreative.uk/support/regional-growth-programmes/cornwall-create-growth-programme

Suzie West (left) and Jasmin Davies


Interview by Hannah Danson of Your Partnerships