Creative and digital industries create ‘sense of well-being’, says support project lead

Lynn Oxborrow

The head of project that provides free support for creative and digital entrepreneurs and businesses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire says the success of the sector makes the region a better place to live and work in.

Lynn Oxborrow, principal lecturer in small business and supply chain management at Nottingham Trent University, heads up the Big House project at NTU.

The Big House helps develop potential business ideas, nurture start-ups and new entrepreneurs and works with more established businesses wanting to expand or diversify. It’s partnership network, which can offer match-funded grants of up to £4,000, includes The Creative Quarter Company, Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre, NBV Enterprise Solutions, New Art Exchange (NAE), D2N2 Growth Hub, Nottingham Trent University including business incubator the Hive, Nottingham City Council and the University of Derby’s School of Arts.

Oxborrow said: “The Big House is already beginning to make a difference. Our grants, for example, can be the difference between employing a graduate or not, or investing in a piece of tech.

“It’s also been useful for NTU. In general, start-up businesses don’t consider coming to the university for help with scaling-up, but The Big House project has enabled us to get out and about and in contact with growing businesses in the creative and digital space through its workshops and events. In this way all of our networks increases and we can help access support through multiple avenues.”

The rapid growth of creative and digital industries is helping push the region forward – in more than just economic terms, says Oxborrow.

She added: “These companies tend to grow quickly and employ larger numbers of people at a faster rate. They’re also influential in making the region a nicer place to work and live – I believe they create a real sense of well-being.”

The Big House is a 3-year business support programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Arts Council England.