Second phase of £1.2m East Midlands Creative Growth Program now open

Guy Lewis and Deborah Goodall

The East Midlands Creative Growth program is led by the East Midlands Creative Consortium and aims to help creative businesses become investment-ready.

They plan to assist 100 creative businesses across three years through four cohort groups, thanks to a £1.2m bid for the Government’s Creative Growth program.

Following the completion of the first cohort by 23 East Midlands businesses, the new phase invites people to apply for this program funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.

The first cohort, comprising businesses from various areas, including Leicester, Leicestershire, Derby, Derbyshire, Lincoln, Greater Lincolnshire, and Rutland, received support over eight weeks.

Participants represented various industries, from marketing and design agencies to architects, theatre companies and video producers.

Throughout the program, businesses underwent an initial business health check, participated in a full-day business boot camp with networking opportunities and attended eight virtual masterclasses covering leadership, marketing, sales, finance and business planning.

Additionally, each participant was matched with a mentor providing five hours of free support.

To qualify for Cohort 2 of the East Midlands Create Growth program, businesses must have demonstrated at least 10% year-on-year turnover growth over approximately 3 years, employed a minimum of 2 people over the last two years, introduced a revenue-generating product or launched a new platform/service, generated sales revenue in the last 2 years and be located within specified areas.

All participating businesses in this program can now access a fully funded 12-hour investment readiness workshop for growth preparation.

Guy Lewis, director at programme delivery partner CDI Alliance, said: “Our first cohort were enthusiastic, engaged and committed to the programme.

“We’ve had some encouraging feedback about the boot camp session, masterclasses, and support offered throughout the programme, and look forward to seeing what’s next for the businesses who took part in Cohort One.”