£4.9M to help Creative & Digital Businesses Grow

Local Enterprise Partnership, D2N2 has set up a new £4.9million investment programme to help the creative and digital industries (CDI) sector to expand and attract new customers.

A new programme, the Creative and Digital Industries D2N2 Consortium for increased SME Competitiveness, will launch this year and is due to last three years. CDI is one of the D2N2 LEP’s eight key sectors.

Over half of the total investment will come from programme partners, which included Bondholders Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre and the University of Derby.

The programme will offer services to businesses under the brand name of “The Big House”. Many of the programme’s services will be offered online. It is estimated that around 500 CDI sector businesses will be helped over the three years.

Businesses will be able to get advice on: 

·         Getting established, if they are a start-up company.
·         Accessing grants and business management help which enables their company to grow, become more efficient and bring products to market more quickly.
·         A high growth programme, aimed at firms seen as having the greatest growth potential (digital enterprises are a fast growing part of the sector across the D2N2 area).
·         Additional projects to grow the numbers of black and ethnic minority employees, and women workers, who are currently under-represented in the CDI sector.

The Big House project also received £500,000 from Arts Council England in February and will additionally attract private sector backing.

Peter Richardson, chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We have a growing creative and digital industries sector, often in need of sound business advice on how to expand. D2N2’s new programme aims to address their needs.

“Our £2.4million investment in this initiative and the wide range of partners we are engaging, across both of our counties, shows the LEP’s commitment to this key sector”.