Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to fund up to £6 million in innovation projects. This funding is from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme. This is the second funding competition for this government programme. The DCMS Create Growth Investor Partnership programme brings together:

  • Innovate UK’s expertise in identifying innovation and using grant funding to change the risk profile of businesses in the creative industries
  • Investor partners’ aligned funding and expertise in identifying opportunities and teams that can best use extra investment finance from across the twelve English Create Growth Programme Regions

This approach gives your business access to the investment it needs to develop and commercialise your innovations.

Innovate UK is working with selected investor partners. These partners have demonstrated that they have the credibility, capability, capacity and appetite to invest in the creative industries businesses that align with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme.

DCMS has appointed six regions in England as part of the Create Growth Programme. These regions are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • The West of England with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire
  • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire
  • Kent, Essex, East and West Sussex
  • The North East of England

The regions have been expanded by DCMS (not yet detailed within the Create Growth Programme website). The new expansion regions are:

  • Nottingham City Council
  • Hull & East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • West Midlands Combined Authority (CA)
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority (CA)
  • West of England Combined Authority (CA)
  • Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

The aim of this competition is to provide creative business with targeted support for innovations and access to investment to unlock their potential for growth.

To apply your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered micro, small or medium sized business (SME)
  • be registered or operational in one of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme appointed regions
  • have a demonstrable ambition for growth
  • be from the creative industries and focused on one or more of the creative industries sub-sectors
  • have discussed and agreed your proposal with your investor partner before submitting your application (Innovate UK KTN can help with finding an investor partner)
  • as part of your agreement with your investor partner, be able to raise the aligned finance needed to draw down the award through the issue of new shares or convertible debt

Your project’s total project costs must be between £100,000 and £750,000. The investment led by the investor partner must always be at least equal to the grant funding (i.e. grant funding can cover at most 50% of costs).

Click here to find out more and apply. Deadline 10 Jan 2024, 11am.