reative industry businesses in Greater Manchester who are looking to grow and attract investment are being given the opportunity to join an innovative new programme that is set to further boost one of the region’s fastest growing sectors.

The Creative Scale Up programme, launched by GC Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company and fully funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is designed to support Greater Manchester’s creative industry businesses to successfully scale up.

With a vibrant community of more than 8,500 creative businesses, generating £4.1 billion of economic growth annually, Greater Manchester boasts one of the country’s leading creative clusters outside of London.

The programme will provide bespoke business support tackling gaps in investment and growth in the sector, while empowering creative businesses to realise their full growth potential. It will provide the training and tools necessary to take creative businesses to the next level.

The initiative is one of three UK wide two-year pilots (the others being in the West of England and West Midlands), is fully funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and is being delivered by the Hub.

Helping business leaders realise their ambition, successful applicants will have the flexibility to choose how to learn with the module-based curriculum including:

  • Access to mentors who want to share their experience, sector expertise and best practice
  • The opportunity to work alongside dedicated and industry-seasoned Hub Advisors to support each business’s growth journey which includes one-to-one dedicated support tailored to the individual business
  • A programme of interactive workshops to discover the different types of finance and investment available and explore what potential investors will expect to see, in terms of businesses planning and strategy
  • Connections with investors following completion of the Creative Scale-up programme businesses will be given the opportunity to connect with appropriate investment opportunities

The workshops will focus on eight business areas which are key to investment readiness, including the organisational structure and leadership required for growth, winning an investment pitch, developing a two-year growth strategy and sales and marketing skills required for rapid growth.

Creative businesses with a minimum of eight staff (including freelancers) who are already growing or are looking to grow from any of the following categories can apply:

  • Creative Content (Film, TV, Radio, Gaming, AR, VR Businesses)
  • Creative Originals (Design, Fashion, Jewellery Businesses)
  • Creative Services (Marketing, PR, Architecture, Publishing Businesses)
  • Creative Experiences (Museums, Galleries, Performing Arts Organisations)

Creative Industries Minister Nigel Adams said: “Our creative industries are a world-renowned success story contributing over £100 billion to our economy.

“We want to ensure the sector continues to thrive, and this new programme will help businesses in Greater Manchester scale up. Not only will this provide a boost to the local economy it will also create jobs and unlock new opportunities for the local community.”

Sam Whitear, Creative Industries project manager at GC Business Growth Hub, added: “This is a remarkable opportunity for the creative industries in Greater Manchester to build on what already is a thriving industry.

“Greater Manchester has recently been named as the second most creative city in Europe, with an estimated gross value added (GVA) revenue impact of £1.4bn to the city from culture and creative industries.

“We are delighted to be launching this targeted programme to support and further grow creative companies. Applications are now open, and I encourage all qualifying creative businesses that wish to benefit from this dedicated support, to apply for the programme.

“However, you need to be quick as places are limited and demand is expected to be high.”

To apply for the programme, visit the GC Business Growth Hub website.


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