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Talented creative people in the West of England who want to expand their work can now apply to join the second round of the Creative Sector Growth Programme – a support programme that’s already benefitting 55 freelancers and creatives who successfully applied for round one.

Following on from the inaugural Creative Scale Up pilot programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Creative Sector Growth Programme will support a maximum of 120 creative businesses and freelancers across 2 cohorts to reformulate their operating and financial models, explore new business opportunities and review business plans in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme is aimed at businesses and freelancers across all sectors of the creative industries and all ownership types, with a focus on improving business resilience and supporting recovery.

Creative sector specific support

The programme will offer creative SMEs and freelancers in the West of England access to sector specific support including:

  • £3,000 of professional sector specific expertise (mentoring, coaching and/or consultancy),
  • a dedicated Peer Support Programme including a minimum of six facilitated peer group sessions and
  • access to workshops and training delivered by Watershed.

The facilitated peer sessions will bring cohorts/groups of 10 businesses together, regularly, to address shared challenges of recovery and building resilience whilst learning collectively from each other.

The programme runs until March 2022 and each business and freelancer on the programme will be part of a cohort receiving a minimum of six months intensive business support.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris is inviting applications for the second round of the West of England Combined Authority’s Creative Sector Growth Programme. Those interested have until Monday 22 November to apply. Those who are successful will begin receiving support from January 2022.

Dan says, “When I met the brilliant creatives who successfully applied for the first round, I sensed a real buzz about this scheme.

“Delivered in partnership with The Watershed, it’s helping people get back on their feet after the devastating impact of the pandemic.

“Now I want still more talented creative people from across the West of England to come forward to apply, so they can get help to further develop their skills and expertise, and learn from each other.”

The five-month programme is open to anyone working in the creative sector including arts and culture, film, tv production, theatre, web design, marketing and photography.

For details of how to apply, please visit the West of England Growth Hub page.

See how the creative support programmes have benefitted local businesses in the past here: