Create Growth Programme

Creative Businesses Receive Funding Boost

Creative businesses with the potential to become booming businesses in six English regions are to benefit from a new £17.5 million funding pot to help expand their operations, attract additional investment and create jobs.

Companies in six regions including the North East will receive support through the Create Growth Programme to help get themselves investment ready.

Each of the six regions have been awarded £1.275 million in grant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to develop a targeted programme of business support.

Regions will also benefit from a number of investor building activities such as networking and pitching events to attract investment and exchange ideas.

Businesses across the six regions will also be able to apply to a new £7 million investment fund to fuel their expansion. Companies applying for finance will need to demonstrate their potential to scale rapidly and become sustainable through private investment. The investment fund and investor building activities will be delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

And to develop the next generation of talent, the Government has chosen ScreenSkills, the screen industry’s skills body, to lead the delivery of the £950,000 Creative Careers Programme. This programme, targeted in 53 priority areas across the country including Barking and Dagenham, Wolverhampton, Rotherham, Slough and Swindon, will help young people from underrepresented backgrounds break into the creative industries.

The programme will provide specialist guidance to 11 to 18-year-olds on careers and help pay for industry-led digital and in-person events, lesson plans, a dedicated careers website with careers information and resources, and training for careers advisors. This will help ensure more young people from a diverse range of backgrounds can take advantage of the fantastic careers opportunities in these sectors.

The creative industries are one of the major success stories of the UK economy in recent years and this investment will help ensure they continue to thrive. The creative sectors have grown at twice the rate of the wider economy since 2010, generating approximately £115.9 billion for the economy, and providing over 2 million jobs.

Also announced are seventeen start-up video games studios which have been given grants of up to £25,000 to realise their ideas for innovative new projects as part of the UK Games Fund. The cash injection is for firms across the country with great ideas but lacking in development funding.

The fund, which was established in 2015, has received increased government funding of over £8 million for 2022 to 2025. It aims to help high-potential companies raise new funding, spur economic growth and create new jobs.

Games spanning formats from virtual reality to mobile and themes from space exploration to eco-education, with developers based across the country – from Cardiff to Paisley – will benefit from the scheme’s latest funding round.

Data from the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) estimates that the value of the UK consumer games market reached a record £7.16 billion in 2021. This fund will help UK companies to scale-up, and develop the next generation of talented games developers.

Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez said:

“The creative industries are a UK success story and we want to ensure these sectors can spread jobs and wealth across the country. Our funding will get more businesses growing and help more people, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, break into these world-class sectors.”

Elected Metro Mayor for the North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll, said:

“Fashion and design. Films and TV. Video games and VR. Whatever it is, our ‘creative industries’ are the source of so much beauty, intrigue, and emotion in our lives. Like any sector, these businesses need help to flourish and attract investment. So I’m glad that this new programme will do exactly that and support these invaluable industries to thrive in our region.”

The Chair of the North East Culture Partnership and Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Miller said:

“The creative industries represent a significant opportunity for economic growth in Sunderland and the wider North East region.  That’s why ensuring that our businesses are well-supported to capitalise on this opportunity to access investment – enabling them to create more jobs for residents across our communities, and maximising the contribution of this key sector to our economy – is of critical importance to us.  Through this programme of support, we will seek to accelerate the growth of creative businesses, supporting the emergence of an eco-system that will ensure the North East is an increasingly attractive place to live, work and play as well as for this important sector to thrive.”

For more information on the North East Create Growth Fund, including a link to register your business visit

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