Release date: 4 November 2022
West Sussex is set to be one of a small number of areas in England to benefit from the Government’s Create Growth programme. West Sussex County Council, bidding as part of a South East consortium, has been successful in securing funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to deliver the Create Growth programme across the county.
The programme will provide support for high-growth potential businesses in the creative industries to grow including through developing the knowledge and skills they need to access private sector investment. Additional grant funding provided nationally will be available to creative businesses in West Sussex.
West Sussex County Council is part of the successful Create Growth South East consortium alongside Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Medway Council and Thurrock Council. The partnership also includes sector leads Wired Sussex, Screen South and Creative UK.
The consortium has been awarded funding of £1.275m to deliver business support as part of the programme, over three years. An additional £7m has been allocated by DCMS to Innovate UK, to deliver finance to small creative businesses as part of the same programme.
Businesses who will be eligible for support under the programme in the South East will come from one of the following sub-sectors:
- Film, TV, video, radio and photography
- Design and designer fashion
- Music, performing and visual arts
- IT, software and computer services
In addition to directly supporting creative industry businesses, the programme will work to develop the network of investors in the region, and build their understanding of the benefits of investing in this sector. This will increase the ability of creative businesses in the South East to access private investment in the future.
Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “This is really exciting news for creative businesses in West Sussex. The funding award by DCMS recognises the fantastic potential of these businesses in our region and provides an opportunity to support them to realise that potential and achieve growth for them, and our local economy.”
The programme is being set up now and will launch in January 2023. The funding must be spent by March 2025.
Access to the programme is likely to close in October 2024 when the final cohort of businesses will be recruited.
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