Creative England New Ideas Fund

Small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies in England (outside London) working in moving images, with storytelling at the heart of their work.

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£1,000 to £20,000 per project

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The New Ideas Fund is part of Creative Enterprise*, developed and delivered by Creative England. The programme’s aims are to support growth of the screen sector in England. The New Ideas Fund is a programme of small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image for storytelling.

The New Ideas Fund is a bespoke Research and Innovation fund offering small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image industries with storytelling at the heart of their work. The fund will enable entrepreneurs to build upon their creative and commercial ideas, creating opportunity for business growth. Grants of between £1,000 and £20,000 are available to support the development of new and innovative ideas that have the potential to impact your entrepreneurial journey and grow your business.

If you are applying for  over £10,000 you must be a registered limited company, have a clear vision for your business and have a business proposal that includes storytelling through creative content/moving image as a significant component.

The New Ideas Fund is only available to businesses based in the English regions outside of London (any address based inside the M25). If you are based in London or any of the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), your application will be automatically declined.


Who is it for?

Screen based storytelling entrepreneurs and businesses in the English regions outside of London. This includes film, television, animation, games, immersive and services and technology that supports these industries.

When evaluating applications, there are 4 criteria:

Regionality: What are you and/or your company bringing to your regional economy? This could be generating revenue for your company, creating jobs or long term value in the English regions outside of London, recruiting locally or other similar ways to add value. Will having this idea funded add to that value?

Screen-based narrative storytelling: Is what you and/or your company making moving image or is it used for the creation of moving-image media? Can it be consumed using a screen-enabled device? Does it create or tell a story? Additionally, we are not currently looking to fund ideas that focus on education, tourism or heritage, even if there is a story attached to it. For example, we could fund a prototype of a new game based in 16th century Italy, but can’t fund a virtual tour of a monastery, due to the lack of narrative storytelling in the latter. This is also why we can’t fund audio-only projects unless you highlight how your idea will help further screen-based narrative storytelling

For-profit: The Creative Enterprise is to help creative innovators grow sustainable businesses. We want you, in time, to be able to sustain yourself and a team of creators. As such, we are looking to fund ideas that will increase your ability to turn a profit and expand your capabilities. This is why we are not currently funding applications from charities, CICs and other not-for-profit entities, unless you are looking to use the idea to develop a for-profit arm of the company and can explain how it fits within your business model.

For consumers (B2C): We are looking to fund companies that create easy-to-access content for public consumption, or companies that create technology or offer services for companies that do. That is why we can’t fund advertising or marketing-specific companies. Additionally, we can’t fund overheads such as marketing campaigns.

You are ineligible to apply if you work in corporate video or advertising (B2B), e-learning or training unless you want to start a screen- based B2C-focused storytelling arm for public consumption. You are ineligible to apply if you are a charity, non-profit or CIC unless you want to set up a for-profit arm relevant to the screen-based industries.

The fund cannot be used to fund content creation nor to here.

Some examples of what is covered (non-exhaustive list):

  • Developing/ prototyping new tech for storytelling
  • Researching new business areas
  • Seed funding for company infrastructure
  • Developing new applications
  • Building new storytelling platforms
  • Testing new markets
  • Developing new tools for immersive storytelling
  • Enabling collaboration
  • New routes to market
  • New routes for distribution
  • Engaging new audiences
  • Experimenting with new formats of content creation

Innovate UK KTN’s Creative Industries team can help with any queries.


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