DCMS Create Growth Fund: Competition 1

UK registered micro/SMEs in the creative sector, in six specified regions of England, can apply for £10k-£30k for innovation projects to grow their business.

Opportunity Details


Registration Opens


Registration Closes



You can claim 100% grant of £10,000 to £30,000 for your eligible project costs in this competition.


Innovate UK

Share this opportunity

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest approximately £3 million in innovation projects. This funding is from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme for the six appointed regions in England. This funding is from Innovate UK and includes support from Innovate UK KTN. The six regions are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • the West of England with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire
  • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire
  • Kent, Essex, East and West Sussex
  • the North East of England

The programme support package will comprise of three complementary strands:

  • business support targeted at the creative industries
  • finance
  • investor capacity building activities

The aim of this competition is to provide a package of targeted support to high-growth creative businesses to scale, build investor networks and reach their potential. This funding is designed to help creative businesses explore new innovation projects as a stimulus for growth.


Your project must:

  • have a total funding request of between £10,000 and £30,000
  • start by 1 June 2023
  • end by 31 December 2023
  • last between 3 and 6 months
  • carry out all its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project your organisation must:


Your project must:

  • offer an innovative and ambitious idea which demonstrates a clear growth opportunity
  • be new to your business
  • have a demonstrable impact to your growth plan, for example, start the process of creating a new revenue stream, such as new products, services or intellectual property (IP)
  • demonstrate a route to commercialisation within 12 months of receiving support with a clear plan for attracting additional private finance
  • benefit the wider creative cluster or region in England you are based in
  • be able to start rapidly
  • demonstrate value for money

Specific themes

The creative industries are defined by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Your project must focus on one or more of the following sub-sectors:

  • advertising and marketing
  • architecture
  • crafts
  • design and designer fashion
  • film
  • television
  • video
  • radio
  • photography
  • IT, gaming, software and computer services
  • publishing
  • museums, galleries and libraries
  • music, performing and visual art

Creative industry businesses refer to those with a high intensity of creative occupations. You can refer to the DCMS Economic Estimates for a list of the sub-sectors and their associated SIC codes, that DCMS classifies under the creative industries.

An online briefing event was held on Monday 5th December: click here to watch the recording.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport - logo


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.