DCMS Create Growth Fund Competition 3

UK registered micro, small or medium enterprises in the creative sector, in twelve specified regions of England, can apply for £10k-£30k for innovation projects to grow their business.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s grant funding request must be between £10,000 and £30,000. You can claim 100% of your eligible project costs.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest approximately £3 million in innovation projects in the creative sector.

This funding is from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme and has a regional focus across 12 regions.

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.

  • To apply your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered micro, small or medium size enterprise (SME)
    • be registered or operational in one of the twelve DCMS Create Growth Programme appointed regions which are:
      • Greater Manchester
      • Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire
      • North East of England
      • West of England and Cornwall
      • South East Coast
      • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Greater Lincolnshire
      • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
      • Hull & East Yorkshire
      • West Midlands
      • West Yorkshire
      • Devon
      • Hertfordshire
    • not currently be in receipt of public funding for business growth
    • have a demonstrable ambition for growth
    • be from the creative industries and focused on one or more of the creative industries sub-sectors (listed below)
  • Your project must:

    • have a total grant funding request of between £10,000 and £30,000
    • last between three and five months
    • start by 1 Nov 2024
    • end by 31 March 2025
    • carry out all its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Your proposal must:

    • be from the creative industries
    • engage with regional support if your application is successful

    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 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
  • Eligible region
    You can check your local council using your post code.

    Assessment criteria
    The assessors will be marking your application against these criteria.

    Project costs
    While planning your project it is good to knowing what costs are eligible and what are not – this is a full list of eligible costs.

    There is a video talking through filling out the application finance section of the application form.

    Grant writing workshop
    Recorded earlier this year but containing useful information and advice for applying to Innovate UK.

    Full details and link to apply
    You can view the full details of the competition and apply through this link. This page has all the information you will need to apply to this competition. All the questions are listed on the How to Apply tab.

  • Innovate UK held an online briefing on Friday 10 May 2024: there is now a recording available to view.

  • Innovate UK welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone.

    This includes making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

    You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

    We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date (19 June) to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

    If you have questions about the scope please contact our Creative Industries team.

    If you have questions about how to apply or eligibility, please contact the Innovate UK support team by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Related Events and Recordings


DCMS Create Growth Fund: Competition 3 Q&A

10.00 - 11.00 GMT | Online


DCMS Create Growth Fund: Competition 3 Briefing

10.00 - 12.00 | Online

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