DCMS Create Growth Programme

Helping businesses in six English regions convert their creative potential in to creative growth.

About the programme

Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is supporting the development of high growth potential creative industries in the six appointed regions in England through targeted support.

The region’s combined authorities and LEPs will be working with eligible businesses to unlock their growth potential.

As part of the programme Innovate UK is providing a finance fund of up to £7 million to help creative businesses in the Create Growth Programme regions to explore new innovation projects that will stimulate growth and attract private investment.

Eligible businesses in Create Growth Programme regions will be able to apply to Innovate UK for grants and investor partnerships, the first of two competitions is now open.

As the programme develops there will be more information on national events and activities for both investors and Creative Industries businesses please sign up to our mailing list or follow on social media for updates.

Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN will be delivering investor capacity building activities, including networking and pitching events, mapping of current and potential investment in the sector and resources to support the understanding of investment opportunities in creative businesses. The awarded regions will now develop a delivery plan for business support that responds to the specific local needs of creative businesses.

The regions

The six regions in the Create Growth Programme were selected via an open competition that was run by DCMS between July and September 2022.
  • Led by the team at Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Greater Manchester Area encompasses:

    • Wigan
    • Bolton
    • Bury
    • Rochdale
    • Salford
    • Oldham
    • Trafford
    • Manchester
    • Tameside
    • Stockport
    Join programme
  • The East Anglia region is being led by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and encompasses:

    • Cambridge
    • Peterborough
    • Norwich
    • Ipswich
    Register your interest
  • Led by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, this area encompasses:

    • North Tyneside
    • South Tyneside
    • Gateshead
    • Sunderland
    • Durham
    • Northumberland
    • Newcastle
    Join programme
  • Led by West of England Combined Authority, this area encompasses:

    • Bristol
    • Bath
    • Cornwall
    • Isles of Scilly

    West of England Combined Authority are looking for companies who are exploring new growth opportunities, this could include, but is not exclusive to:

    – Reaching new customers
    – Developing or taking to market a new product or service
    – Expanding your business to new markets, including internationally

    This programme is not looking to support ‘business as usual’, but for new business activity that will lead to growth.

    Apply to the first cohort by Monday 27th March 2023, midday.

    Join programme
  • Led by Kent County Council, the South East area encompasses:

    • Essex
    • East Sussex
    • West Sussex
    • Kent
    • Medway
    • Brighton and Hove
    • Southend on Sea
    • Thurrock

    Ambitious creative business owners in Essex, Kent and Sussex can now benefit from a special programme of support designed to help them prepare for future financial investment and help them to scale and grow their businesses.

    Business owners can benefit from 1-2-1 expert mentoring to help address challenges, explore opportunities and develop new networks. There will also be tailored workshops covering business foundations and discipline or sub-sector specific challenges.

    The programme starts Spring 2023 and runs to 2025.

    Join programme
  • Led by Leicester City Council, the East Midlands area encompasses:

    • Leicestershire
    • Derbyshire
    • Lincolnshire
    • Rutland

    The East Midlands creative consortium, EMC², is offering high-potential organisations like yours free leadership mentoring, access to peer networks, and more.

    With the aim to grow business skills and understanding of different finance routes to business growth. The programme offers free business support tailored to the specific needs of high-growth potential creative businesses, a blend of workshops and masterclasses, peer-learning opportunities and 1-2-1 mentoring with a focus on investment readiness.

    Join programme

Programme benefits

The Create Growth Programme aims to support high-growth creative businesses to scale and become investment ready through a targeted support package with three complementary strands.
Bespoke business support


Bespoke business support

Grant funding and finance


Grant funding and finance

Investor capacity building


Investor capacity building

Related Events and Recordings


DCMS Create Growth Programme – Investor Roundtable 1

10.30 - 16.30 | London

Register for this event

DCMS Create Growth Fund: Competition 1 - Q&A Session

11.00 - 12.00 | Online

Watch now

Create Growth Programme - Funding Competition Briefing Event

10.00 - 12.00 | Online

Watch now
See all events

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