The team has invested heavily in the culture, creative and tourism sectors, running multiple programmes across different areas. The North East England region is being led by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and delivered in partnership with Creative UK. It encompasses North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Northumberland and Newcastle.
North of Tyne Combined Authority
About the region
“It’s a real opportunity to change the landscape for creatives at this time.”
Jackie Boyd, Project Manager for Business Investment at Creative UK
Objectives and delivery
Better support for the creative sector will cover a bigger area and provide a more clear and joined-up offer. “It’s got huge potential in relation to a springboard for further coherent work which ties in with other activities,” says Carol Bell, Associate Regional Director at Creative UK.
Long term, the team hopes to add more value with many sector-specific cohorts. For now, 100 businesses go through intensive development and a further 100 will move through an open- access model, providing ‘light-touch’ support.
With such a mix of businesses, it’s important to the team that delivery is bespoke. They’re taking the time to understand each business, their market and how they operate, to provide the right support and help them navigate towards investment.
Support is tailored to business needs, designing individual pathways and interventions to help them test their commercial model and identify growth opportunities. It includes group sessions and peer-to-peer support, with businesses encouraged to engage in self-reflection and analysis, as well as cross- regional collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Impact and response
The North of Tyne region is already seeing a positive response and early impact. Three businesses have already been approached by investors, highlighting the programme’s projected success and the support offered by the region’s complementary existing “wraparound workshops’’.
The programme allows the team to identify those businesses with growth potential. But those who aren’t ready for investment can be referred back to the Creative UK CCIC for alternative support. This ensures businesses receive the support they need, and remain invested in the programme to drive longevity for the next cohort.
The team are also seeing the impact on businesses who are traditionally grant reliant or wouldn’t previously have considered private investment. Carol says, “They’re starting to think about commercialisation of aspects of their activity and can see the value in it.”
This is the first time all seven local authorities have come together, which Jackie sees as a great opportunity. “It’s already a massive achievement that the region has been able to bring that collaboration together, especially for the creative sector,” she says.