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Last chance for Greater Manchester creative industry businesses to benefit from Creative Scale-Up programme

The Growth Company is looking for creative industry businesses in Greater Manchester who are ready to take the next big step in their growth journey to join the final cohort of its highly successful Creative Scale-up Programme.

There are a limited number of places left and creative SMEs need to apply before 25 September for the chance to learn all the tools needed to scale up, access investment and grow their business, as well as recover from the impact of Covid-19. 

With a vibrant community of more than 8,500 creative industry businesses, generating £1.4 billion of economic growth annually, Greater Manchester boasts one of the country’s leading creative industry clusters outside of London. However, a report by Oxford Economics has projected that the sector will be hit twice as hard as the wider economy in 2020, with a projected GVA shortfall of £29 billion.

More than 250 creative industry businesses applied to the programme following its launch in January and 40 businesses – including The People’s History Museum, CTConsults and Global Grooves - have taken part since the programme, with hugely encouraging results. 

Some participants have reported growth of more than 50% while there have been new investments and funding accessed as well as the forming of useful new relationships and increased business opportunities.

Alex Saint, Managing Director, CTConsults said that the programme had proven to be crucial: “We joined the Creative Scale Up Programme ahead of the COVID-19 crisis with plans for ambitious growth and big thinking. Things changed – but John Moore and his colleagues across the programme have been instrumental in helping me steer the business through the crisis.

“There has been a mix of specialist advice, key information and 1-2-1 mentoring. John has played the part of critical friend brilliantly and as a result, we are still here – looking ahead, ready to get back to a growth mindset and that is in no small part to the programme. I highly recommend it.”

Sarah Miguel, Head of Business Development – People’s History Museum, added: “The Creative Scale-up Programme has been helping embed a spirit of cultural entrepreneurship at People’s History Museum to support recovery.

“The training programme has equipped us with the strategic pillars needed while planning for growth. Sector expert knowledge from the training providers has connected us with like-minded creative business and help us strengthen our resilience.”

The programme is delivered by GC Business Growth Hub and is fully funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, aimed at businesses from sectors including: advertising & marketing; architecture; arts & culture; craft; createch; design; fashion; gaming; music; publishing; TV & film and AR/VR.

All modules are delivered virtually, in line with social distancing guidelines, and is aimed to help creative industry businesses to tackle gaps in investment and growth in the sector, while empowering them to realise their full growth potential, providing the training and tools necessary to take them to the next level.

Sarah Novotny, Digital, Creative and Tech Sector Business Support Lead, GC Business Growth Hub said: “This has been a challenging year for creative industry businesses in our region, but I’m delighted by the results we’ve seen so far for those who have taken part in Creative Scale-Up.

“There has never been a better time for SMEs to work on their business plan for the future and build resilience.  We are urging them to sign up so they can stabilise their business, recover and get back to growing.

“There may well be more difficult times ahead, which is why it’s so crucial that businesses in this sector are equipped to access the funding and plan the strategies that will help them survive and thrive as the whole region seeks to Build Back Better.”

Eligible businesses in the creative industries in Greater Manchester can still sign up for the few remaining places by 25 September at www.businessgrowthhub.com/creative-scale-up-programme.

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