New grants boost for creative businesses

The creative sector is to get £50,000 from Somerset County Council to boost jobs and skills and support new products or services.

Businesses and organisations are being invited to bid for grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 to fund projects which will boost the creative economy.

“Once again this year we are keen to see proposals come forward that will boost the creative economy and help increase the economic prosperity of Somerset,” said Cllr David Hall, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Inward Investment and Policy at Somerset County Council.

Organisations in the creative sector, training providers and PR agencies are invited to apply for a share of the £50,000 Creative Industries Fund. The majority of the funding will be allocated to specific commissioned activity such as training, apprenticeships, PR activity, initiatives aimed at schools and college students and networking events.

Last year the funding of 16 projects under the scheme proved very successful, with a range of innovative actions being delivered to help grow the sector. Many businesses and organisations benefited from these projects with specialist advice, guidance and training. A video which showcases some of this activity is available to view on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoOOq96QQzQ&rel=0.

Cllr David Hall added: “The County Council is committed to helping grow creative industries. The sector is currently responsible for eight per cent of the county’s workforce and approximately £400 million in output for the local economy per annum. This fund will help creative businesses and organisations to take the lead in developing their sector and encourage jobs, skills and products.”

For further information about the Creative Industries Fund, contact Paul Chadwick or John Carter on 01823 358 060 / 01823 355664 or by email at: pchadwick@somerset.gov.uk / jdcarter@somerset.gov.uk.

The deadline for applications is 11th August with successful applicants informed from 1 September 2014.