Creative sector in Somerset gets £50,000 boost from County Council

Creative enterprises have cause to celebrate thanks to Somerset County Council awarding £50,000 to a feast of Somerset projects for the fourth year running.

Twelve initiatives have received grants of between £2,000 and £8,000 from the County Council after making successful bids to its dedicated Creative Industries Development Fund.

The Fund promotes skills training and business growth in the county, awarding successful applicants a one-off grant to deliver the project.

Around 5,700 people are employed by Somerset’s Creative Industry sector, amounting to 2.6% of employment in Somerset, according to the Business Register Employment Survey.

Prized for its diversity, ranging from business in the arts and cultural sectors, digital, ICT and media activities, Somerset’s creative economy spans private businesses, the charitable sector and social enterprises.

The Council invited Somerset creatives to make their bids in August.

The 31 creative industry applicants had to prove their initiative’s value to the economy and to small or medium-sized enterprises, – wrapped up, of course, in a top-notch pitch.

As one of these successful projects, the Redfront organisation will develop resources and run workshops for schools and colleges in March 2015 for a ‘Create Week’ to enthuse and inform the creative entrepreneurs of the future.

The week will follow on from, and be linked to, a careers event being organised in February by Creative Somerset with the Somerset Arts education agency SPAEDA. The dates are yet to be announced.

Other successful bidders included:
•    Take Art, Somerset Art Works, Tacchi Morris and Vincent Accounting, for peer-to-peer mentoring and training events
•    Business Think Ltd and Forward Space for a small number of Innovation Masterclass events
•    Ginger Fred, Radio Yeovil and Cheese & Grain, for apprenticeship and student training activities
•    Theatre Melange, to develop its Echoes Somerset digital trail.

Cllr David Hall, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Inward Investment and Policy, said: “These initiatives have been awarded by Somerset County Council for their clear case in supporting the vibrant creative industries sector we have here in Somerset.

“The creative industries are part of the lifeblood of our county, and the Council is pleased to be able to continue supporting a diversity of projects aimed at strengthening Somerset’s economy.”
Notes to editors

•   Creative Somerset is a coordinating body and online network for the creative community in Somerset.
•   Theatre Melange’s Echo project is about highlighting the stories connecting Somerset people with where they live, captured in film, sound, and live performance.