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An additional £10.9m of funding is available to support creative businesses and 'unlock economic growth' in the English regions.

A person sitting at the edge of a cliff painting a picture of waves crashing against rocks below
Newlyn School of Art is one of 15 businesses taking part in the first phase of Cornwall’s Create Growth Programme

Henry Garfit/Creative Commons

The second round of a UK government programme designed to support creative businesses and unlock economic growth outside London has opened for applications.

A total of £10.9m of additional funding for the Create Growth Programme (CGP) was announced in June as part of the government’s delayed Creative Industries Sector Vision.

It follows a first round in June 2022 which saw the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) distributing £17.51 million to applicants for the three financial years up to 2025.


Those applying for funding should either be a combined authority, a local authority or a local enterprise partnership. Applicants must be based in England but not in the capital.

Expressions of interest are currently being invited with a deadline of 9 August. Shortlisted applicants must then submit their full applications by 19 September, with a decision on successful applicants to be made in October.

‘Levelling up’

The CGP is part of the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda and is an expansion of its 2019-2021 Creative Scale Up pilot for the Greater Manchester, West Midlands and West of England Combined Authorities.

It aims to cover six new geographical areas in England. Each successful local area partnership will receive £520,000 to deliver business support activities to support high-growth potential creative businesses.

Creative businesses will also have the opportunity to access funding from a finance growth support fund of £9m.

Cornwall, which was among the six areas to receive funding through the first round of funding, launched the first phase of its Create Growth Programme this month.

A total of 15 creative businesses based in the county are taking part in the inaugural cohort, called Kernow Awenek Onan (Creative Cornwall One), receiving intensive support over a six-month period.

These include Newlyn School of Art which provides a wide range of short art courses, online short courses and year-long courses; all taught by respected artists working in Cornwall.

The other areas currently delivering the programme are Greater Manchester, East Anglia, the North East, South East and East Midlands.