Creative Fuse North East to be part of £2.6m investment to stimulate culture and creativity in the North of Tyne.
Newcastle University led project Creative Fuse will play a key part in a new multi-million pound fund which will help to create a more resilient and sustainable future for the creative sector in a post-COVID- 19 economy.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NCTA) and Creative England today launched the Culture and Creative Investment Programme, a two-year partnership which will invest £2.625 million in the North of Tyne’s creative and cultural industries.
Building upon the networks and learning it has established since it was created in 2016, Creative Fuse will provide wraparound business support- including free to access workshops and internships – for those looking to apply for funding and to complement those who go on to secure investment from the programme.
Professor Jonathan Sapsed, Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Newcastle University Business School and Principal Investigator for Creative Fuse North East said:
“The Creative Fuse North East team at Newcastle University are delighted to form this partnership with Creative England and other regional partners.
“We will help steer funding to strategic areas of creative and economic opportunity and deliver wraparound support to complement this new and important fund. We know from our research and networks that the North of Tyne landscape covers a wide range of creative life and work, from arts clusters in remote rural Northumberland to the urban buzz of Newcastle and coastal town homeworkers of North Tyneside.
“We will aim to help lift the barriers to investment for our firms and freelancers and look forward to helping realise the sparkling creative promise of our region.”
Open to SMEs and freelancers in the region, the fund is the first of its kind and will offer a combined package of financial and business support, including £500,000 of grants, £1.5 million of loans and £625,000 of equity investment. Available to finance recipients and other creative practitioners, the support programme seeks to enhance business skills, aid the development of new products and services, and enable business growth. The programme will also facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration between participants, as well as providing access to Creative England’s wider network of national and international market stakeholders.
North of Tyne Combined Authority Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative & Rural and Leader of Northumberland County Council, Councillor Glen Sanderson said:
“After this incredibly challenging period for residents and businesses in the North of Tyne it is fantastic to see this investment in a crucial sector of our economy. This innovative partnership with Creative England will see significant support brought forward and will set the cultural and creative industries on a firm footing to grow out of the current crisis.
“I encourage all within the sector, particularly smaller businesses and organisations as well as freelancers to apply.”
CEO and Founder of Creative England, Caroline Norbury MBE said:
“Prior to the pandemic the creative industries in the North East contributed over £1 billion to the economy and will be key to driving the region’s economic growth and productivity as it looks to rebuild The North of Tyne’s cultural sector will be a core part of this, and can also reengage communities with their local places and enhance their quality of life.
“We are very pleased to launch the Culture and Creative Investment Programme and look forward to working alongside North of Tyne Combined Authority to grow creativity throughout the region.”
Creative Fuse North East, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the European Regional Development Fund, is a collaboration between the five regional universities and has worked with and supported many businesses and freelancers working across the Creative, Cultural and Digital sectors to help them grow, leading to the increased importance and contribution of the creative economy to the region. The core of the project has been to explore the concept of Fusion – the combination of ideas and skills from creative, design and technology disciplines – to provide businesses with a potent mix that can support growth in terms of staff, products, services and sustainability.
Notes to editors:
The bespoke programme is the first of its kind and will offer a combined package of financial and business support, including £500,000 of grants, £1.5 million of loans and £625,000 of equity investment. Wraparound business support will be delivered in partnership with Creative Fuse, offering a range of specialist workshops and mentoring sessions. Available to finance recipients and other creative practitioners, the support programme seeks to enhance business skills, aid the development of new products and services, and enable business growth. The programme will also facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration between participants, as well as providing access to Creative England’s wider network of national and international market stakeholders.
Applications are encouraged from ambitious organisations and practitioners looking to establish innovate products, services and business models that recognise the new trading environment for cultural and creative businesses. The programme will position the cultural and creative industries as a key post-Covid growth sector for the North of Tyne and builds on the broader work of the Combined Authority to support a new economic future for the region.
Creative England has established a local delivery team to manage the programme on behalf of the Combined Authority and will draw from the expertise and experience of local cultural and creative leaders and organisations throughout the programme. The programme will be delivered in partnership with key regional cultural and creative organisations such Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, Tyne & Wear Community Partnership and the North-East Culture Partnership. This regional leadership will provide critical insight and intelligence to support the national investment expertise of Creative England in delivering a first-class service in the region that will help realise the ambitions of the sector.
For more information on the Culture and Creative Investment Programme visit www.creativeengland.co.uk/northoftyne
About Creative Fuse North East:
Creative Fuse North East is a multi-disciplinary, multi stakeholder action research project focused on the strength, diversity and nuanced nature of the North East’s creative, digital and IT sector (CDIT). The project builds upon two previous research projects – Brighton Fuse and London Fusion – and explores the social, economic and innovation value of the CDIT sector in the region.
The project is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the European Regional Development Fund alongside investment from the university partners and this is used to support direct engagement with creatives freelancers and SMEs in the sector, providing a unique insight into the everyday challenges while at the same time identifying opportunities for cross sector collaboration and spill-over into other industries.
About Arts & Humanities Research Council:
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training, in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.
About the European Regional Development Fund:
The project is receiving £1,080,353 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.