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East Midlands: EMC² awarded £1.3m of funding to support creative businesses

Creative businesses in the East Midlands can apply for a free programme of support to accelerate business growth, create jobs, and prepare for investment.

East Midlands Creative Consortium, began accepting applications in January 2023 from high-potential creative businesses after being awarded more than £1.3 million of Government funding. The EMC² website is accepting applications from local creative organisations. The programme starts in the Spring and runs to 2025.

The funding application is only open to businesses in Derby, Derbyshire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland, and Greater Lincolnshire.

Led by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), the consortium provided one of six successful regional bids for the Government’s Create Growth Programme.

Andy Reed OBE, LLEP Co-Chair, said:

“The creative sector has created almost 4,000 jobs since 2010 in Leicester and Leicestershire alone. The vast majority of those jobs are in microbusinesses and Create Growth will help these high-potential employers to scale up.”

EMC² has commenced its regional project across Leicester and Leicestershire, Derby and Derbyshire, Rutland, and Greater Lincolnshire.

It is backed by a coalition of partners including regional universities, Innovate UK, local businesses, and non-profit organisations.

It aims to support 100 creative businesses in four cohort groups across the three years. Around 50 creative organisations have already made early-stage expressions of interest.

EMC² is available to growing creative businesses operating in:

  • Advertising and marketing

  • Architecture

  • Crafts design and designer fashion

  • Film, tv, video and radio

  • Photography

  • IT, gaming, software and computer services

  • Publishing

  • Museums, galleries and libraries

Applicants will also gain the opportunity to go on and apply for finance support from a £7m Government fund delivered by Innovate UK.

Creative industries are worth more than £100 billion to the UK economy and account for 2.3 million jobs.


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