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    UK government launches £17m fund for creative businesses in English regions

    Program aims to boost growth among the creative industries beyond the capital.

    The UK government has unveiled a new fund available to agencies in the English regions as it attempts to boost the creative industries outside London.

    The Create Growth program will dole out £17.5m among six English regions, with the intent to help creative businesses expand with investment directed at operational expansion and recruitment.

    Businesses – including production, marketing and advertising agencies – in the regions will be able to use the money to expand.

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    Julia Lopez, the UK government’s creative industries minister, said: “Today’s plans will help get more creative businesses off the ground so they can spread jobs and wealth and help more people, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, break into these world-class sectors.”

    The cash, available to companies in Greater Manchester, the Midlands and the west, east and north east of England, comes via grant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the government’s ‘innovation agency’, Innovate UK. Local and regional authorities in the six areas have each been given £1.25m to parcel out, while businesses in those regions may also apply to a £7m pot to fuel further expansion.

    James Copson, founder of Anattic, a creative production agency based in Manchester, said the pilot of the scheme had helped boost his business.

    “The Creative Growth pilot helped Anattic and our team to learn new skills and understand scale and development on a deeper level. We have been able to put many of the lessons learned during the various workshops, support and advice sessions into practice and have grown the business considerably since joining the program.

    “Our business has since developed from a UK, localized production company to an international creative production agency with plans in place to move into Asian markets, specifically Japan. We are excited about the potential this program has to make a real impact on creative businesses.”

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    As well as the money made available across England, the government has also unveiled programs aimed at developing the skills of young people from underrepresented backgrounds to get a head start in the creative industries and to boost the country’s video game industry through 17 grants given out to studio startups.

    “From product design and video games to music and film, the creative industries are a stellar UK success story,” Lopez added.

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