Creative businesses in the South East are getting support to grow their businesses


Friday 10 February 2023

Ambitious creative business owners in Essex, Kent and Sussex can now benefit from a special programme of support designed to help them prepare for future financial investment and help them to scale and grow their businesses.

Following funding from the UK Government last year, the Create South East Investment Readiness Programme is being launched to provide support for high-growth potential businesses in the creative industries through the development of the knowledge and skills needed to access investment.

The programme starts this Spring and runs to 2025.

Formed through a coalition of partners including: Kent County Council, Angels@Essex / University of Essex Innovation Centre Knowledge Gateway, Basildon Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, Creative Estuary / University of Kent Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (ICCI), Creative UK, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Medway Council, Screen South, South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Wired Sussex and West Sussex County Council. The programme will be delivered by: Angels@Essex, Creative UK, Screen South and Wired Sussex.

“Our region is full of incredible creative talent. Create South East is here to bring our collective expertise and experience, so whether you work in architecture, design, fashion, films, games, performance or tv, let’s take your ambitions a step closer to being a business reality.” Angels@Essex, Creative UK, Screen South, Wired Sussex – proud delivery partners of Create South East

Business owners can benefit from 1-2-1 expert mentoring to help address challenges, explore opportunities and develop new networks. There will also be tailored workshops covering business foundations and discipline or sub sector- specific challenges, along with the opportunity to meet and pitch for investment as part of the national Create Growth Programme (see notes).

Successful applicants have the chance to join a curated cohort of their peers over a 9 month programme, giving them the opportunity to champion and learn from each other. The programme is free to the businesses that take part, with an estimated value of £10,000.

There will be a webinar to introduce the programme Friday 24th Feb at 11am-12pm, please head to the event section of the website for more info.

For anyone with an ambition to successfully grow their creative business, now is the time to apply for this free government-backed programme of support. Businesses can do this by submitting an expression of interest form on the website and keep up to date with the programme by signing up to the Create South East newsletter.

 For more details, images or to arrange an interview please email:


Notes to Editor:

The Create South East website is now live and accepting applications from local organisations operating in the following sectors:

  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Design/Design Fashion
  • Film and TV
  • Games
  • IT and Software
  • Publishing
  • Music and Audio
  • Performing Arts

For more information about Create South East please visit the website at:


More information regarding the Create Growth Programme:

Create Growth Programme

Create Growth Programme is a DCMS funded initiative that has identified six English regions outside London to benefit from £17.5 million over the next two years to help scale up creative businesses and increase job opportunities.

Companies in six regions will receive support through the Create Growth Programme to help get themselves investment ready. The regions are:

Greater Manchester, including Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Salford, Oldham, Trafford, Manchester, Tameside and Stockport

East Anglia, including Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire

North East, including North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Northumberland and Newcastle

West of England, including Bristol, Bath, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

South East, including Essex, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Medway, Brighton and Hove, Southend on Sea and Thurrock

East Midlands, including Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland

A key aim of the Create Growth Programme is to support creative businesses to explore and secure commercial investment opportunities. To this end each of the selected regions will have a Programme of activity that will enable businesses to be ready for investment and facilitate access to additional funding from Innovate UK and commercial investors in 2023 and beyond.


About Creative UK

Creative UK is one of the four delivery partners of Create South East.

Creative UK is the national network for the Creative Industries. We are an independent membership organisation that champions the value of the Creative Industries. We know that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.

Creative UK connects talent, business and organisations across the Creative Industries; from arts and culture, film and TV and video games to design, publishing and architecture and everything in between.

At Creative UK, we support companies and people working in the creative sector by offering development opportunities at a local and national level, through our network of partners across the UK.

We invest by identifying untapped potential to accelerate growth, providing tailor made resources and financial expertise. We do all of this because we believe in the power of creativity to change lives.