A business investment fund for small to medium-sized creative and digital companies across the English regions launches today.
The £1 million of funding launched by Creative England is available to businesses looking to develop new software, applications and content across a number of markets including e-learning and mobile applications.
Creative England said the funding would be available via interest free loans of between £50,000 and £100,000 per application, which will be matched 50/50 with the company sharing the development costs.
It would typically support companies looking to develop new cross-platform applications or content related to new applications for the following markets – cross platform TV development, healthcare, government services, games and interactive entertainment, business to business, e-learning and mobile applications.
Creative England said the funding is designed to support companies who have innovative new ideas for content development backed with commercial exploitation opportunities. It will be open to SMEs outside London, with priority given to companies based in the North, West Midlands and South West, which relates to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund objective to prioritise support for areas that have been overly dependent on public sector employment.
The funding is the first element of the £5m award from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to Creative England in April 2012.
Creative England director of business development Jim Farmery said: “By launching this programme I hope we can stimulate the development of some really interesting content and applications and support projects that otherwise would have struggled to get off the ground”.
Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and we want to encourage more people to discover their entrepreneurial spirit and exploit new opportunities. This scheme, which has benefitted from the Regional Growth Fund is the right kind of support to help creative and digital businesses get off the ground and develop new and exciting content.
"Whether it's creating jobs or boosting manufacturing capability, the regional growth fund shows the difference that Government and the private sector can make when working together. It is real projects like these which will unlock private sector investment to boost local economic growth and rebalance the economy."
The deadline for registrations of interest is August 31.
See the Creative England website to find out how to apply.