New programme to help creative businesses grow

A local creative business is one of the first in the West of England to benefit from a new programme launched this week to help it grow.

Knowle West Media Centre’s KWMC: The Factory is one of 15 businesses to take part in The Creative Scale-Up programme, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

This will see £4 million invested across three regions in the UK – including the West of England.

Launched on 22 January – the programme will give creative businesses support to help them expand and become ready to take on investment.

KWMC: The Factory is based at Filwood Green Business Park and run by Knowle West Media Centre. It offers a space for making, digital fabrication and product design.

Alongside other Bristol businesses such as Wardrobe Theatre and Encounters Film Festival – The Factory will receive a package of tailored business support over six months and the opportunity to engage with networks of investors.

Rachel Clarke from KWMC said: “Being part of the Creative Scale Up programme will enable us to develop and expand the work of KWMC: The Factory, our micro-manufacturing hub and maker space at Filwood Green Business Park.

“KWMC: The Factory was established in 2015 and supports a diverse community of creative people, technologists and businesses to develop new skills in digital manufacturing and business development, create and test new products and prototypes, and connect with other makers.”

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, who launched the programme said: “I want our region to become the go-to place for the creative and cultural sector.

“We’re already internationally renowned but I want the world to know that the West of England will welcome talented people and businesses with open arms, and help them grow into the big names of the future. That’s what our Creative Scale-Up programme is all about. ..”

West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is now calling out to others to bid for a place on the programme – which will run until later this year.

There will be two further opportunities in April and June; with applications open to join either. The deadline for the April cohort is 31 March 2020. 

Businesses keen to find out more and apply should visit www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/business/creative-scale-up/.