£1M digital & creative fund launched for Greater Manchester

The fund, part of a national £25m programme, will be awarded to companies working in in Greater Manchester – pre start-ups, start-ups, micro and small businesses – to carry out innovative R&D projects that will lead to the development of existing or new knowledge and skills within the digital and creative sector.

Projects could include the development of a product or service and up to 60 per cent of the total eligible project costs will be funded. Entries may range in size, but estimated project sizes are up to £100k.

The competition will be launched on 4th November 2013 at The Landing in Media City and registration is [ilink url=”http://www.businessgrowthhub.com/events/greater-manchester-creative-and-digital-launchpad “]now open[/ilink]  The launch event will feature a full introduction to the project and the business support available to entrants, aswell as an interactive workshop to help applicants prepare the required two minute video submission.

The competition, running in partnership with the Business Growth Hub, will support the growth of the entering businesses through business support and connections with mentors and expert advisors, as well as increasing access to the investor community and support system around Greater Manchester.

The wider aim of the fund is also to draw companies, investment and people into the cluster, to encourage networking, cooperation and offer business support services to strengthen it; enabling businesses to take advantage of being part of a developing cluster that can realise their potential for growth.

Richard Jeffery, Director of the Business Growth Hub, said: “It is vital that we support and exploit the opportunities within the already vibrant Greater Manchester digital and creative community and this competition aims to take the companies working in it and help drive them forward by supporting innovation.

Companies in the Digital & Creative Media Development sector tend to be less capital-intensive, small or sized and often form tight geographical clusters. This competition is designed specifically to promote the community dynamic within these vibrant clusters, encourage cooperation and, ultimately, grow business in the area for the benefit of the Greater Manchester and surrounding economy.”

The Business Growth Hub and its partners currently deliver products and services that include the Manufacturing Advisory Service, UKTI, Access to Finance, UK Start-Up Loans, NW Business Angels, Manchester Business Loans, ENWORKS and mentoring programmes plus a range of networking and specialist growth events.

The ERDF is a fund allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation