DCMS Create Growth Programme Competition 3

Key Features

UK registered micro, small and medium enterprises in the creative sector can apply for funding of between £10,000 and £30,000 for innovation projects to grow their business. This funding is from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £30,000

Opens: 7th May 2024

Closes: 19th Jun 2024

Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest approximately £3 million in innovation projects in the creative sector.

This funding is from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme and has a regional focus across 12 regions.

The six original regions identified for the programme by DCMS are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire
  • North East of England
  • West of England and Cornwall
  • South East Coast
  • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Greater Lincolnshire

DCMS has expanded the regions since the launch of the programme and now includes:

  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • Hull & East Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire
  • Devon
  • Hertfordshire

The six expansion regions are eligible for the Create Growth Programme although are not detailed within the Create Growth Programme website.

The programme support package will comprise of three complementary strands:

  • business support targeted at the creative industries
  • finance
  • investor capacity building activities

Scope

The aim of this competition is to provide a package of targeted support to high growth creative businesses, to scale, build investor networks and reach their potential. This funding is designed to help creative businesses explore new innovation projects as a stimulus for growth.

The funding is for twelve regions in England appointed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) Create Growth Programme.

The twelve regions are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire
  • North East of England
  • West of England and Cornwall
  • South East Coast
  • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Greater Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • Hull & East Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire
  • Devon
  • Hertfordshire

Your proposal must:

  • be from the creative industries
  • be by a micro, small or medium enterprise registered or operational in a DCMS Create Growth Programme region
  • focus on a clear growth opportunity and the proposed innovation to address it
  • demonstrate the impact funding and support can have on the growth plan of your business
  • engage with the regional support if your application is successful

Your project must:

  • offer an innovative and ambitious idea which demonstrates a clear growth opportunity
  • be new to your business
  • have a demonstrable impact to your growth plan, for example, start the process of creating a new revenue stream, such as new products, services or intellectual property (IP)
  • demonstrate a route to commercialisation within 12 months of receiving support with a clear plan for attracting additional private finance
  • benefit the wider creative cluster or region in England you are based in
  • be able to start rapidly
  • demonstrate value for money

Portfolio approach

Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories We call this a portfolio approach.

The aim of this competition is to fund a variety of projects across the different creative sub-sectors from each of the DCMS Create Growth appointed regions.

Specific Themes

The creative industries are defined by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Your project must focus on one or more of the following sub-sectors:

  • advertising and marketing
  • architecture
  • crafts
  • design and designer fashion
  • film
  • television
  • video
  • radio
  • photography
  • IT, gaming, software and computer services
  • publishing
  • museums, galleries and libraries
  • music, performing and visual art

Creative industry businesses refer to those with a high intensity of creative occupations. You can refer to the DCMS Economic Estimates for a list of the sub-sectors and their associated SIC codes, that DCMS classifies under the creative industries.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have a total grant funding request of between £10,000 and £30,000
  • last between three and five months
  • start by 1 Nov 2024
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • carry out all its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

You will be made ineligible if you exceed the Minimal Financial Assistance limit. You must submit a complete declaration as part of your application.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered micro, small or medium size enterprise (SME)
  • be registered or operational in one of the twelve Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme appointed regions
  • not currently be in receipt of public funding for business growth
  • have a demonstrable ambition for growth
  • be from the creative industries and focused on one or more of the creative industries sub-sectors

The six original regions in England appointed by the DCMS Create Growth Programme are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire
  • North East of England
  • West of England and Cornwall
  • South East Coast
  • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Greater Lincolnshire

The six expansion regions are:

  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • Hull & East Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire
  • Devon
  • Hertfordshire

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

Innovate UK expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Number of applications

You can only apply for this competition once.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects:

  • that support business as usual (BAU) activities
  • that are currently in the receipt of public funding for business growth
  • without evidence the proposed innovation will lead to business growth
  • that do not address how potentially negative outcomes will be considered, for example, on the environment
  • without innovation, for example, the creation of information-only websites
  • that sit outside of the creative industries
  • that sit outside of the 12 identified regions

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that:

  • involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture
  • involve primary production in agriculture
  • have activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • are not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
  • are not eligible to receive Minimal Financial Assistance
  • are dependent on export performance, for example, giving an award to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example, if we give an award to a baker on the condition that they use 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Calls

Innovate UK have allocated approximately £3 million to fund growth focused innovation projects in this competition.

You can claim 100% of your eligible project costs up to the maximum of £30,000. The total project costs detailed within your application and your grant request must match. Costs outside the minimum and maximum limits will be deemed ineligible.

If successful, your grant will be released in instalments:

  • your total grant request minus £5,000, will be paid on the return of your signed grant offer letter, this can be in advance of your project start date
  • the remaining £5,000 of your grant request will be paid at the end of the project, on receipt and approval of a statement of expenditure (SOE)

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.