Funding. Place Projects - 24 February 2016

£500,000 grant for D2N2 area creative industries business support scheme

A £500,000 grant aimed at supporting creative and digital businesses across the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area has been announced by Arts Council England (ACE).

The Creative Quarter Company in Nottingham will lead a consortium of creative and cultural organisations on ‘The Big House’ programme, aimed at supporting more than 200 local businesses and 90 new ventures. The consortium also includes the New Art Exchange, The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Trent University in Nottinghamshire; and Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre and the University of Derby in Derbyshire.

Creative and digital industries (CDI) is one of the eight key economic sectors which the D2N2 LEP promotes, through its D2N2’s Creative and Digital Industries Sector and Skills Advisory Group – which is Chaired by Kathy McArdle, Chief Executive of the Creative Quarter Company. The Company organises and manages a range of cultural events, including the ENTER Festival (pictured).

The D2N2 LEP is a private sector-led partnership which includes representatives from business, local authorities, skills and training provider, community and voluntary organisations, and others; which promotes economic growth and creates jobs across its area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Commenting on today’s ACE funding announcement, D2N2 LEP Chief Executive David Ralph said: “This is terrific news and well-deserved by the Creative Quarter company and its consortium partners.

“Creative Quarter’s excellence, as a champion of the D2N2 area’s key creative and digital industries sector, was also recently recognised by winning the ‘Improving the Business Environment’ category of the 2015 European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

“In providing creative start-ups with tailored business support the new ‘Big House’ project, to be run by a consortium of creative and cultural organisations, is set to add significantly to this sector’s growth and that of the wider D2N2 LEP economy.”

The £500,000 comes from the Arts Council’s Creative Local Growth Fund, which aims to support arts and cultural organisations working with Local Enterprise Partnerships to contribute to local economic growth.

The Big House will offer D2N2 area creative businesses support through a tailored programme of business planning, marketing, finance, and digital and technical support.

Craig Chettle, Chairman of the Creative Quarter, said: “The Big House will support local creative and digital businesses of all sizes, which in turn will make a huge difference to creative and cultural life in the region.

“The programme will help create jobs, launch new start-ups, help businesses grow and thrive and develop exciting new creative and cultural projects for local people.”

Peter Knott, Area Director at Arts Council England, said: “This new investment will put creativity at the heart of local plans to drive future growth and fuel the Midlands Engine.”

The consortium was one of nine organisations in England to be awarded ACE funding in this latest round.

It is the third major Arts Council England funding announcement to be made this month (February), which has benefited the D2N2 LEP area.

Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall successfully secured £1.5milion towards its £3.3m Royal Transformation Project. Nottingham City Council has already confirmed it will provide the remaining £1.8m for the ambitious programme of building and development works, aimed at ensure a sustainable future for the venues by increasing their daytime use. The plan is to create improved spaces such as meeting rooms, foyer spaces, bars, roof terraces and outdoor performance areas; as well as modernising backstage and dressing room zones.

Derby Theatre is to receive £484,894, for essential upgrades to its heating systems, to make the building more energy efficient. This investment will help reduce long-term costs, minimise the building’s impact on the local environment, and make the Theatre more comfortable for audiences, actors and staff

Media wanting further information about the work of the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email:

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