Home Coronavirus £2.6m fund for North East creative freelancers and SMEs

£2.6m fund for North East creative freelancers and SMEs

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The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has teamed up with Creative England on a £2.6 million fund to help freelancers and SMEs working in the region’s creative and cultural sectors. The two-year programme aims to “stimulate culture and creativity” and nurture “a more resilient and sustainable future for the creative sector in a post-COVID-19 economy”.

The fund will be broken down into £500,000 in grants, £1.5 million in loans and £625,000 in equity finance. The programme will also provide advice, workshops and mentoring for creative SMEs and freelancers in the area who are looking to develop their business.

Organisations including Northumbria University, Newcastle University, the North-East Culture Partnership and Tyne & Wear Community Partnership will work alongside Creative England and NTCA on delivering the programme.

Creative England Founder and CEO Caroline Norbury MBE commented: “Prior to the pandemic the creative industries in the North East contributed over £1 billion to the economy and will be key to driving the region’s economic growth and productivity as it looks to rebuild.”

“But this isn’t just about the economy. The North of Tyne’s cultural sector and creative industries also play an important role, tackling some of the social challenges that prevent people from living full and happy lives, improving health and well-being and making the towns, cities and rural areas in the region better places to live in.”

Councillor Glen Sanderson, NTCA Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Rural, added: “After this incredibly challenging period for residents and businesses in the North of Tyne it is fantastic to see this investment in a crucial sector of our economy.”

“This innovative partnership with Creative England will set the cultural and creative industries on a firm footing to grow out of the current crisis. I encourage all within the sector, particularly smaller businesses, organisations and freelancers to apply.”

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