South East Create Growth Programme

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Following a competitive process, the South East has secured one of only six awards to regional partnerships across the UK to deliver the Create Growth Programme.


What is the Create Growth Programme?

In 2020, the UK’s Creative Industries contributed c£95 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy and employed more than 2.3 million people. The Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) recognise the benefit of sector specialist business support and, with foundations in the Industrial Strategy, has launched the Create Growth Programme.

A key aim of the Create Growth Programme is to support creative businesses to explore and secure commercial investment opportunities. To this end each of the selected regions will have a Programme of activity that will enable businesses to be ready for investment and facilitate access to additional funding from Innovate UK and commercial investors in 2023 and beyond.  



Creative UK will be working with partners in the South East to launch a programme in January 2023 that is tailored to the region’s creative sub sectors. For more information, news and announcements please sign up to the South East newsletter by sending an e-mail to


Innovate UK Funding Competition

As part of the Create Growth Programme, Innovate UK have launched a brand new funding opportunity for businesses in the Creative Industries in six English regions. Business can apply for £10-30k each for innovation projects. The South East, (Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex), is one of the selected regions.  

The aim of this first Innovate UK competition is designed to help creative businesses explore new game-changing innovation projects as a stimulus for growth.  

Proposals must:  

  • be from the creative industries 
  • be from 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 

Application deadline 8th February 2023 at 11am.  More information and how to apply will be released on 28th November 2022 and this page will be updated. 

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email or call 0300 321 4357 (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm).


Who is delivering the South East Create Growth Programme?

The programme delivery will be sector led.  The programme is being managed by a Consortium on behalf of the South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN) which is a Sector led network and a sub-group of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP)

  • Kent County Council (Lead Partner)
  • South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) – coordinating Growth Hubs in Essex, Kent and Medway and East Sussex. 
  • Screen South (Delivery Partner)
  • Wired Sussex (Delivery Partner)
  • Creative UK (Delivery Partner)
  • Creative Estuary / University of Kent Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (ICCI) 
  • Angels@Essex / University of Essex Innovation Centre Knowledge Gateway
  • West Sussex County Council 
  • Brighton and Hove City Council 
  • East Sussex County Council 
  • Essex County Council 
  • Medway Council 
  • Basildon Council 



The project is currently being set up and due to launch in January 2023, if you would like to register your interest please contact: and we will get back to you as soon as possible