Ideate Plymouth – A journey into immersive as part of the iMayflower programme

Back to top

iMayflower launched at the end of 2019 as an exemplar project for Plymouth’s Creative Industries following a successful bid into the DCMS’ Cultural Delivery Fund by Plymouth County Council. The project partners included Plymouth County Council, Real Ideas Organisation, University of Plymouth, Arts University Plymouth, Crowdfunder, Destination Plymouth and Creative UK.

Creative UK looked to provide business support to at least 20 companies working with immersive technology in Plymouth through bespoke mentoring programmes and events. Creative UK also undertook complementary activity as part of the partnership by helping to establish a Plymouth Film Office through its filming in England team, hosted crew nights both online and in person to support the local talent that work across film and tv, created a locations promo video to showcase Plymouth as a versatile location for High end Film and TV work, which culminated in exhibiting at the annual FOCUS industry event in London in 2021 as well as laying the ground work for Film Plymouth to run its own feasibility study into future film and TV infrastructure in the city.  

When Ideate Plymouth was launched no one had any idea what was coming just around the corner. A pandemic, the aftereffects of the UK’s departure from Europe, a global supply shortage and a war in Europe. During the last three years it has been incredibly hard to continue a business let alone start one from scratch and create products using a fast evolving, technological tool.  Making products that use immersive technology requires big ideas, a willingness to flex with the changing technology, a lot of testing and patience. To underpin a new product of this type with a new business as many of our companies were doing is an especially intensive endeavour.  

Like the Mayflower, Creative UK has been on a real journey with the Ideate companies, with products and business spanning sectors from health to heritage and culture, games, education and science. Their tenacity and ambition to create their products despite the turbulence of the last three years has been inspiring to say the least.  

Now the programme has ended, Creative UK is working with Plymouth City council to continue to support the Ideate Businesses. Nina Sarlaka, Inward Investment and Enterprise Manager, Economic Development, Plymouth City Council: 

“Plymouth City Council and Creative UK are working together to ensure the business journey continues for the companies we have worked with over the last few years. Creative UK will be offering all companies on the iMayflower Ideate programme free access to Creative UK’s Elevate national membership scheme for 12 months. This membership expressly designed to support SME’s and freelancers in the creative industries. Creative UK also offers a national Creative Enterprise programme which offers grants and business support which Ideate Companies will be signposted to.

 To complement this activity, the Plymouth City Council Economic Development team will be on hand to offer them our expertise and support as they grow. The Economic Development Team have a number of resources available to these companies including a wide-reaching newsletter, property search service, downloadable business guides, news updates and community boards. This combined activity aims to provide a hyper local support network that will lead to Ideate companies scaling their businesses and products to a national level. We are extremely proud of the iMayflower programme, and our ambition now with Creative UK and the project partners is to create a legacy of strong local innovation and business with national and international reach and impact.” 

We are really proud of what these companies and iMayflower has achieved, so we thought we would share a snapshot of Ideate Plymouth in Numbers: 

  • Creative UK worked with 22 companies across Plymouth working with immersive technology.  
  • Dispersed £34k worth of grants to 7 companies 
  • Ideate Plymouth companies secured over £145k’s worth of grant, client and investment funding during this period.  
  • Over 200 hours of bespoke mentoring provided to Plymouth Companies 

We hope you have a watch and read of some of the case studies around the Ideate programme; from helping Film Plymouth establish a crew database for the city, to our Immersive futures event which was held at the end of the iMayflower programme at Market Hall we have built strong and lasting partnerships in one of the most forward looking and exciting cities in the UK.  

Read more about the programme here.

Related stories