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Funding body Creative England has launched a £1m (US$1.57m) national business development fund to aid digital businesses in the English regions.
It will typically support companies looking to develop new cross-platform applications or content related to new applications for the above markets. Proposals such as a mobile healthcare application, the development of a new game for tablet or mobile, or e-government content linked to a new service delivery model, may all be eligible for funding.
Jim Farmery, Creative England’s Director of Business Development, said:
“By launching this programme I hope we can stimulate the development of some really interesting content and applications and support projects that otherwise would have struggled to get off the ground”.
The fund, will be for small to medium-sized companies looking to develop new software, applications and content for the following markets:
Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and we want to encourage more people to discover their entrepreneurial spirit and exploit new opportunities. This scheme, which has benefitted from the Regional Growth Fund is the right kind of support to help creative and digital businesses get off the ground and develop new and exciting content.
“Whether it’s creating jobs or boosting manufacturing capability, the regional growth fund shows the difference that Government and the private sector can make when working together. It is real projects like these which will unlock private sector investment to boost local economic growth and rebalance the economy.”
Creative England will make the funding available via interest free loans of between £50,000 and £100,000 per application, which will be matched 50/50 with the company sharing the development costs.
The Business Development Fund is designed to support companies who have innovative new ideas for content development backed with commercial exploitation opportunities. It will be open to SMEs outside London, with priority given to companies based in the North, West Midlands and South West, which relates to the Regional Growth Fund objective to prioritise support for areas that have been overly dependent on public sector employment.
This is the first element of the £5m award from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to Creative England inApril 2012. This private sector-led scheme aims to provide development funding and market expertise to small creative and digital businesses working in cross-platform content and services.
Creative England is to offer increasingly specialist support to games, digital and creative services, making the organisation the first joined up, dedicated support agency for the creative industries outside London.
The deadline for Registrations of Interest is Friday the 31st August.