Creative Scale Up Programme


Creative Scale Up is a two-year pilot programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It aims to help creative businesses in the West of England access finance through an intensive sustainable growth support programme.

Creative businesses that demonstrate a genuine ambition to grow, innovate and strengthen the local economy are eligible to apply. You can register your interest and apply by contacting CreativeScaleUp@westofengland-ca.gov.uk.

The next application deadline is 31 July 2020 and there is no financial cost for taking part in the programme.

Covid-19 update

We understand the creative sector needs support now more than ever, so we have changed our focus and delivery of the programme to ensure our offer remains meaningful and relevant during crisis times and it is still easily accessible.

Programme delivery has moved online, and mentoring sessions and participation in the Peer Support Network is taking place via telephone and video-conferencing.

The themes for peer support discussion and the training have been developed with scaling businesses in mind and include leadership, business strategy, access to finance, innovation, and communication.  However, we appreciate the need to now frame these topics around survival and resilience.

We also now welcome applications from businesses who do not meet all the eligibility criteria. If you think you will benefit from what the programme offers, please apply.

About the programme

Creative Scale Up mobilises regional and national investors and educates and encourages them to invest in our hot-bed of creative businesses. The programme runs until March 2021, and each business on the programme will be part of a cohort receiving a minimum of six months intensive business support.

Businesses will receive an individually tailored package of support, including:

  • A £6,000 grant to spend on mentoring support;
  • A dedicated Peer Support Network facilitated by Gill Wildman (Watershed Business Development Advisor) and Mark Leaver (DIT Creative Industries Advisor);
  • Business development training;
  • The opportunity to pitch for a grant of up to £2,000 to spend on business development activity.
  • Continued engagement with investors until the programme ends in 2021.

Watch our video to find out how Creative Scale Up has benefitted local businesses.

 The Arcadia spider at a performance in Queens Square, Bristol

Credit: Arcadia in Queen Square Bristol

Eligibility criteria

To apply for the programme, your business needs to:

  • Have a minimum of 8 employees, up to 4 of whom can be regular freelance staff
  • Have scaled by 10% in the last year (turnover or employees)
  • Have the ambition to grow by at least 20% over the next 3 years
  • Be a Creative Industries business
  • Have not received more than £200,000 in government funded business support in the last 2 years
  • Be based in the West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire)
  • Agree to participate in the activities and workshops of the programme

Creative Industries businesses are defined as those working in the following sectors:

  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Architecture
  • Arts & Culture
  • Craft
  • Createch (tech that is immersive or enables creativity, for example music software)
  • Design
  • Fashion
  • Gaming
  • Music
  • Publishing
  • TV and Film


To express an interest in applying for the programme or to request further information, please contact: CreativeScaleUp@westofengland-ca.gov.uk

We also welcome applications from companies who do not fit 100% of the criteria but who demonstrate a strong case for growth.

Recommended for you

To view recommended service

Log in