June 2016

Launch event for creative industry businesses a big success

On Thursday 7th April the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries hosted the launch of the Creative Network South and Creative United business advice and access to finance service. Nearly 80 individuals attended the evening which saw presentations from the University of Portsmouth, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, New Theatre Royal and Creative United. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of a new initiative aimed at providing access to business mentoring and finance for creative industry companies which are based in the Solent region. The evening opened with a welcome from Peter Hooley, Project Director of Innovation Space, who spoke about the University’s commitment to supporting its students, graduates and the local community, in helping promote start‑ups and small businesses with the intention of strengthening the regional economy. Stewart Dunn, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, championed the Solent as one of the fastest growing regions for creative industry businesses and talked about how its location near to London and mainland Europe can be part of its strength in developing the area for success in the creative economy. The evening then saw Laura Doye, Producer for the Creative Lab at New Theatre Royal, demonstrate the success of creative industries meeting commercial businesses to form new and exciting projects. The audience saw a video where a local ‘hoofer’ or tap dancer, worked to promote the launch of a new car range, helping emphasise her point of the opportunities for the two groups to collaborate. The final presentation of the evening was delivered by Sarah Thirtle, Head of Business Lending Programmes at Creative United, who talked through the initiative and how local creative businesses can access the support available. The programme aims to increase access to finance and improve the business skills and commercial acumen of participants to help develop successful and sustainable businesses. Following the presentations, attendees were able to talk with business advisors from Creative United, network with local businesses and arts organisations, and take part in tours of the facilities that students are able to use during their studies. To find out more about the business advice and access to finance available, you can view the Creative United www.creativeunited.org.uk and the Creative Industry Finance www.creativeindustryfinance.org.uk websites.