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DCMS Create Growth Programme

Fund Name

DCMS Create Growth Programme competition 2: investor partnership

Project Length

6-8 months

Project Value

£100k - £750k



Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to fund up to £6 million in innovation projects. This funding is from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme.

This is the second funding competition for this government programme.

The aim of the competition is to provide creative businesses with targeted support for innovations and access to investment to unlock their potential for growth.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Your project must have:

  • a clear route to market
  • a clear link to business growth
  • evidence that you can create a team to deliver your proposal

You must demonstrate that your project will:

  • have a significant market impact and support the growth plan of your business
  • be scalable
  • be able to start rapidly
  • demonstrate value for money
  • be attractive to other equity investors

Specific themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following sub-sectors:

  • advertising and marketing
  • architecture
  • crafts
  • design and designer fashion
  • film
  • television
  • video
  • radio
  • photography
  • IT, gaming, software and computer services
  • publishing
  • museums, galleries and libraries
  • music, performing and visual art

You can refer to the DCMS Economic Estimates for a list of the sub-sectors and their associated SIC codes, that DCMS classifies under the creative industries.

Innovate UK will NOT fund:

  • not working with an investor partner from the selected pool of investor partners
  • not carried out by SMEs
  • supporting business as usual (BAU) activities
  • currently in receipt of public funding for business growth outside of the DCMS Create Growth Programme or Innovate UK Creative Catalyst
  • collaborative R&D projects
  • not part of a company’s growth plan
  • unable to demonstrate there is potential for return on investment and growth
  • without evidence the proposed innovation will lead to business growth
  • not addressing how potentially negative outcomes will be considered, for example, on the environment
  • not able to deliver value for money
  • sitting outside of the creative industries
  • without innovation, for example, the creation of information-only websites


Your project must:

  • have total project costs between £100,000 and £750,000
  • start by 1 June 2024
  • end by 28 February 2025
  • last between 6 and 8 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • have an investor named on your application

To apply your organisation must:

  • be a UK-registered micro, small or medium-sized business (SME)
  • be registered or operational in one of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Create Growth Programme appointed regions
  • have a demonstrable ambition for growth
  • be from the creative industries and focused on one or more of the creative industries sub-sectors
  • have discussed and agreed to your proposal with your investor partner before submitting your application
  • as part of your agreement with your investor partner, be able to raise the aligned finance needed to draw down the award through the issue of new shares or convertible debt

The six regions in England appointed by the DCMS Create Growth Programme are:

  • Greater Manchester
  • the West of England with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire
  • Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire
  • Kent, Essex, East and West Sussex
  • the North East of England

The newly appointed DCMS Create Growth expansion regions are:

  • Nottingham City Council
  • Hull & East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • West Midlands Combined Authority (CA)
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority (CA)
  • West of England Combined Authority (CA)
  • Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
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