Recovery support for the creative sector

We’re providing increased support to our region’s creative businesses to help you respond and adapt as the world changes rapidly and provide you with the resilience to navigate uncertainty and get set for future success. 

Browse through the funds and support programmes available for the creative sector. 

Culture and Creative recovery funds

In response to the significant impact the pandemic has had on businesses and individuals working in the creative industries, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is launching a new business support programme and grant fund for the cultural and creative sectors, as part of its Regional Recovery Plan.  

Creative Business Grants - closed for applications

The business grants fund creative projects that support recovery and resilience, employ freelance creatives, engage local communities and advance diversity and inclusion.  


Grants range from £5,000 to £10,000.


Creative Freelance Grants - closed for applications

The grant fund gives creative freelancers the opportunity to become more resilient by delivering a project over a time period of up to 6 months that will develop their own creative product, practice or service, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Grants range from £1,000 - £3,000.

Cultural and Creative business support programme

The Cultural and Creative Business Support Programme is a sector specific business support programme designed to build resilience and support change in response to Covid-19, through support for individuals and management teams to reformulate operating and financial models and business plans.

Creative Scale Up programme

Creative Scale Up is a 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 Scale Up engages regional and national investors and educates and encourages them to invest in our hot-bed of creative businesses. The programme runs until 2022, and each business on the programme will be part of a cohort receiving a minimum of six months intensive business support.

Companies will benefit from industry expert mentoring, grants to enable resilience and growth, plus peer-to-peer networking, workshops and investor pitching guidance.

Since its launch in January 2020, Creative Scale Up has supported over 60 businesses. Participants on previous cohorts include: Luke Jerram; Limina; Complete Control; Noiser; Cirque Bijou; Open Bionics; Upfest; Team Love and Blak Wave.

To find out more about previous cohorts you can watch the cohort launch videos below:

Cohort 1Cohort 2Cohort 3.

Am I eligible for Creative Scale Up?

Creative businesses that demonstrate a genuine ambition to grow, innovate and strengthen the local economy are eligible to apply.

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.

What sector do I have to be in?

Infographic showing creative sectors

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.

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

Audience at Creative Scale Up launch Jan 2020

How do I apply?

Applications for the next cohort will open later in 2021. 

If you wish to be notified when the applications open, please complete this Expression of Interest form.

If you have any queries please e-mail CreativeScaleUp@WestofEngland-ca.gov.uk

If you are unable to contact us via email please call our Growth Hub team on 0117 456 6955.


The Creative Scale Up programme is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.