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DigitalCity Helps Creative Businesses Bag Grants

DigitalCity has helped six new businesses to secure vital funding to help with their development.

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Jeremiah Alexander of Babel Digital, one of the businesses receiving a grant.

Jeremiah Alexander of Babel Digital, one of the businesses receiving a grant.


The grants, worth thousands of pounds, have been awarded by Arts Council England, North East to support the businesses working in the creative industries. Arts Council England, North East is the only Arts Council office in the country to award such grants which aim to establish new creative businesses, create jobs and encourage business development across the region.

The successful companies receiving grants were:

  • Attention Design, a graphic design and print company (Middlesbrough)
  • Babel Digital, a serious games company developing educational tools (Middlesbrough)
  • Construct Photographic, a photography studio specialising in fashion (Middlesbrough)
  • Is-Design, a graphic design and print company (Middlesbrough)
  • Light Lab Visualisation, 3-Dimensional designers (Darlington)
  • Julie Wright Photography (Middlesbrough)

The majority of the businesses have taken part in DigitalCity’s mentoring programme and will use the funding to help with start-up costs, such as capital equipment, marketing and promotion and office improvements.

Applicants to the Cultural Business Venture scheme were assisted by DigitalCity when completing the in-depth application forms which required details such as a business plan, a cash flow forecast and evidence of having worked with a business advisor.

Scott Watson, Enterprise Co-ordinator for DigitalCity, said: ‘We’d like to thank Arts Council England, North East for their fantastic support. New businesses often struggle when it comes to investing in equipment and marketing themselves but the Cultural Business Venture grant enables these companies to do both. All of the successful businesses are investing in much-needed equipment which will help them compete on an even keel with more established competitors. The fact that this funding hasn’t been made available anywhere else in the country reflects the commitment from local agencies to support the growing creative industries in the region.

The Cultural Business Venture scheme has closed for applications with funding finishing at the end of March. Successful past applicants have included Scott Henshall, the well-known fashion designer, and Hartlepool-based Qurios Entertainment whose animation and designs are now reaching international markets.

Jonathan Martin, Creative Industries Development Officer for Arts Council England, North East said: ‘The Cultural Business Venture scheme has had a long, high quality history engaging with equally high quality support from DigitalCity. It has been a pleasure to assist so many successful creative businesses across the region. I wish all applicants the greatest success in the future.’

05 March 2008

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