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Funding available for creative, cultural and digital enterprises

Published Tuesday, 12th March 2019

Working desk with laptop, phone, notepad and coffee.

A new stream of business support and funding has been made available for small and medium-sized enterprises in the creative, cultural and digital sectors.

The South East Creative, Cultural and Digital Support (SECCADS) project – funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – offers enterprises support and guidance through both funding and business support.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is one of the local authority delivery partners involved in the project, along with Thurrock Council, Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Colchester Borough Council, Medway Council and University of Essex.

SECCADS will provide three main strands of business support; Cluster-it, Design-it and Grow-it. Each strand covers different areas of business growth.

Cluster-it – This strand looks to encourage cluster development across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) area and into key markets such as London by promoting collaborative working between businesses. Grants of £1,000 - £20,000 can be applied for to promote the idea of collaborative working and sharing best practise.

Design-it – This strand promotes the possibilities of business growth through high quality business design. This strand is targeted at start-up businesses and assists with processes such as business and website design.

Grow-it – This strand helps to accelerate growth of businesses in the SELEP area. This support can help improve HR, marketing, financing and sharing of best practise.

Cllr James Courtenay, cabinet member for growth, said: “Promoting and growing local businesses, both start-ups and established enterprises, is key to our ambition for the future of Southend and links in to our 2050 theme of opportunity and prosperity.

“Working collaboratively with the other local authorities involved in the project will enable us to not only improve local businesses, but also improve how we as a council look to support our local enterprises. This project is a fantastic opportunity to grow your business, so I urge anyone with an interest to get in touch.”

Applicants can apply for grants alone or as a consortium depending on the value of expenditures.  Grants must represent 35% of project costs. Grants could cover equipment and other costs such as consultancy, marketing, IT software, back office services, initial rent for new premises, salary costs towards a new role, and website development.

If you want to find out more, or to find out if you are eligible to apply for funding, please email or call Andy Pinkney 01375 652032.