New Open Call to Boost Growth of Region’s Culture Sector

Business & Invest | Published on: 26th October 2022

Businesses, individuals and organisations in the region’s cultural industries sector can now apply for investment to help deliver projects aimed at creating jobs, growing the economy and developing clusters of talent.

Investments of between £1,000 and £350,000 are being offered as part of the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s £20.5million Growth Programme for the Creative and Visitor Economies to support companies, freelancers and consortia realise their schemes.

The call is open to everyone working in the cultural industries in the region, with priority being given to the visual arts and music sectors. Between £1,000 and £10,000 is being offered to projects at an early stage of development to test and research ideas. From £10,000 to £150,000 is on offer to bring projects to market, while existing schemes, programmes or businesses looking to scale up could benefit from investment up to £350,000.

This will back programmes that look to foster innovation and collaboration; develop, attract and retain skills and talent; grow diversity; strengthen business models; improve environmental impacts and unlock further inward investment.

Previous businesses helped by similar initiatives as part of the £20.5million fund include technical event services firm Artistic Solutions. As live events were cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic, funding helped the firm branch out into livestreaming and live ticketing business called V-Venue, growing its client base and fostering new relationships in the process.

Jo Brobbel, Director at Artistic Solutions said: “Without the funding we would have not been able to realise the full potential of our project. We are so grateful to have this unique service made available to us.

“The amount of communication and follow-ups with the various staff have really been very valuable and as a business we feel that the Combined Authority is accessible and ready to help with any questions or assistance we may need in the future. Thank you from everyone at Artistic.”

Cllr Shane Moore, Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Culture and Tourism, said: “This latest investment will help grow our culture sector, making it more resilient and driving brilliant schemes to make our region an even better place to live and visit. The programme will also help deliver jobs and boost tourism, getting more people spending here.

“As well as financial support, we want to work even more closely with our successful creators to give them a whole host of help, putting them in contact with a wide range of industry and business support, linking them with other creatives to forge new relationships and opportunities. I’d urge anyone who thinks their project will help meet our goals to apply.”

Annabel Turpin, ARC’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director and co-chair of the Combined Authority’s Creative Place Advisory Group, said: “We have fantastic cultural professionals and businesses in the Tees Valley that are capable of amazing things with the right support, and this will get projects off the ground, into the marketplace and help businesses go further.

“We’ve already seen that our support throughout the pandemic has helped spur companies and individuals on to bigger and better things, and now we’re casting the net wider. We want to help them deliver hives of activity, collaborate and grow together so our cultural industries continue to thrive.”

The deadline for the first tranche of applications is noon on 28 November 2022, with the second at noon on 17 February 2023. For more information, visit

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