North East creative projects boosted

Newcastle University has recently received more than £271,000 funding from Arts Council England for the new project Creativity Works. The important project aims to help a much larger number of creative businesses to thrive in the North East.

Creativity Works, led by Newcastle University, is a pioneering idea which is set to do so as a part of the £3m Creative Fuse North East project which will launch in April and aim to explore how the Creative, Digital and IT (CDIT) sector in the North East can be developed in order to play a leading role in the region’s economy.

It will be placing creative practitioners in businesses in other sectors as a way to increase innovation, along developing more entrepreneurial graduates.

Professor Eric Cross, Dean of Cultural Affairs at Newcastle University and who is leading the project, said: “The creative and cultural sector is one of the only areas to have seen substantial growth since the recession, so it’s important that we are able to support it and use the universities’ knowledge, links and expertise to help these firms grow.”

The project, involving all five North East universities – Newcastle, Northumbria, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside – received this funding through the Creative Local Growth Fund which supports arts and cultural organizations which works with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and key strategic bodies to contribute to local economic growth and engage people in England in carrying out artistic work.

Professor Cross also said: “The Arts Council money will allow the university consortium to work with partners all over the region, including the NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, who are a named partner in the project, and with rural businesses.”

The investment is designed to lever more money in European funding so that the scheme can be extended even further for future projects and innovative ideas of the North East entrepreneurs.

Helen Golightly, the North East LEP’s Chief Operating Officer said: “The arts and creative sector is an important part of the North East economy, and it’s fantastic news that Newcastle University has been successful in its bid for support from the Creative Local Growth Fund.”

She was also happy to say that arts-based business’ will be enabled to win business and create more and better jobs which will be beneficial to already existing Newcastle and North East businesses as well as news enterprises that are being founded by Newcastle University students every day.

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