New £35m creative industries fund launched
It is hoped the fund (CGF II) will provide the investment needed to meet the targets set out in the UK government and Creative Industries Council’s recently-published Sector Vision.
The first Creative Growth Finance fund launched in 2019 and has since invested over £17m into more than 30 creative businesses located across the UK and operating within sectors including film & TV, VP, narrative-based video games, advertising and software.
As of August 2023, the existing CGF fund portfolio has experienced an 108% improvement of average monthly revenues, a 39% headcount growth average with more than 225 jobs created, and nearly £19m raised in further third-party funding.
CGF II will become the largest single fund to be delivered by Creative UK, following its investment of more than £50m into the UK’s creative industries over the past decade.
Caroline Norbury, chief executive, Creative UK, said: “Over the past decade the UK’s Creative Industries have grown more than 1.5 times the rate of the wider economy, currently generating £108bn in economic value and employing 2.3m people. However, this country’s talented creative businesses are experiencing a significant gap between their immense growth potential and access to the vital capital they need to succeed.”
Visual Effects studio Moonraker VFX has worked with many high-profile companies including the BBC, Apple TV+, Netflix and Disney+. Needing funding to support ambitions of creating its own IP – an immersive film to tell the story of future Moon landing missions and the permanent base being created there – Moonraker successfully applied for loans worth £700,000 through the Creative Growth Finance fund and released their film, Moonbase: The Next Step in December 2022.
MD and co-founder of Moonraker VFX, Jon Grafton, commented: “We wanted to partner with an organisation that understood the Creative Industries. A high street bank is unlikely to appreciate the film-making and creative process, whereas working with Creative UK, it’s obviously an area they know incredibly well. They understand the model of what we were doing and it feels so much better to work with a party who really get what’s going on behind the scenes.”
Leeds-based production company Sticks & Glass provides post-production space, offering filming and production services for clients such as BBC Sport, CBS, IMG and Channel 4. Investment obtained through Creative Growth Finance has been used to build out the Leeds facility, enabling founders Adam Bennett and Verdy Oliver to boost their repertoire and improve their offering to clients.
Bennett remarked: “Before Creative Growth Finance’s investment, we only had one employee and now there are seven of us. We had the finance approved which drove the expansion and the expansion allowed the headcount. We’ve also seen our turnover double and continue to hit all our numbers.
"Since we started working with Creative UK we have had a wonderful ally on our board in Nick Cavander (Creative UK Investment Manager) who really helps us scrutinise the numbers, and offers an alternative voice looking at the business from a different angle.”
Pinocchio image from Disney via Creative UK.
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