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New Ideas Fund

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*** Applications for a new round of New Ideas Fund are now open.***

The New Ideas Fund is part of Creative Enterprise*, developed and delivered by Creative England.

The programme’s aims are to support growth of screen sector in England. The New Ideas Fund is a programme of small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image for storytelling.   

The New Ideas Fund is a bespoke Research and Innovation fund offering small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image industries with storytelling at the heart of their work. The fund will enable entrepreneurs to build upon their creative and commercial ideas, creating opportunity for business growth. Grants of between £1,000 and £20,000 are available to support the development of new and innovative ideas that have the potential to impact your entrepreneurial journey and grow your business.

If you are applying for £10,000-£20,000 you must be a registered limited company, have a clear vision for your business and have a business proposal that includes storytelling through creative content/moving image as a significant component. 

The New Ideas Fund is only available to businesses based in the English regions outside of London (any address based inside the M25). If you are based in London or any of the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), your application will be automatically declined.

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New Ideas Fund Recipients

 

The kind of impact of the first grant [Creative Enterprise] gave me, that was the New Ideas Fund, was basically building the entire business. The grant I got was for a motion capture suit. From there, I scaled up and now I’m at the point where I needed a new infusion of capital, basically to grow it beyond just motion capture into full digitisation.

The experience I’ve had with Creative Enterprise has been very open. I’ve been able to discuss about where I’m heading, they have input into into what I’m doing, giving me the opportunity to test a business idea risk free to buy the assets, the hardware I need for a 3D scanner. I have the freedom basically to be able to take the business in the direction that I want to with their support as well.

Ryan Garry, Unlimited Motion Ltd

 

What the funding has enabled us to do is scale up by giving us our start, we built our minimum viable product with Creative Enterprise’s funding. And that’s essentially the bread and butter of our business. So it’s given us the start that we required to scale up.

Surya Varatharajan, Yosanie 

Who is it for? 

Screen based storytelling entrepreneurs and businesses in the English regions outside of London. This includes film, television, animation, games, immersive and services and technology that supports these industries. 

The New Ideas Fund is only available to businesses based in the English regions outside of London (any address based inside the M25). If you are based in London or any of the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), your application will be automatically declined.

Eligibility

When evaluating applications, there are 4 areas that you need to consider: 

  • Regionality 
    What are you and/or your company bringing to your regional economy? This could be generating revenue for your company, creating jobs or long term value in the English regions outside of London, recruiting locally or other similar ways to add value. Will having this idea funded add to that value? 
  • Screen-based narrative storytelling 
    Is what you and/or your company making moving image or is it used for the creation of moving-image media? Can it be consumed using a screen-enabled device? Does it create or tell a story? Additionally, we are not currently looking to fund ideas that focus on education, tourism or heritage, even if there is a story attached to it. For example, we could fund a prototype of a new game based in 16th century Italy, but can’t fund a virtual tour of a monastery, due to the lack of narrative storytelling in the latter. This is also why we can’t fund audio-only projects unless you highlight how your idea will help further screen-based narrative storytelling
  • For-profit
    The Creative Enterprise is to help creative innovators grow sustainable businesses. We want you, in time, to be able to sustain yourself and a team of creators. As such, we are looking to fund ideas that will increase your ability to turn a profit and expand your capabilities. This is why we are not currently funding applications from charities, CICs and other not-for-profit entities, unless you are looking to use the idea to develop a for-profit arm of the company and can explain how it fits within your business model. 
  • For consumers (B2C) 
    We are looking to fund companies that create easy-to-access content for public consumption, or companies that create technology or offer services for companies that do. That is why we can’t fund advertising or marketing-specific companies. Additionally, we can’t fund overheads such as marketing campaigns. 

 

You are ineligible to apply if you work in corporate video or advertising (B2B), e-learning or training unless you want to start a screen- based B2C-focused storytelling arm for public consumption. You are ineligible to apply if you are a charity, non-profit or CIC unless you want to set up a for-profit arm relevant to the screen-based industries .

 

All beneficiaries must: 

  • Be based in the English regions outside of London. 
  • Have relevant experience in the content production and/or screen industry. 
  • Be working in moving image for storytelling or have clear intentions to develop a business in this sector. By our definition of storytelling for moving image, we include Film, TV, Games, Animation and Immersive content where a narrative and a means to entertain on screen is present. 
  • Have ambitions for career development and company growth. 

In addition, if you are applying for £10,000 – £20,000 you must: 

  • Be a registered limited company 
  • Have a clear vision for your business. 
  • Have a business proposal that includes storytelling through creative content/ moving image as a significant component. 

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What can I use the money for?

We are looking for creative and commercial ideas that could unlock
opportunities for your career to reach the next level or could increase your company’s growth prospects. This could be your chance to try something new, experiment with new technology or collaborate. 

The fund cannot be used to fund content creation nor to develop a slate. The New Ideas Fund intends to support ideas that may lead to commercial or creative growth in their sector. If you are looking for development or production funding, check out the BFI’s latest opportunities here.  

If you’re applying for a higher amount, we need a detailed budget and explanation of how this fits into your business plan and vision for growth. Ideally we would like to see in-kind or match funding, for example by offsetting staff or facilities time. 

You can also apply for funding to work with a consultant on a 3-year plan (e.g. marketing, IP exploitation, business plan etc.)  with a Business Planning Grant. 

 

How do I apply?

You can apply by filling in the online application form. 

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Apply as a Sole Trader

Apply as a Registered Business

If you have any questions about the application process, contact us at creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk

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Your request for support should reflect the nature of your idea, your ambitions for its development and the impact that our support may have on your potential career/ company growth.  

In addition to the above, for applications of £10,000- £20,000; we will typically consider the track record of your business and its management, the feasibility of your future growth plans, and the impact that our support will have on each individual company’s potential for sustainability and growth. 

 

Applications will be accepted until Friday 20 January 2023 at midday. Applicants will receive an outcome sometimes in March, with funds to be delivered 14 working days after the funding agreement has been signed. Please note the Creative England team may be in touch to request further supporting material where necessary for assessment. Due to the volume of applications, we regret that feedback on unsuccessful projects cannot be provided. 

 

Application scoring 

The strength of the following areas will be considered when assessing your application: 

  • Innovative & disruptive thinking  
  • Potential impact on the growth of your career/ business 
  • Storytelling for screen element of your business 
  • Project viability re budget and timescale 
  • Value for money 
  • Quality of the team involved 
  • Regionality  

Awards of support will be made solely at the discretion of Creative England, whose decision is final. Creative England reserves the right to withdraw the grant support offer without notice, at any time. 

 

What types of ideas are we looking for? 

We are looking for creative and commercial ideas that could unlock opportunities for your career to reach the next level or could increase your company growth prospects. This could be your chance to try something new, experiment with new technology or collaborate. 

Some examples (please note that this list is by no means exhaustive) 

  • Developing/ prototyping new tech for storytelling 
  • Researching new business areas  
  • Seed funding for company infrastructure  
  • Developing new applications  
  • Building new storytelling platforms  
  • Testing new markets  
  • Developing new tools for immersive storytelling  
  • Enabling collaboration  
  • New routes to market  
  • New routes for distribution  
  • Engaging new audiences  
  • Experimenting with new formats of content creation 

We are looking for innovative ideas that allow you to experiment and possibly diversify your business. Ideas that have the potential to grow your company or forge your career in the industry. Please note the fund cannot invest in content creation (short film production, slate funding, feature development). If you are unsure, please contact us prior to application. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is New Ideas Fund?

The New Ideas Fund, is part of the Creative Enterprise Programme, developed and delivered by Creative England. The programme’s aims are to support the growth of the screen sector in the English regions outside of London England. The New Ideas fund is a programme of small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image for storytelling.

A bespoke fund offering small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image industries. The fund will enable entrepreneurs to build upon their creative and commercial ideas, creating opportunity for business growth. Grants of between £1000 and £25,000 are available to support the development of new and innovative ideas that have the potential to impact your entrepreneurial journey and grow your business.

What is Creative England?

At Creative England, we believe that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. That’s why we build programmes that create opportunities for talent people and there their companies to access the best support and reach the next stage in their creative entrepreneurial journey. Creative England is working to build the right environment for the future of the creative industries by helping creative businesses raise their ambition, create jobs, grow turnover and build the confidence and networks they need to be truly innovative. We invest, connect, mentor, advocate and collaborate at all levels of the industry, from individuals and small independents to large internationals, creating the right conditions for success.

What is Creative Enterprise?

n partnership with the BFI, Creative Enterprise was developed three years ago to grow screen businesses in the English regions. Through intensive programmes and bespoke workshops led by industry leaders and mentors, Creative Enterprise provides expertise and training to futureproof the next generation of moving image companies. By bringing together companies who work in moving image for storytelling, we build meaningful connections and create opportunities for business growth. The programme set out to support moving image entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new business models, products and services.

The New Ideas Fund, is part of the Creative Enterprise Programme, developed and delivered by Creative England. The programme’s aims are to support the growth of the screen sector in the English regions outside of London England. The New Ideas fund is a programme of small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image for storytelling.

A bespoke fund offering small grants for creative entrepreneurs and companies working in moving image industries. The fund will enable entrepreneurs to build upon their creative and commercial ideas, creating opportunity for business growth. Grants of between £1000 and £25,000 are available to support the development of new and innovative ideas that have the potential to impact your entrepreneurial journey and grow your business.

At Creative England, we believe that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. That’s why we build programmes that create opportunities for talent people and there their companies to access the best support and reach the next stage in their creative entrepreneurial journey. Creative England is working to build the right environment for the future of the creative industries by helping creative businesses raise their ambition, create jobs, grow turnover and build the confidence and networks they need to be truly innovative. We invest, connect, mentor, advocate and collaborate at all levels of the industry, from individuals and small independents to large internationals, creating the right conditions for success.

n partnership with the BFI, Creative Enterprise was developed three years ago to grow screen businesses in the English regions. Through intensive programmes and bespoke workshops led by industry leaders and mentors, Creative Enterprise provides expertise and training to futureproof the next generation of moving image companies. By bringing together companies who work in moving image for storytelling, we build meaningful connections and create opportunities for business growth. The programme set out to support moving image entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new business models, products and services.

Who is the New Ideas Fund for?

The programme will support individuals and companies working in ‘moving image’ for storytelling. We are looking for Creative Entrepreneurs trading in the English regions outside of London who have an idea that could greatly benefit their career, their business or the moving image landscape

Do I have to be registered as company or sole trader to apply?

Only if you are applying for over £10,000, and then you must be:

1) a registered sole trader with a UTR number; or

2) a Limited Company registered on Companies House.

What do you mean by ‘moving image for storytelling’?

We are talking about businesses who in one shape of form are involved with on -screen content that tells a story in order to entertain an audience. This includes those working in film,TV, animation, games or immersive media, tech platforms with a narrative focus; and where the content is consumed on screen. Here, the content’s primary aim must be for entertainment rather than advertising, education etc. We will also consider applications from innovators who are creating new technology that will enable content creators to tell their stories and reach their audiences.

The programme will support individuals and companies working in ‘moving image’ for storytelling. We are looking for Creative Entrepreneurs trading in the English regions outside of London who have an idea that could greatly benefit their career, their business or the moving image landscape

Only if you are applying for over £10,000, and then you must be:

1) a registered sole trader with a UTR number; or

2) a Limited Company registered on Companies House.

We are talking about businesses who in one shape of form are involved with on -screen content that tells a story in order to entertain an audience. This includes those working in film,TV, animation, games or immersive media, tech platforms with a narrative focus; and where the content is consumed on screen. Here, the content’s primary aim must be for entertainment rather than advertising, education etc. We will also consider applications from innovators who are creating new technology that will enable content creators to tell their stories and reach their audiences.

My company is based in London but I live in the English regions outside of London, can I apply?

Creative Enterprise cannot support London based companies. Companies and individuals must be based and trading outside of London in the English regions to apply.

I run a social enterprise/ charity/ CIC/ not for profit company, can I apply?

We regret that if your company is a charity, non-profit, social enterprise or CIC you are not eligible to apply unless you are operating a profit trading arm in the screen based industries, this will then be considered at the discretion of Creative England following a preliminary discussion with the company.

Creative Enterprise cannot support London based companies. Companies and individuals must be based and trading outside of London in the English regions to apply.

We regret that if your company is a charity, non-profit, social enterprise or CIC you are not eligible to apply unless you are operating a profit trading arm in the screen based industries, this will then be considered at the discretion of Creative England following a preliminary discussion with the company.

Yes. However, your application must include moving image for storytelling as a significant component.

I currently only work on short films, not feature films. Can I still apply?

Absolutely. You can apply if you have some content experience, meet the eligibility criteria and have an ambition to grow and develop your career.

I’ve only ever made content as a hobby, but think I’ve got a great idea that could bring a new dimension to storytelling, can I apply?

Definitely, we want to hear your idea! If you meet the eligibility criteria and are wanting to explore your potential and test your innovation then get in touch.

creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk

Absolutely. You can apply if you have some content experience, meet the eligibility criteria and have an ambition to grow and develop your career.

Definitely, we want to hear your idea! If you meet the eligibility criteria and are wanting to explore your potential and test your innovation then get in touch.

creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk

Definitely, we want to hear your idea! If you meet the eligibility criteria and are wanting to explore your potential and test your innovation then get in touch.

creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk

Should you have any access or communication requirements relating to our applications and guidance, then please contact the team at creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk or 0333 023 5240.

*Creative Enterprise

In partnership with the BFI, Creative Enterprise was developed three years ago to grow screen businesses in the English regions. Through intensive programmes and bespoke workshops led by industry leaders and mentors, Creative Enterprise provides expertise and training to futureproof the next generation of moving image companies. By bringing together companies who work in moving image for storytelling, we build meaningful connections and create opportunities for business growth. The programme set out to support moving image entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new business models, products and services.