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Creative England
Business

Equity Investment Programme

Creative England’s Equity Investment Programme is supporting creative digital companies to finance business growth. The investments are ideal for those businesses currently in a round of financing or funding.

Please see further down this page for full details and FAQ's. For any additional questions, please contact Project Manager Tim Evans.

The Equity Investment Programme is supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

Eligibility

Digital SMEs based in England, outside of Greater London will be able to apply for equity investment of up to £250k.

For more details on eligibility and whether or not we might consider you as a recipient of a Business Loan, please read the most recent fund Guidelines and FAQs which can be found below.

Application

To apply, please complete our online application form.  You will be asked to complete an Eligibility Questionnaire and an Expression of Interest in the first instance.

Please ensure that you have read the fund guidlines and FAQs before submitting your application. These can be found in the 'Eligibility' section above. 

Click here to find out how fund recipients Cyclr submitted their successful Equity Investment application. 

FAQs

Below you'll find some useful information about our Equity Investment programme. Please ensure that you read them before contacting a member of our Business team.

How much is available? 

We will consider investments of up to £250,000 and are looking to make up around 25% of your total investment raise.    In order to cover Creative England’s legal and due diligence costs, we will charge a small arrangement fee of 5% of the total investment value.  Creative England strives to keep this fee to the bare minimum needed to cover our costs and generates no profit whatsoever from investments.  All monies will be put back into future investment programmes in effect creating a ‘revolving fund’ to enable us to support creative business in the future. 

What is the criteria?  

  • Your digital company must be registered in the English regions 
  • Jobs must be created and safeguarded as a result of the investment (we ask that for every £7,000, 1 job must be created and/or safeguarded.  So an investment of £70,000 would create and/or safeguard 10 jobs)  
  • We are looking to make investments of around 25% of your total raise.    

Who can apply?   

Digital companies based in the English regions outside of Greater London. Investments are offered to creative digital companies to enable them to realise their growth potential. Examples of what we mean by ‘digital’ include; digital media and web (e.g. creative software development, digital media, web design, digital content), games (e.g. gaming and app development), e-commerce and software solutions.  

My company is based and registered in London, can I apply? 

Unfortunately, only companies registered in the English regions (North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East and West Midlands, East of England, South East and South West England) qualify for Creative England investment.  

The programme is financed by the government’s Regional Growth Fund which supports eligible projects and programmes that are raising private sector investment to create economic growth and lasting employment in the English regions. 

My company is a brand new start-up, can I apply?  

The Equity Investment Fund is focused on SME’s and start-ups with a degree of market traction and turnover. We will not consider applications from brand new start ups who cannot demonstrate a product, business model, traction or turnover.  

What is match funding?  

Match funding is part of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) application process, and shows a commitment from the applicant to the specific investments or expansion plan. Creative England is looking to invest around 25% of your total investment round, and so you must match our investment with the remaining investment from non government investment. 

Match funding can come from private investment, the re-investment of company revenue or through another loan or source of finance. However, money already spent on your business prior to application is not an eligible form of match funding. 

What is the definition of ‘safeguarded’ jobs?  

These are jobs that will be maintained as a result of the investment. Jobs are considered safeguarded where there is real threat that they will be lost within 12 months if funding support is not provided. 

What are the fees?  

We ask every successful applicant to pay a small arrangement fee of 5% of the loan value.  This is charged to cover assessment, due diligence, legal, and administration costs. 

How do I apply?  

To apply, follow this link. It will take you to our online application system.  You will need to register your interest and complete and eligibility form first and then an Expression of Interest.   

This will ask for some top line information about your company and your proposal. If this is approved, we’ll ask you to complete a full application form where we’ll ask for more detail on the proposal, the market opportunity, the route to market and your finances. For more information, visit the 'Application' section.  

What is the decision process?  

Once we have received your full application, this gets assessed by an internal and external panel of experts.  We may come back to you for further information or ask to meet you to discuss your proposal further. Our final stage of the process is the Creative England Investment Committee. We ask companies to attend in person to briefly pitch their proposal and discuss their plans with our committee. These meetings take place monthly in Birmingham or Bristol.    

Approvals at Investment Committee stage are then subject to due diligence (for investments over £100,000 this is carried out by external due diligence providers who will visit your company). Once all the due diligence is complete, we can issue contracts and process the investment payment.   

How long does the process take?  

It should take about 8 weeks depending on the nature of the proposal and your company.  We try our absolute hardest to process applications as quickly as possible! 

For any additional questions, please contact Project Manager Tim Evans.

Showcase

Below you'll find a selection of interviews, guest blogs and case studies from the recipients of our Equity Investment Programme. 

Click on the tiles to find out more...