NESTA, Manchester City Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the Arts and Humanities Research Council are investing £600,000 in this project.
In order to develop ideas that can transform company’s prospects, Creative Credits will award SMEs £4,000 worth for their own £1,000 investment.
The application process requires businesses to answer an on-line questionnaire and if eligible, they will enter into a draw. Successful applicants will spend the credits with a creative business as long as it is registered on NESTA’s online gallery and their project meets the programme criteria.
The target is to award 150 companies in two different rounds – the first 75 will be picked in October, and the second next February.
Hasan Bakhshi, Director for Creative Industries in NESTA’s Policy & Research Unit says: “This is a groundbreaking programme which will have a multiplier effect in terms of stimulating Manchester’s economy – both for the benefit of SMEs and creative businesses. As Greater Manchester is one of the UK’s leading creative industry hubs, we felt it was an obvious choice for the pilot. We will be tracking the development of all the businesses taking part so that we can measure conclusively the additional impact this has on stimulating innovation and growth”.