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Free Workshops For Creative Businesses

Grow Creative at Lancaster University Grow Creative at Lancaster University

Regional SMEs in the creative industry are being offered free support through the Grow Creative project.

Lancaster University is launching a series of workshops under its £1/4m project to support Creative industries in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The Grow Creative project based in the Innovation and Enterprise Unit is offering a menu of free commercial awareness workshops in collaboration with Blackpool Council which are aimed at helping creative individuals to acquire the skills to make the most of their talent and turn good ideas into successful business ventures.

The ten workshops will take place in venues across Blackpool, Lancaster and Preston beginning on 25 September.

Creative Industries are central to the UK economy, and have been growing at an accelerated pace in recent years: 6% between 1997 and 2003 compared to 3% for the whole economy. However, recent studies have identified that in Lancashire and Cumbria the sector faces a range of obstacles to growth, which include a lack of understanding of business planning and support, of developing PR strategies and markets, accessing finance and recruiting appropriately skilled staff.

The workshops will cover a range of issues from marketing and PR to tendering for public sector work and dealing with the risk of pursuing new opportunities. To be eligible, companies must be small to medium sized creative enterprises based in the Lancashire and South Cumbria areas.

Charlotte Stuart, Project Manager, explained the benefits of the pick and mix menu: "We recognise that not all creative people have the time or actually need to undertake a prescribed course of workshops on business issues. We're therefore offering people the chance to opt for five sessions they feel will address the areas of the business most in need. We've developed the content with experts specifically to respond to what people working in the sector have told us they need. As a result, the hands on sessions will provide participants with targeted advice as well as the opportunity to apply that advice to their own business under the guidance of the experts."

The initiative is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

Further details and an application form can be found on the website: www.grow-creative.co.uk. Or contact Lisa Cross in the project office for more information: lisa.cross@lancaster.ac.uk , 01524 594581

Mon 20 August 2007