NEW PROGRAMME FOR GREATER MANCHESTER BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS

Creative England is excited to be launching a two year programme of activity which will grow and support small creative companies working in or aspiring to work in the film & TV sector in Greater Manchester.

The programme will deliver a series of workshops, networking opportunities and one-to-one meetings over the next two years.

ProConnect is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and will provide specialist support to small businesses (less than 250 employees) working in the film and TV production industry, as well as businesses outside of the industry that could benefit from the film and TV industry.

WHAT KIND OF WORKSHOPS WILL PROCONNECT OFFER?

We are keen to tailor the programme of activity to what you want, and will be reaching out to involved businesses to hear your views on what you would find useful! We will try where possible to be flexible and responsive to the needs of our ProConnect members.

Topics likely to be covered over the next two years include:

  • Government tax breaks and incentives available for content makers and how to access them
  • Marketing yourself or your business to the film and TV industry
  • Self-assessment and business advice relevant to SMEs in Film/TV
  • What funding is available or how can I finance my film or TV programme?
  • How to make your hotel or venue more attractive to film and TV crews looking for accommodation and locations and how to improve your visibility to them

WHERE WILL THE WORKSHOPS AND NETWORKING BE HELD?

The home of the programme will be announced before the end of August. It will be in Greater Manchester and will be easily accessible by public transport. We aim to hold all of the workshops and networking at the same venue.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO TAKE PART?

The great news is the programme is 100% paid for by the ERDF programme, making it free for businesses to attend!

WHO CAN APPLY?

The programme is aimed at small businesses and sole traders working in film & TV-related business in Greater Manchester who are working in the following areas:

  • Production companies, companies making screen content
  • Facilities companies, for example production hire companies, catering companies, camera hire
  • Sole traders & entrepreneurs i.e. crew
  • Supply chain companies for example hotels, visitor attractions, potential filming location venues)

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM ELIGIBLE?

In order to be eligible for the programme you must be registered as a sole trader or business with no more than 250 employees, with your registered business's address in Greater Manchester. If you do not fit the criteria there may still be opportunities for you to attend the programme, however we will be prioritising Greater Manchester companies due to the funding criteria.

I'M BUSY WORKING A LOT OF THE TIME, WILL THE PROGRAMME BE FLEXIBLE?

We know that you are busy and need a programme that is flexible to allow you to attend when you are free where possible. You will have the opportunity to pick a minimum of 12 hours of support through the programme, made up of workshops, networking and one to ones. The aim is to ensure you can tailor the programme to meet your needs and availability, so we will be running each workshop twice over the two years to give the best opportunity for everyone to attend. We will also be running two evening networking events each year to give you the opportunity to meet others in the film and TV industry and maximise your connections. Finally, we will organise one to one meetings with you to offer assistance and advice.

WHO WILL BE DELIVERING PROCONNECT?

Here at Creative England we have an expert team working to support the film and TV sector in Greater Manchester. They will lead on your one to one meetings as well as putting together valuable industry networking evenings to give you the opportunity to widen your networks and promote your company.

THE TEAM

Kaye Elliott: Head of Production Services and Deputy Director of Partnerships

Bobby Cochrane: Production Liaison Manager for the North West

Nicky Ball: Senior Crew & Facilities Manager

Nick Beech: Production Liaison Officer for the North West and West Midlands

The workshops will be delivered by external expert training providers who work within the film and TV industry.

WHAT WILL PROCONNECT NOT OFFER?

The programme is unable to offer individual funding or funding towards individual training courses, mentoring development funding, content or programme funding.

Whist the programme is not designed to provide general business start-up advice one to one, it can sign post to specialist advice across business planning, budgeting for your company and will include workshops that cover information around these topics.

SIGN ME UP!

If you'd like to get involved and meet one of our team for an initial meeting to become part of the ProConnect programme, please email proconnectgm@creativeengland.co.uk with your business address and company details.

ProConnect Hertfordshire

New Programme for Hertfordshire Businesses and Individuals

Creative England is excited to be launching a three year programme of activity which will grow and support small creative companies working in or aspiring to work in the film & TV sector in Hertfordshire.

The programme will deliver a series of workshops, networking opportunities and one-to-one meetings over the next three years. In addition, the programme will offer Knowledge Bites, workshops and support activity to those wishing to set up as sole traders either in the film & TV industries or in related industries. And we will be offering small businesses up to £5,000 in business grants to invest in further support to help their businesses grown.

ProConnect is joint-funded by Creative England and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and will provide specialist support to entrepreneurs and small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) working in the film and TV production industry, as well as businesses outside of the industry that could benefit from engaging with the film and TV industry.

What kind of workshops will ProConnect offer?

We are keen to tailor the programme of activity to what you want, and will be reaching out to eligible businesses to hear your views on what you would find useful! We will try where possible to be flexible and responsive to the needs of our ProConnect members.

Topics likely to be covered over the next three years include:

  • Government tax breaks and incentives available for content makers and how to access them
  • Marketing yourself or your business to the film and TV industry
  • Self-assessment and business advice relevant to SMEs in Film/TV
  • What funding is available or how can I finance my film or TV programme?
  • How to make your hotel or venue more attractive to film and TV crews looking for accommodation and locations and how to improve your visibility to them

Where will the workshops and networking be held?

We will announce the venues for the networking and workshops
before the end of the year. The chosen venues will be in Hertfordshire and easily accessible by public transport.

If you wish to tender a bid to provide a venue for the programme, please download the briefing documents for ProConnect here and for Knowledge Bites here. Any questions, please email

How much will it cost to take part?

The great news is the programme is 100% paid for by the ERDF programme, making it free for businesses to attend!

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at small businesses and sole traders based in Hertfordshire and working in film & TV-related business. The specific targets are those who are working in the following areas:

  • Production companies, companies making screen content
  • Facilities companies, for example production hire companies, catering companies, camera hire
  • Sole traders & entrepreneurs, i.e. crew
  • Supply chain companies for example hotels, visitor attractions, potential filming location venues

How do I know if I am eligible?

In order to be eligible for the programme you must be registered as a sole trader or business with no more than 250 employees, with your registered business's address in Hertfordshire. If you do not fit the criteria there may still be opportunities for you to attend the programme, however we will be prioritising Hertfordshire companies due to the funding criteria.

I'm busy working a lot of the time, will the programme be flexible?

We know that you are busy and need a programme that is flexible to allow you to attend when you are free where possible. You will have the opportunity to pick a minimum of 12 hours of support through the programme, made up of workshops, networking and one-to-ones. The aim is to ensure you can tailor the programme to meet your needs and availability, so we will be running each workshop twice over the two years to give the best opportunity for everyone to attend. We will also be running two evening networking events each year to give you the opportunity to meet others in the film and TV industry and maximise your connections. Finally, we will organise one-to-one meetings with you to offer assistance and advice.

Who will be delivering ProConnect?

Here at Creative England we have an expert team working to support the film and TV sector in Hertfordshire. They will lead on your one-to-one meetings as well as putting together valuable industry networking evenings to give you the opportunity to widen your networks and promote your company.

The Team

Kaye Elliott - Head of Production Services and Deputy Director of Partnerships
Emma Stewart - Senior Production Services Manager
Hayley Armstrong -? Production Liaison Manager for the East and South East
Nicky Ball - Senior Crew & Facilities Manager
Nicola Atkinson - Production Liaison Officer for the East and South East

The workshops will be delivered by external expert consultants who work within the film and TV industry.

Knowledge bites

Who can take part?

This part of the programme is aimed at those who are at the earlier stage of forming their business or enterprise ambitions, such as graduates from Further and Higher Education. It will be open to all ages and could include those at later stage careers who are considering a return to work or career change from another sector.

It is designed for graduates/entrepreneurs specialising in both media and creative subjects, such as digital, games and photo-imaging as well as those on non-creative courses that have transferable skills, for example electricians and catering.

What is the support given?

For Knowledge Bites, similarly to ProConnect, we will deliver a series of workshops, matching the needs of the new potential entrepreneurs with the skills of our consultants to deliver impactful support that will help those starting out in business. In addition to workshops focusing on different skills, we will include an enterprise ready module, to ensure all our prospective entrepreneurs have the knowledge they need to set up in business on their own.

Will these workshops take place at my college?

Whilst we intend to work with FE and HE institutions in Hertfordshire to recruit suitable candidates for the course, we will be looking at a variety of venues to hold these workshops and should be able to confirm by the end of 2016 where the home of Knowledge Bites will be.

Business grants

How much can I get?

This programme will offer small grants (up to £5,000) to businesses. Depending on the cost of the support needed, grants of less than £5,000 will also be awarded.

What can I use the money for?

The grants are designed to enable SMEs to access specialist business consultancy to facilitate growth. Consultancy will be used to buy in expertise to enable sector businesses to access a range of support such as diversifying their revenue streams to become more sustainable, becoming investor ready, developing long-term business plans.

Who can apply?

Grant funding will only be available to eligible SMEs and cannot be applied for by Individuals who wish to apply outside of a company structure. Companies may only receive one award throughout the lifetime of the scheme.

Do I need to match fund the grant?

No. Match funding is not required other than the 'in kind' investment of time that key individuals from beneficiaries will bring to the business planning process. Companies will need to complete a State Aid declaration as part of the application process

How do I apply?

Applications for funding will be submitted via an online application form. We will email interested companies a link that will allow them to complete and submit an application form online for grant funding via this project. All applications will then be assessed by Creative England's Production Services Team, as appropriate. We may also use external assessors and/or appropriately qualified independent professional advisors. We recognise that applications may contain commercially sensitive information and all proposals will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. It may be necessary to request a meeting with the applicant or additional information in order to complete a proper assessment.

Whist the programme is not designed to provide general business start-up advice one-to-one, it can sign post to specialist advice across business planning, budgeting for your company and will include workshops that cover information around these topics.

Sign Me Up!

If you'd like to get involved and meet one of our team for an initial meeting to become part of the ProConnect programme, please email proconnectherts@creativeengland.co.uk with your business address and company details.