Creative UK and Triodos Bank launch £35m investment fund

“Growing the economy means growing the creative industries.”

By Priyanca Rajput 25 Sep 2023

Creative UK and Triodos Bank launch £35m investment fund
Pinocchio (2022). Credit: Disney+

Creative UK and Triodos Bank have launched a £35m investment fund for the creative industries, as part of government plans to grow the UK sector by £50bn and create one million extra jobs by 2030.

The £35m Creative Growth Finance II fund aims to provide investment required to meet the targets set out in the UK government and Creative Industries Council’s recently published Sector Vision.

Caroline Norbury OBE, chief executive, Creative UK, said: “Over the past decade the UK’s Creative Industries have grown more than 1.5 times the rate of the wider economy, currently generating £108 billion in economic value and employing 2.3 million people. However, this country’s talented creative businesses are experiencing a significant gap between their immense growth potential and access to the vital capital they need to succeed.

“In launching the Creative Industries Sector Vision, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged the “enormous potential of our creative entrepreneurs and businesses” and said that “growing the economy means growing the creative industries”. However, the potential of the Creative Industries risks being unfulfilled if the creators and innovators whose talents power our growth are unable to access the capital and financing they require.

“That’s where Creative UK comes in. We know that with the right investment, the power of the sector to drive growth and innovation across all corners of the UK can be truly transformative”.

Delivered in partnership with Triodos Bank, CGF II is the largest single fund to be delivered by Creative UK, following its investment of more than £50m into the UK’s world-leading Creative Industries over the past decade.

CGF II follows the success of the first Creative Growth Finance fund, which launched in 2019 and has since invested over £17m into more than 30 creative businesses located across the UK and operating within sectors including Film & TV, Virtual Production, narrative-based Video Games, Advertising and Software. As of August 2023 the existing CGF fund portfolio has experienced an 108% improvement of average monthly revenues, a 39% headcount growth average with more than 225 jobs created, and nearly £19m raised in further third party funding.

Recipients of the first fund include: Dimension Studio, noted for their work in virtual worlds, digital humans, and volumetric content for the entertainment industry, and who provided VFX for Disney's live-action reimagining of Pinocchio. Moonraker VFX have facilitated projects for the BBC, Apple TV+, Netflix and Disney+; and Leeds-based Sticks & Glass, who provide filming and production services for clients such as BBC Sport, CBS, IMG and Channel 4.

Phillip Bate, director of business banking, Triodos Bank UK, said: “Four years on from the launch of the first Creative Growth Finance fund, our partnership with Creative UK goes from strength to strength and continues to support companies at the forefront of innovation. For a bank only focused on financing projects with positive impact, we can see the social importance of these organisations to the UK. Creative UK’s expertise has been key to helping us grow our funding of this important sector.”

From 2012-17, Creative UK invested £20m in public funds into creative companies, achieving a 99% loan repayment rate, a three year business survival rate of 83% (compared to a national average of 60%), and generating an additional £4 of private capital for every £1 of public money.

Tim Evans, investment director, Creative UK, said: “Promising creative companies are too often prevented from unlocking their full potential by barriers to accessing the financing they require to grow. Our new Creative Growth Finance II fund removes those barriers. Over the past decade Creative UK’s investment in the creative sector has experienced significant success, using both public and private funds to catalyse growth, boost innovation and unlock access to vital third party capital. But what truly sets our investment offer apart is Creative UK’s deep understanding of the huge value of creative IP, and our knowledge of what creative companies need to flourish. Our Creative Growth Finance portfolio don’t only gain access to much needed financing, they also receive specialist mentoring and support that is unmatched within the UK’s creative sector.”

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