The county council and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership have launched a new round of funding under the INV-ENT initiative, this time focused on the creative and cultural industries.

Small and medium-sized enterprises can apply for grants of up to £20,000 to invest in business development, innovation, growth and jobs.

INV-ENT, which began four years ago, has already supported more than 100 new projects that will create almost 500 new jobs, more than 130 apprenticeships and help more than 1,000 people with their skills development.

Previous funding rounds have included to the high-growth and advanced technology sectors.

Northamptonshire is already home to nationally renowned creative and cultural brands such as Royal & Derngate and 78 Derngate – both situated in Northampton’s regenerated cultural quarter – with the sector currently contributing £97 million annually to the local economy.

Royal & Derngate chief executive Martin Sutherland (pictured left) joined Northamptonshire County Council leader Cllr Jim Harker (right) at the launch of the eighth INV-ENT funding round.

Cllr Harker said: “Creative and cultural industries are a rapidly expanding sector of the economy here in Northamptonshire and I am delighted that they will be the focus of the next round of the very successful INV-ENT scheme.

“INV-ENT has cleverly used relatively small amounts of public sector money to make sound investments in those small and medium sized enterprises which form the cornerstone of the recovering county economy.

“We are seeing some very real progress here in Northamptonshire and I am confident of our continued success on the journey towards prosperity.” 

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