Jim Mawdsley, Generator
Jamie Hardesty

Generator announces £1.7m programme to boost North East creative and digital sector

Music development agency Generator is hoping to drive growth in the North East’s creative and digital sector with the announcement of a new funding programme.

Awarded £1.7m from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the company says it will use the investment to drive and develop the wider commercial creative and digital industries in the region.

‘Digital Futures’, a programme spanning 30 months, will assist new and existing businesses as well as potential entrepreneurs within the creative and digital industries based in the North East Local Economic Partnership area.

The project is anticipated to deliver a minimum of 600 development opportunities to a minimum of 262 businesses, ensuring that they are equipped with the information, skills and confidence they will need to achieve growth.

It is expected that the new programme will create at least 75 jobs in the region and develop 112 new firms helping to set new ambitions and adopt emerging business models.

Generator, which helped create over 200 jobs and safeguard 151 thanks to its last ERDF backed initiative ending in 2015, believes the sector has never been in a more promising position.

Jim Mawdsley, Generator CEO, said: “Generator is extremely excited about the latest ERDF award and the prospect of building upon our huge success in the area of business support.

“Having earned a national reputation for our unique approach to flexible sector specialist business support we will be implementing our techniques and mechanisms sector wide.

“The ‘Digital Futures’ programme will enable us to help businesses achieve significant growth as well as provide effective interventions at critical points in a business’s life cycle.”

To strengthen the agency’s position in the creative and digital Industries, Generator also recently acquired Digital Union the North East’s creative and digital networking organisation.

This has allowed Generator access to a wide range of businesses in the sector and is currently rebuilding the proposition to one that is truly representative and fit for purpose for this industry that continues to adapt and evolve.

Jim continued: “This programme, alongside our acquisition and rebuilding of Digital Union, will help close the productivity gap that exists within the North East and the rest of the country by ensuring growth of businesses within the sector and therefore lead to the creation of jobs in the creative and digital industries.”

Generator revealed it will collaborate with regional partners, including Sunderland Software City and Campus North, to achieve such goals.

“‘Digital Futures’ will create the right environment for those individuals and businesses with innovative, profitable ideas so that they can develop, succeed and grow,” added Jim.

“It has been reported that UK cities with the highest concentrations of ‘new work’ businesses are those involved in the creative, professional and digital sectors. We will work on developing the strategy, business development, vision and performance of those businesses based in the North East to meet the region’s growth priorities.”

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