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L-R: Arts Minister Michael Ellis and Key Fund CEO, Matt Smith.
Jane Imrie

£3m fund launched to support Northern creative SMEs

A new £3m fund to help small and medium creative businesses in the North of England has been launched.

Key Fund is the social and community enterprise behind the initiative, which aims to support creative and cultural organisations that provide a meaningful impact in their local communities by offering blended loan and grant investments of up to £150k.

Matt Smith, chief executive of Key Fund, said: “We are incredibly excited about the potential of the fund to support creative and cultural activity, whilst also helping to increase social impact in disadvantaged communities across the North.”

As well as nonprofit organisations, applications for the two year funding programme is open to commercial enterprises across the North East and Yorkshire that focus on creative industries such as crafts, design, fashion and art, and can show that their work has a positive social impact on their local community.

The fund has already supported projects such as the Odeon regeneration in Bradford, which will see the city’s former cinema transformed into a live entertainment and events venue.

Speaking about the fund, Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry commented: “Support from this new £3m share of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will enable more people in communities across the North to benefit from the life-changing impact of the arts and boost investment in this important sector of our economy.”

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