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Creative Open Workspace Masterplan and Prospectus

The SELEP Creative Open Workspace Masterplan and Prospectus project drives growth, innovation and prosperity by supporting the workspace needs of one of the fastest growing sectors – the creative industries.  The creative industries are worth more than £87.4bn in GVA to the UK, and the creative economy employs one in every eleven working people (approximately 9% of the workforce).

The project had experienced a series of difficulties since it was originally endorsed by the Strategic Board. In order to complete the project in a timely manner the scheme promoter took the decision to reduce the overall benefits of the project, this resulted in a project change request being submitted to SELEP.

The project change request was endorsed by the Strategic Board at its meeting on 9 December 2022 which included an extension to the project delivery programme, a reduction in the planned benefits and a reduced SSF funding allocation.

This project addresses a gap in suitable workspace for the Creative Cultural and Digital Sector, across the SELEP area.  The reduced project will deliver the following outputs:

  • A refreshed South East Creative Economy Prospectus to describe exemplary pipeline projects alongside complementary work packages addressing skills and business support needs;
  • A report on Creative Opportunity Zones.

Creative industries can lack visibility.  Flagship buildings which bring many microbusinesses under one umbrella not only support those businesses but also tell a story about the impact of the creative industries on the local economy.  They send a clear signal that creative microbusinesses are welcomed and valued in the region and are immediate docking stations from which creative businesses can seek out the ecosystem of complementary businesses, business support and collaborations they need to survive. Furthermore, open workspace can lend authority to individual company brands, supporting marketing and promotion campaigns.


Sector Support Fund

The Sector Support Fund is a £500,000 per year pot to support one-off, discrete pieces of work of a pan-LEP nature with a sector focus that brings demonstrable benefit and has support across the LEP. It uses Growing Places Fund Revenue Grant to fund a programme of works to support the sector focused activities that are being undertaken on a pan-LEP basis and predominantly led by the SELEP working groups.  When the Growing Places Fund grant was originally awarded, a proportion of the fund was earmarked as revenue which is being used for the Sector Support Fund.

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