StartEast is delighted to announce, as the calendar year draws to a close, that they have so far supported over 130 cultural and creative individuals, start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises, in Norfolk and Suffolk, with over 800 hours of advice and training to enable them to take the next vital steps in securing growth for their businesses.

Bespoke business support packages have been specifically tailored, following individual assessments, to deliver a combination of one to one sessions, practical small group workshops and larger networking events, providing opportunities to meet other creatives from across the region, covering popular topics such as Business Planning, Finance, Fundraising and Social Media.

StartEast Advisor Sue Lawther-Brown said,

“Working with StartEast as an advisor has given me enormous optimism about the quality and quantity of creative talent in Norfolk and Suffolk.  I’ve met such an interesting range of people, all pursuing businesses in the cultural sector, and all with passion, determination and a great deal to offer the future of this region.”

StartEast: Building the Cultural Economy, is a major economic development initiative led by the New Anglia Cultural Board, managed by Norfolk County Council in partnership with Suffolk County Council and delivered by the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich The £12.million project received funding from Arts Council England’s Creative Local Growth Fund (£500k) and the European Regional Development Fund (£609,773).

One of nine national projects supported through the first round, it was one of only 3 to be awarded the full amount available through the fund.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said:

“Major Arts Council England and European Regional Development Fund investment has enabled Norfolk County Council, in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia LEP Cultural Board, to develop this ambitious and pioneering business development programme which will significantly strengthen our cultural sector, placing it at the heart of economic growth in the region.”

StartEast supports creative sole traders, established SMEs and start-ups working in various art-form areas, such as performing arts, outdoor arts, dance, music and literature. It also supports technical roles in the sector such as, for example, stage management.

The initiative is enabling a step-change in the capacity, ambition, impact and economic contribution of our regional cultural sector which is one of the New Anglia LEP’s ten priority growth sectors. The programme is leveraging the strong partnerships already established between Norfolk and Suffolk’s cultural sectors – including 12 Arts Council England National portfolio organisations; the New Anglia LEP; and other key growth sectors.

For further information about StartEast, please contact: or 01473 295 938.

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