Cllr Paul Drake-Davis (HCC), Dr James Zborowski (Head of The School of The Arts, UoH), Cllr Nick Coultish (ERYC), James Newman OBE (HEY LEP).

HEY LEP to launch Create Growth Programme thanks to £520,000 of funding

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hull and the East Riding will soon be able to benefit from expert, tailored support thanks to over half a million pounds worth of funding secured by Hull & East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP).

The government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has awarded £520,000 to HEY LEP to deliver the Create Growth Programme (CGP).

The CGP will provide ‘scale up’ support to high-growth potential SMEs from the creative industries and help them to grow by becoming more investment ready.

Eligible business will be able to access free, fully-funded expert advice, workshops, mentoring and peer-development sessions, as well as access to a funding programme managed by Innovate UK.

The programme will formally launch in February 2024, with SMEs able to access support from 1 April 2024.

James Newman OBE, HEY LEP chair, said: “I am delighted that Hull and East Yorkshire has been successful in this highly competitive round of specialist support for our creative industry SMEs.

“The HEY Create Growth Programme led by the LEP, in partnership with both local authorities and the University of Hull, will ensure that the programme once launched in April 2024 is a great success.”

The programme aligns with HEY LEP’s Economic Growth and Workforce Wellbeing Strategy 2021-2026 which states that the digital and creative sectors are priority sectors for the onward growth and development of the Hull and East Yorkshire economy.

HEY LEP will deliver the CGP in partnership with Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and University of Hull.

Cllr Paul Drake-Davis, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “It is fantastic that HEY LEP has received such a boost from DCMS.

“The CGP is a brilliant project which will support the local economy.”

Councillor Nick Coultish, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “This funding for the Create Growth Programme is great news for our creative sectors. It will help local SMEs grow and contribute significantly to our regional economy in such a diverse cultural sector.”

Professor Darren Mundy, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education at University of Hull added: “We are delighted to be a partner in this project.

“It provides an outstanding opportunity to scale up creative sector businesses across Hull and the East Riding, enhancing the career opportunities for our students, graduates and alumni, whilst also generating further opportunities for engagement with our creative practitioners.”

Further information on the CGP is available here. Creative SMEs wishing to express their interest can do so by emailing

Mark Jones MBE, pictured in 2018
Buses from EY Buses and Stagecoach at Hull Paragon Interchange