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Researchers team up with Creative United to deliver new Prosper Programme

Offering business support opportunities to arts and cultural organisations in England.


Creative United, an organisation aimed at providing business support to the UK’s arts and cultural industries, are thrilled to announce that Prosper, the new, Arts Council England-funded business support programme for the arts, museums and libraries, will be open for applications on Monday 27th March 2017.

Alongside this, the Centre for Business in Society will be carrying out vital research into the provision of, and demand for, business support for arts and cultural organisations in England and Scotland. The learning from this, plus business support resources such as templates, toolkits and blogs, will be shared via the Arts Marketing Association’s online hub CultureHive.co.uk.

The programme is designed to improve confidence and capabilities with business planning and modelling, sustainability, diverse finance and funding streams and strategy, contributing to increased resilience and investment in the sector as a whole.

It offers the opportunity for around 70 arts and cultural organisations, companies or individual entrepreneurs in England to participate in nine months of free, dynamic and impactful business support activities, such as 1-to-1 business advice, masterclasses, workshops, webinars and meetups.

Additional funding for the programme is provided by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, and Creative Scotland (for research activities in Scotland).

Mary-Alice Stack, CEO at Creative United, said:

“Leading on from our successes and learning from the Creative Industry Finance programme, Prosper signals another way that we can drive the growth and development of our cultural and creative sectors, and build a sustainable and resilient creative economy.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Centre for Business in Society and the Arts Marketing Association to deliver this programme, and look forward to revealing new insights into the provision and benefits of business support for the arts, museums and libraries.”

Jane Tarr, Director of Organisational Resilience and Environmental Sustainability at Arts Council England, said:

“Through the programme, we wanted to understand more about the business support our sector needs nationally and to share information about the existing offer more widely. We’re delighted Prosper will be working across the country over the next year with a wide range of cultural organisations. It’s an exciting partnership and will also help us develop future support for creative businesses of all sizes to keep growing.”

Dr Nick Henry, CBiS Co-Director and research lead on the Prosper Programme said:

“The Centre for Business in Society welcomes the opportunity to continue its partnership with Creative United on the Prosper programme. Delivering research with impact, our expertise will design and deliver research and evaluation to gauge the national picture for the provision of business support for arts and culture, share learning on what works with the sector, and support future policy design.”

The deadline for applications to receive the free business support offered by the Prosper programme is 12pm (midday) on 31 May 2017.

A series of morning briefings have been organised around England for potential applicants to learn more about this national programme and meet the partners:

  • Mon 27 March, London, The Foundling Museum, 9:45am - 11:00am
  • Wed 29 March, Hull, Northern Academy of Performing Arts, 8:45am - 10:00am
  • Fri 31 March, Norwich, Writers' Centre, 9:45am - 11:00am
  • Mon 3 April, Coventry, TechnoCentre, 9:45am - 11:00am
  • Thu 6 April, Liverpool, Play Space, 9:45am - 11:00am
  • Tue 11 April, Southampton, City Art Gallery, 9:45am - 11:00am
  • Thu 13 April, Newcastle, Arts Centre, 9:45am - 11:00am

Those interested in finding out more about the programme, how to apply, or to register to attend a morning briefing, should go to www.creativeunited.org.uk/programme/prosper/.

For more information about CBiS’s involvement and research relating to this project please visit www.coventry.ac.uk/prosperpogramme