Case study: Spark Grimsby
Following a competitive tender process in 2020, CDI Alliance was awarded the contract to deliver a business support programme for creative practitioners and businesses in Grimsby and North East Lincolnshire.
CDI Alliance were responsible for the recruitment of participants and had to engage with a previously unsupported sector in the area.
The team at CDI Alliance devised “Spark Grimsby” and worked with local creative practitioners to develop a brand identity and website which would serve as an informational site, but also a site that creatives could use to promote themselves and find collaborators for projects.
Spark Grimsby comprised face to face support – delivered predominantly via Zoom due to the Covid-lockdown; and a range of networking events – latterly delivered in person; plus lunch and learn “in conversation” events delivered over Zoom covering a range of subjects from guidance on completing an Arts Council grant application through to Developing Ideas and getting a commission. There were also ‘Art of the Possible’ fireside chats to highlight developments in the sector such as 360 videography and how to use crowdfunding for projects.
Creative Practitioners and businesses could access between 3 and 12 hours support through the Spark Grimsby programme. Support ranged from help with social media through to creation of strategies for business, or assisting in the preparation of Arts Council England submissions, heritage funding applications and local grant funding advise.
In total Spark Grimsby supported 120 practitioner and businesses with a total of 650 hours of support over the three years of the programme. We ran 31 events including bi-monthly in-person networking events using unusual and creative venues in Grimsby such as The Caxton Theatre and Grimsby Minster.
Sarah Smith, Programme Manager at North East Lincolnshire Council said:
“After selecting our provider in 2020, via a competitive tender process, for delivering our creative sector business support programme specifically for Grimsby Creates, a Cultural Development Fund programme aimed at building capacity, capability and confidence in North East Lincolnshire, we commenced working together with CDI Alliance to implement the Spark Grimsby programme.
From a virtual launch in January 2021, the associates worked with creatives on a 1:1 basis depending on individual needs, introduced a bi-monthly networking event (which continues to grow) and delivered high quality online workshops on topics relevant to the local creative sector and in response to the conversations and feedback they were having. This included marketing, film, public art and how to get paid fairly as an artist.
Spark Grimsby exceeded expectations of delivering the business support programme to 120 businesses and practitioners. The original target was to reach 70 however, we worked together to reprofile the programme and budget to enable more support to be provided to more creatives. We met with CDI Alliance fortnightly for programme updates and were reassured by the delivery team’s genuine engagement, approachable, knowledgeable and focussed manner.
Our vision was to reach the wealth of creative talent within the area and provide a platform on which they could connect with each other, and the Spark Grimsby programme helped us to achieve this.
The impact of the programme is evident by the growing confidence of individuals in their creative practice as well as contributing to outcomes where funding investment increased significantly in creative practitioners.”
Spark Grimsby was a pleasure to work on, the CDI Alliance team are passionate about supporting the creative industries and to see the positive impact that this programme had on individuals, businesses and the area was hugely rewarding.
If you would like to talk with us about running a Business Support Programme in your area, or for your business then contact us: email@example.com