In summer 2021 we ran an event discussing funding for creative businesses with the south west team at Innovate UK EDGE and a group of Bristol Creative Industries members.

During the discussion, attendees said it would be useful if we could provide regular updates on the finance schemes that are available for creative companies in the south west and beyond. This guide is our response.

The guide is one of Bristol Creative Industries’ most popular ever blog posts. We keep it updated with the latest funding schemes for creative businesses so check it regularly. We also include the post in our monthy email newsletter, BCI Bulletin. To sign up, go here.   

Latest funding for creative businesses:

West of England Combined Authority creative freelancer grants

Creative freelancers in Bath, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire can apply for grants of up to £2,000 to deliver specific activity that will enable them to develop their product, service or creative practice. Examples include:

The deadline for applications is 12pm on 21 June.

More details.

West of England Combined Authority Business Innovation Fund

This scheme provides grant funding to help businesses progress research and development activity leading to the creation of novel/new products, processes and/or services.

You can apply for a grant of between £15,000 and £25,000 to cover up to 45% of project costs. You must fund the remaining 55%.

Applying businesses and the project location must be based in the council areas of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, or South Gloucestershire.

The deadline to apply for the fifth round of funding is 12pm on 20 June 2024.

More details.

£200m South West Investment Fund

The British Business Bank, the government-owned business development bank, has launched the £200m South West Investment Fund (SWIF) “to help address market failures by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment”.

Aimed at businesses in Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, the fund provides:

SWIF is managed by four fund managers:

The region is split as follows:

North of the region:

South of the region:

The funding is split as follows:

Businesses can apply for funding directly to the relevant fund managers here.

Bristol Council vacant commercial property grant scheme

Bristol Council is offering grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 to organisations taking on a new city centre or local high street commercial property.

The funding is open to businesses, charities, CICs, sole traders and arts and culture groups for both long term and temporary/meanwhile use.

Organisations must employ fewer than 50 people, have a turnover of £10.2m or less, and a balance sheet showing £5.1m or less.

Funding can be used for structural works to a property or equipment to be used in the property (capital expenditure). The funding needs to be matched by 20%.

Applications are open until 11.59pm on Monday 30 September 2024.

Successful applicants must start trading from the funded property by Friday 31 January 2025.

More details.

Create Growth Programme

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Create Growth Programme provides grant funding and business support to micro, small and medium sized businesses in the creative industries with innovative ideas.

To apply, businesses need to be based in one of these 12 English regions:

There is a total of £3m in grants available in the latest round of funding. Individual businesses can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £30,000.

Applications close at 11am on 19 June.

More details.

Innovate UK Smart Grants

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25m for “game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy”.

Applications for the latest round of funding close at 11am on 24 July.

More details.

Innovate UK innovation loans

UK registered businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

You can apply for a loan of between £100,000 and £2m to fund your project’s eligible costs.

Applications for the latest round of funding close at 11am on 26 June

Another round of funding will open on 27 June and close on 21 August

More details.

Creative UK Creative Growth Finance II

This £35m Creative UK and Triodos Bank investment fund provides loans of £100,000 to £1m.

Finance is directed to post-revenue creative businesses presenting promising growth potential and who:

More details here.

UK Games Fund Content Fund

Grants of £50,000 – £150,000 are available for UK registered small and medium sized enterprises with PAYE employees engaged in games development work in the UK.

More details.

UK Games Fund Prototype Fund

Established UK-based companies with a game development project at an early stage in the pipeline can apply for grants of up to £30,000.

More details.

Supporting Grassroots Music Fund

Applications are open for this government fund which supports rehearsal and recording studios, promoters, festivals, and venues for live and electronic music performance.

Grants of £1,000 and £40,000 are available for projects up to three years in length. The fund runs until March 2025.

More details here.

Developing your Creative Practice

This fund from Arts Council England supports individual cultural and creative practitioners in England thinking of taking their practice to the next stage through things such as: research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing ideas, networking or mentoring.

Grants of up to £12,000 are available.

The rounds of funding are as follows:

Round 21

Opens for applications: 12pm on 25 July 2024
Closes for applications: 12pm on 22 August 2024
Decisions announced: 7 November 2024

Round 22

Opens for applications: 12pm on 14 November 2024
Closes for applications: 12pm on 12 December 2024
Decisions announced: 6 March 2025

More details here.

]Travelwest sustainable travel grants

Travelwest provides match-funded grants for initiatives that improve sustainable travel provision in a business.

The aim is to provide financial support and incentives to employers to enable them to encourage sustainable modes of commuting or in-work travel (including site visits and meetings) amongst their staff.

The grants can be used for the implementation of physical measures, promotional events or any other measure that will encourage mode change amongst staff.

Grants are currently availables for businesses in Bristol and North Somerset.

More details.

BridgeAI funding and support programme

Innovate UK’s £100m BridgeAI programme aims “to help businesses in high growth potential sectors such as creative industries, agriculture, construction, and transport to harness the power of AI and unlock their full potential”.

The programme offers funding and support to help innovators assess and implement trusted AI solutions, connect with AI experts, and elevate their AI leadership skills.

More details.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Arts Fund

This fund supports organisations who work at the intersection of art and social change. It offers grants between £90,000 and £300,000 over three years.

The fund is open for applications from 4 April until 31 May and from 14 August until 14 October.

More details here.

Arts & Culture Impact Fund

This new £23m social impact investment fund is for socially driven arts, culture and heritage organisations registered and operating in the UK. It offers loans between £150,000 and £1m repayable until May 2030.

More details here.

The Elephant Trust

The Elephant Trust says its mission is to “make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by lack of funds. It is committed to helping artists and art institutions/galleries that depart from the routine and signal new, distinct and imaginative sets of possibilities.”

Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

More details here.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants

Grants of up to £100,000 are available for arts, libraries and museums projects.

The grants support a broad range of creative and cultural projects that benefit people living in England. Projects can range from directly creating and delivering creative and cultural activity to projects which have a longer term positive impact, such as organisational development, research and development, and sector support and development.

More details here.

Start Up Loans

A Start Up Loan is a government-backed unsecured personal loan for individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. Successful applicants also receive 12 months of free mentoring and exclusive business offers.

All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 per business.

The loans have a fixed interest rate of 6% p.a. and a one to five year repayment term. Entrepreneurs starting a business or running one that has been trading for up to three years can apply. Businesses trading for between three and five years can apply for a second loan.

More details here.

UnLtd funding for social entrepreneurs

If you’re running a creative social enterprise you may be able to access funding from UnLtd.

Finance of up to £5,000 is available for starting a social enterprise and up to £15,000 for growing a social enterprise.

Successful applicants also get up to 12 tailored business support plus access to access to expert mentors and workshops.

More details here.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Businesses can apply for up to £3,500 to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband.

Check if the scheme is available in your area here.

Know of more funding and support for creative businesses?

If you know of another scheme that we haven’t listed and you’d like to share it with other creative businesses, email Dan to let us know.

Why hello there inter-web traveller! As you might have guessed from the title, this post is entirely about easy peasy hacks to improve your websites user experience (or UX as we call it in the biz).

You may have a website already, in which case, this article is for you, if you don’t have a website yet, kudos to you for doing some research ahead of time!

Sometimes decisions are solely based on budget alone and that’s okay, so sometimes, it’s great to be able to do things yourself before bringing in the professionals.

The website hacks we’re going to outline below won’t suddenly launch you to the very top of Google, nor suddenly land you thousands of sales. But they will contribute and will get you into the mindset of your audience.

So, get that coffee and let’s begin!

Hack 1 – User perspective

Think from your user’s perspective

This sounds like an obvious one but don’t scroll past this one, here us out. What are your users looking for when visiting your website? Is it your value? Your contact information? Your pricing?

When you get a phone call from a new prospect, what are they typically asking for? Can you find this information on your website?

You need to make sure that information is easy to find on your website and not hidden away – even if it’s content further down the page, you can still link them to it to speed their journey up.

Hack 2 – Speeeeeeeeeed

If you’re paying less than £5 a month or less than £60 per year for your website’s hosting – you need to invest more if you want results.

Now, we’re not talking bank breaking amounts here. A good website hosting provider is essentially your website’s foundations. It’s a pointless exercise to invest in improving your website’s user experience when it’s your hosting provider slowing you down.

If you check your current website over at https://pagespeed.web.dev/– what does it score?

If you’re scoring low, it may be that your current hosting provider has you on a shared platform. Whilst simple brochure sites aren’t necessarily demanding, you could be being hosted on an underperforming server to save cost.

Don’t slow your visitors down

To put things into perspective, we pay a little extra for our web server to bundle LiteSpeed Cache (amongst other improvements) – the result? Performance.

Hack 3 – No pop ups, not today, not tomorrow

If you’re considering putting a pop up on your website, even if it’s just a one-off. I’d like you to visit this website first: https://how-i-experience-web-today.com/

Don’t be mad at me – that’s what your users have to face whilst they’re looking for someone to solve a problem. Stand out by NOT bombarding them with pop ups.

When users visit a website, they’re on a journey following you designed path. By introducing a pop up, you’re actually interupting them and distracting them.

It’s akin to whilst I’ve been writing this article, my phone has pinged several times – 4/5 of the notifications have been absolute nonsense. Go away! The same frustrations apply to your website.

Hack 4 – The internet is free

There are so many free tools at your disposal, so before you get your wallet out from from within the sofa, consider some of these handy free tools:

  1. AnswerThePublic– This handy tool can give you ideas on what to write your content about using popular search terms.
  2. PageSpeed – Test your website’s performance from Google’s perspective with PageSpeed.
  3. Semrush – Track your SEO performance for free using Semrush – this tool enables you to keep an eye on what keywords you’re ranking under and your website’s health from an SEO point of view.

Hack 5 – Whitespace

Stop cluttering up your website and embrace whitespace. By reducing clutter and ensuring a good whitespace ratio, you maximise user focus. White space can also make your website feel ‘fresh’, modern and professional.

If you have a lot of content and not a lot of space, consider alternative solutions like accordions or modal pop ups (not to be confused by the earlier intrusive pop ups above).

Hack 6 – Good looking calls to action

If you utilise the above guidance of using white space, your calls to action are suddenly going to have a lot more attention on them. Don’t waste this undivided attention with a button that says “Click here”.

Instead, crack open the dictionary and throw down some terminology that’ll get the user clicking. Wording like “Get started now” or “Sign up for free”. Wording like this implies time-sensitivity and/or the value.


There you have it! Some quick website hacks to improve your website, you’re now a pro! Of course these are just 6 quick ‘hacks’, there’s plenty of other improvements that can often be easily applied but they usually depend on your audience and your website’s goal(s).

If you need a hand or would like anything clarified/expanded on, please do feel free to reach out. 👇

Handy booking link 🚀

saintnicks has been appointed by Ascot Racecourse following a successful competitive pitch process. The win bolsters the agency’s strong start to 2024 alongside retained client growth.

Founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, Ascot Racecourse is arguably the nation’s most revered racing venue, welcoming just shy of 600,000 visitors annually across its 26 race day events. Royal Ascot which takes place 18th – 22nd June, is the most prestigious horse racing event in the UK calendar with more than 300,000 visitors over the 5 day period. Steeped in heritage, Ascot Racecourse is a true British institution and revered national brand.

The two-year contract, which starts with immediate effect, will see saintnicks responsible for Ascot’s overall social content strategy as the brand looks to enhance its reputation further as a global ‘lifestyle’ brand.

Retained as the brand’s lead social partner, saintnicks will work closely with Ascot’s brand, social and content teams supporting with content strategy, content creation and social media management.

Fraser Bradshaw, Founder and CEO of saintnicks says: “We couldn’t be more delighted to partner with Ascot Racecourse and help support their business growth strategy. It’s a brand and business we’ve come to know well over the last few years and we’re invested wholeheartedly in supporting such an iconic national brand as their long term partner.”

Alexandra Bertram, Brand & Creative Lead at Ascot says: “We’re thrilled to embark on this exciting journey with saintnicks as our Social Media Marketing agency. With their expertise and dedication, we look forward to elevating Ascot’s presence in the digital realm. Here’s to a fruitful partnership ahead!”

The appointment follows the re-positioning of the Ascot Racecourse brand and subsequent brand voice development undertaken by saintnicks in 2022.

Origin Workspace is turning five this April, and they couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate with their community of Bristol professionals! For five years, the premium co-working space has been the hub for a vibrant and supportive community of like-minded individuals. Situated in the heart of Bristol on Berkeley Square, the workspace provides more than just a place to work. Membership at Origin Workspace provides access not only to state-of-the-art facilities but also to an onsite well-being centre and community activities such as the Bristol Parkrun, monthly Happy Hour, and Pub Quizzes. Origin Workspace has ramped up its events throughout the spring and summer period, thanks to the stunning roof terraces. From Barre workshops to monthly member treats from some of Bristol’s best restaurants, these are just a few examples of their commitment to creating an environment that fosters success.

 

To celebrate our fifth anniversary and to keep the community thriving, we are offering two exclusive deals during the week of 22nd – 26th April. Join us in the celebration and take advantage of this unique opportunity to work in a collaborative and supportive environment that has helped numerous professionals achieve their goals!

We are slashing the joining fee by a whopping 90%! That’s right, you can join as a member for just £5 +VAT instead of the usual £55 fee. Still deciding if Origin Workspace is for you? Try us for the day as we are offering a special deal on their day passes. For this week only, you can enjoy all the perks of the space for just £5 +VAT instead of the usual £35 +VAT.

In an era where businesses are increasingly expected to prioritise social and environmental impact alongside profit, Disruptive Thinking has taken a bold step forward by achieving B Corp certification. This certification marks a significant milestone for team Disruptive, reinforcing their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, minimising their environmental footprint and dedicating themselves to ongoing improvement.

Disruptive Thinking’s Founder, Yiuwin Tsang said “When founding Disruptive Thinking, I knew I wanted the business to be a force for good. Our company motto is “Good work for good people” and it’s really nice to join the ranks of other businesses who share the same vision, under such a well-regarded standard.

The decision to pursue B Corp certification was driven by a deep-seated belief in the power of business to drive positive change. As a team who pride ourselves on being forward-thinking, becoming a B Corp aligns so well with our core values of empathy, integrity, and sustainability.

“One of the key benefits of being a B Corp is the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded businesses and organisations. We can’t wait to meet other B Corp organisations at local meetups – come over and say ‘Hi’ if you spot any of the team!”

About Disruptive Thinking

Disruptive Thinking is a small team with deep expertise in Marketing, Business Growth and CRM. Our team take on a variety of projects, from designing marketing strategies and executing delivery, to establishing sales processes, to delivering workshops and events. 

We’ve worked with accountancy firms, agencies, startups, law firms, publishers, universities, the creative industries and healthcare providers – supporting them on strategic planning and execution across their sales, marketing and delivery efforts.

We work with any size of organisation, from large corporates through to startups, plus public bodies and not-for-profits. Our motto is doing good work for good people. We’re proud of the quality of work we deliver, and ultimately want to work with clients who are also passionate and driven about what they do.

Got any questions? Just want to connect? Reach out to the team at [email protected]

Carnsight Communications, a boutique PR and social media agency based near Bath, has welcomed Laura Witte as its new Social Media Manager. Alexandra Johansen, who joined the business in 2023, also celebrates a promotion to PR Account Manager. Carnsight specialises in working with agencies and founder-led businesses. 

Laura Witte builds on Carnsight’s global perspective having relocated to the UK from Germany in 2019, and brings with her extensive experience in content creation, e-commerce and social media. Johansen, who joined the business in 2023 having made the move from Australia, quickly worked her way up the ranks, proving herself an invaluable asset to the company. 

Founder Jessica Morgan comments, “Laura has already proven herself an asset to our company and it’s been a joy to see her gel with the team and our clients. Her dynamic skills and extensive online and SEO expertise bring an exciting new string to our bow. Alexandra’s promotion is a testament to her talent and competence, not to mention her brilliant attitude.” 

Having moved into digital marketing following a career as an equine midwife, Witte’s skillset is diverse, as she holds a bachelor’s degree in equine science and business management. Most recently she worked in digital roles for equine business, Le Mieux.  

She comments, “It’s great to be joining such a dynamic team and real-world agency like Carnsight. I’m excited to expand on the company’s capabilities and deliver results for a compelling roster of clients.” 

Johansen adds, “Working with Carnsight has been a dream. The opportunity to share clients’ compelling journeys with the world and elevate their success has been incredibly rewarding.

Continued growth and expansion are also on the horizon for Carnsight, which recently joined the Living Wage Foundation. Two additional positions, a work experience placement and an internship, are slated for the summer. 

Founder Morgan, who has been shortlisted in the Business Desk South West Leadership Awards this year for her mentoring, continues to support and nurture new talent. She is a big proponent of supporting young professionals and creating opportunities for them to get a foothold in the industry. 

Carnsight has worked with a wide range of businesses across the country including Air Landline, Sulis Hospital, The Treatment Rooms London, The Flexible Space Association, and UNLIMITED Group. 

The team recently launched Practically Powerful PR, an eBook and accessible guide to the art of communications aimed at helping small businesses take on this key business function with confidence. 

Since 2019, Square Works has become the byword for luxurious serviced offices and co-working in Bristol. We started with the aim of building a community where professionals could work, network, relax and socialise in an environment that offered the very best – from an exciting events calendar to a light and airy workspace that members can truly enjoy.

Situated on the beautiful Berkeley Square, a ten-minute walk from the city centre, Square Works is spacious, airy and filled with contemporary art and natural light. This unique workspace is spread across three elegant Georgian townhouses, with a range of conference and meeting rooms, communal spaces, kitchens and a fitness suite.

As a BCI member you can get 10% off memberships and meeting rooms at Square Works, contact our reception at [email protected] to take advantage of this offer.

Professional Apprenticeships are thrilled to unveil ApprenTech, our latest leap forward in cultivating the next generation of technology professionals through comprehensive apprenticeships. We have always strived to bridge the gap between aspiring tech talents and the industry’s evolving needs. Today, we’re excited to announce an initiative that not only continues this legacy but also takes it to new heights.

A New Era of Apprenticeships

ApprenTech is designed to be more than just a program; it’s a movement towards creating a sustainable, skilled workforce that can navigate the complexities of the technology landscape and solve the skills gap! 

With our Ofsted Outstanding rating as our backbone, we’ve crafted two new distinct pathways: Software Developer Level 3 and Level 4 Apprenticeships. These programs are tailored to meet the industry’s demands – whether it’s nurturing new entrants with foundational skills or elevating existing employees to software savants. This is in addition to our existing offering of Marketing, IT and other apprenticeships. 

Why ApprenTech?

Our initiative stands out for several reasons:

For Companies: ApprenTech offers a unique opportunity to cultivate your in-house talent, reducing recruitment costs and fostering a culture of loyalty and innovation. It’s not just an investment in skills but in the future of your organisation.

For Aspiring Tech Professionals: Embark on a journey that promises not just skill development but a clear path to career advancement. With ApprenTech, your ambitions to progress are a reality. 

Join Us in Shaping the Future

As we launch ApprenTech, we extend an invitation to tech companies and aspiring professionals to join us in this transformative journey. Together, we can redefine what it means to be equipped for the future of technology.

For more information on how to get involved, pop our team a message at [email protected]

Together, let’s build a future where technology and talent converge to create endless possibilities.

Becoming a member of Bristol Creative Industries brings many benefits. We regularly add new opportunities so here is a guide to the latest benefits you can enjoy by signing up. This post is regularly updated.

Join Bristol Creative Industries from only £4.95 a month.

Appear in the member directory

Showcase your best work and attract new clients with a company profile in the Bristol Creative Industries member directory. The directory receives lots of visits every month from people looking for services from creative businesses.

Bristol Creative Industries membership

Self-publish content

Got some business advice or news to share? As a Bristol Creative Industries member you can self-publish content on our website and it will automatically appear on your member profile. We upgrade great content to the newsfeed and homepage, while four posts by members are included in our monthly email newsletter.

To get an idea of the content topics that do well, here are the top 20 most popular posts by members in 2022.

Bristol Creative Industries member Jessica Morgan from Carnsight Communications discussed the benefits of posting content in this interview.

Advertise jobs on the BCI jobs board

The Bristol Creative Industries jobs board attracts thousands of job hunters every month. As part of your membership, you can post unlimited free job adverts, saving you on average £3,500 per candidate.

Piers Tincknell, co-founder of Atomic Smash, is one of BCI’s longest serving members and he told us in a member profile interview how he regularly uses the jobs board to recruit new employees.

Attend members’ lunches

BCI’s monthly members’ lunches are a perfect opportunity for members to catch up with fellow members and the BCI team.

Everyone has a slot of up to three minutes to tell the others a little about who they are and what they do and share any news and/or challenges. You don’t need to fill the full three minutes. We usually find some common themes emerge to discuss over the course of the session.  It’s all very informal with no need to stand up and present slides.

The events are free to attend for members. They are a mix of in person and virtual events. The in person sessions are at The Square Club in Bristol and include a free buffet lunch.

Check the events section of details of the next lunches.

Drew Benvie, Battenhall, Social Media Trends 2024, Bristol Creative Industries keynote

Discounts for keynotes, workshops and other events

Our flagship keynote events and workshops feature world class speakers sharing their expertise. It’s a unique opportunity to access valuable insights for growing your business. Bristol Creative Industries members receive a ticket discount.

An example of a keynote event is the brilliant presentation on social media trends delivered in March 2024 by Drew Benvie, founder of global social media consultancy Battenhall.

Some events, such as our regular freelancer networking drinks, are free for members.

Keen an eye on the events section for the latest events. You can also sign up to the monthly BCI Bulletin to be notified of events.

Big thanks to everyone who joined us at @SquareClifton last night for the Bristol Creative Industries freelancer networking drinks ☀️ 🍷

Sign up to the BCI Bulletin to be notified of new events: https://t.co/5WgBWPoN1C#BristolCreativeIndustries #Bristol #freelancers pic.twitter.com/1BvT60KZFp

— Bristol Creative Industries (@Bristol_CI) June 21, 2023

Attend and host Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call is a member exclusive live webinar that takes place every other Friday at 8.30-9am. The content is delivered by members for members.

Attending the free event gives you access to valuable insights from your fellow members and if you host a Wake Up Call, you can share your expertise and attract potential new clients.

See details for upcoming Wake Up Call events in our events section.

If you’re a BCI member and you’d liked to deliver a presentation on a topic of your choice during Wake Up Call, email Sian Pitman.

Equity, diversity and inclusion training

Research shows that diverse teams are more creative problem solvers, bringing fresh perspectives to solutions, against the echo-chamber effect that results when people in a business come from too-similar backgrounds. With a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, employees feel valued and that they belong.

To help Bristol Creative Industries members achieve this, we have partnered with The Hobbs Consultancy to provide on demand equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) e-learning.

The CPD certified online course consists of modules to help you bring about positive change in your business, understand the key challenges in the way for different groups, and explore your own biases and how to overcome them.

The training modules take an in-depth look at different diversity and inclusion topics: race, disability, LGBTQ+, neurodiversity, gender (split into female leadership, masculinity, gender identity), age and social mobility in the workplace.

The price of the training for BCI members is £120+VAT. All profits will be ploughed back into our youth engagement activity.

To access this brilliant training opportunity, log into your Bristol Creative Industries account and click on the ‘members’ training’ section.

Opportunity to mentor high potential young people

We have to start engagement at school by raising the profile of the creative sector to a wider and more diverse audience. To do this, we’re developing ways to bring together creative business members and future talent through mentoring.

We are thrilled to have launched a partnership with The Early Careers Foundation (ECF), a social mobility charity that works with young people from low-income backgrounds to ensure that talent and hard work are what determine their career success, not background.

Through its mentoring programme, ECF pairs employees from partner organisations with 16-18-year-olds for monthly hour-long mentoring sessions.

Thanks to our new partnership, BCI members can now become a mentor and support a young person in building their confidence, developing their employability skills and offering invaluable professional guidance.

Applications to become a mentor close on 1 August 2024.

To find out more about how you can get involved, read this post.

Join outdoor networking events

The regular BCI Walk & Talk networking sessions are for a group of 12 BCI members who don their walking boots and explore the stunning countryside around Bristol and Bath.

It’s a great opportunity for members to make some new connections whilst getting some much needed fresh air!

Keen an eye on the events section for details of the next outdoor networking event. You can also sign up to the monthly BCI Bulletin to be notified of events.

Bristol Creative Industries Walk & Talk outdoor networking

Attend exclusive roundtables

We host regular roundtables for agency leaders to discuss strategic challenges. These events are vital for us to hear from the member community about the key issues you are facing and how we can help. A roundtable on funding led to us creating this popular and regularly updated guide to the latest finance on offer to creative businesses.

If you are interested in getting involved with future roundtables, email Sian Pitman.

Discounts on workspace, hotels and more

Reductions on co-working spaces, meeting rooms, hotel accommodation, a recruitment strategy review and a coffee subscription are just some of the many discounts and offers we’ve negotiated for members.

Other benefits

We regularly deliver other benefits.

Members can currently book a free 30 minute legal advice call with award winning business lawyer Rebecca Steer.

To stay updated on the latest member benefits, sign up to the monthly BCI Bulletin.

 

Join Bristol Creative Industries from only £4.95 a month.

If you have any questions about membership, email Alli Nicholas

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are officially funding a second round of creative and marketing support to businesses dedicated to levelling the playing field for women.

Last year we offered creative support to a local business dedicated to making a positive impact for women in the South-West. The Women’s Work Lab based in Bristol, addresses the motherhood career gap by providing skills-based training to mums on benefits, enhancing their employability. Headed up by an all-female team here at Oakwood, we reviewed their brand identity and created evolved messaging and a new visual look.

Once again, we are interested in hearing from individuals, organisations or businesses who are led or owned by women who are committed to celebrating women’s achievements, championing women empowerment, calling for positive change to advance women, taking action to educate and raise awareness of women’s equality and those who are actively fostering and creating more inclusive workplaces, communities, or practices for women; to help drive forward the important message of this year’s International Women’s Day around inspiring inclusion.

If you think this sounds like you, please apply here: https://oakwoodagency.com/insights/iwd-2024

And don’t forget to spread the word!