Skip to main content

West of England Combined Authority

The West of England is a diverse and creative region, including the two thriving cities of Bristol and Bath along with, a vibrant mix of urban, rural and coastal areas. We are a region that identifies as creative. It is at the heart of who we are and the story we tell.

The West of England’s economy is built on strong foundations with innovative and creative businesses and a highly-skilled population. It’s a place where ideas flourish and businesses grow. The creative sector in the West of England has impressive scale and international reach, 6,135 creative industries SMEs are based in the region, including homegrown talent such as Oscar winners Aardman Animations. With over 130 production companies, Bristol and Bath produce 35% of global natural history content, and over 800 million people each month watching digital content produced here.

The UK creative industries have been one of the fastest growing industrial sectors for the past decade. Contributing over £111 billion to the UK economy in 2018, growing five times faster than the national economy and employing over two million people. Regionally, DCMS show a 27% increase in value of creative industries in the South West since 2010, with significant growth in the West of England. Creative and cultural industries in the South West contributed £5.1bn to the regions GVA in 2017.

Our region is accelerating creative innovation and we’re providing increased support to our region’s creative businesses to help them respond and adapt as the world changes. This support, led by the West of England Combined Authority, will ensure it remains a thriving, successful place for the future.

Find out more:


Creative Scale Up helps creative businesses in the West of England access finance through an intensive sustainable growth support programme. Creative Scale Up engages regional and national investors and educates and encourages them to invest in our hot-bed of creative businesses. The programme runs until 2022, and each business on the programme is part of a cohort receiving a minimum of six months intensive business support.

Companies benefit from a £6,000 grant for creative industry expert mentoring and consultancy, business development grants to enable resilience and growth, a facilitated programme of peer-to-peer support and sector specific training & workshops. Through the Investment Activator programme businesses can access investment readiness support including pitching practice, signposting, resources and opportunities to pitch to investors, more information here:

Since its launch in January 2020, Creative Scale Up has supported 57 businesses. Participants on previous cohorts include: Luke Jerram; Limbic Cinema; Arcadia Spectacular; Complete Control; Auroch Digital; Open Bionics; Upfest; Team Love and Trigger Stuff



TechSPARK is a not-for-profit network dedicated to connecting, educating and strengthening the digi-tech cluster in the West. We work with tech and digital businesses from Startups to Scaleups, SME’s to Global Corporations based in the region to help them to grow, using our connections and knowledge.


Cohort 1

Cohort 2

Cohort 3


Since joining the Creative Scale-Up programme in January 2020, Bristol-based independent development studio and games consultancy Auroch Digital has secured a new publishing deal and taken on 15 new members of staff.


“The Creative Scale Up programme, particularly the mentoring process, was great – we were able to pick mentors targeting specific needs we have. We got direct support with business questions as they arose and that helped us deal with them and move forward. As a result, we’ve been able to advance some key areas of the company. We’ve landed one big publishing deal for a new IP game and are circling a second big project, and that mentoring advice has been part of the mix of positives getting us there. Information provided by the Creative Scale Up team also led us to a UWE Digital Innovation Fund grant.”

Dr Tomas Rawlings, Chief Executive – Auroch Digital

Noiser, who specialise in history and drama storytelling with immersive sound design, used the Creative Scale-Up £2,000 business grant to develop a sales team and define a clear strategy to drive sales.


“For Noiser, we are not looking for generic business support; I liked how the scheme’s supervisors made us aware that we could find our own mentors and they were able to help connect us with pertinent professionals they were in touch with. This was crucially important.”

Stornaway Productions identified a gap in the market for a collaborative web application that lets media producers write, test and publish interactive films easily and affordably without coding.


“Launching this new product in the middle of lockdown, the Creative Scale-Up peer mentoring programme was an invaluable community of practice. It was fantastic to meet and develop connections with the leaders of such a wide range of creative businesses in the South West. We have developed a number of ongoing relationships with our peers which we hope will continue to be mutually beneficial.”

Kate Dimbleby – Stornaway Productions


If you are looking to dive into The West of England’s extensive creative sector, get in touch today.

To network with fellow investors and explore the latest deal flow contact: Emma Cox | West of England Combined Authority |