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$1.5m for English digital developers

Funding body Creative England has launched a £1m (US$1.57m) national business development fund to aid digital businesses in the English regions.

The fund will be for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to develop new software, applications and content for sectors including cross-platform TV development, games, interactive entertainment and mobile apps. Other sectors the fund will apply to include healthcare and e-learning.

Creative England will make the funding available via interest-free loans of between £50,000 and £100,000 per application, which will be matched 50/50 by the company sharing the development costs.

The fund is designed to support companies that have ideas for content development, backed with commercial exploitation opportunities. It will be open to SMEs outside London, with priority given to those in the North, West Midlands and South-West.

This is the first element of the £5m award from the UK government’s Regional Growth Fund to Creative England in April. The deadline for registrations of interest is August 31.

The aim is to “stimulate the development of some really interesting content and applications and support projects that otherwise would have struggled to get off the ground,” said Creative England’s director of business development Jim Farmery.

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