Success of the Advantage Creative Fund stimulates the Creative Industries in the West Midlands.
The Advantage Creative Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to supporting and developing businesses within the West Midlands creative sector, is about to achieve its investment targets six months early. This is due to its phenomenal success at attracting, identifying and investing in a diverse range of creative businesses.
Advantage Creative Fund was established in 2003 and is sponsored by Advantage West Midlands, the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England. ACF was the first of its kind in the UK and has proved to be a highly successful and innovative form of funding development of the creative industries.
The initial five year contract finishes in December 2008. Due to a large number of applications currently in the pipeline the Fund will not be able to make any further investments at this stage.
Since its creation the Advantage Creative Fund has seen a dramatic rise in the number of enquiries for funding from creative enterprises that range from a corporate magician to an internationally recognized animation company. As part of its remit the ACF had to invest in fifty six companies investing a total of £5 million. The Fund will have exceeded its outputs by the end of the year. This includes the number of jobs created and secured within the sector and sales generated.
All venture capital funds build in a failure rate for investments within their business plans. The ACF Fund, through its robust planning and selection criteria, has experienced a far lower rate than average.
The Fund, which is still receiving applications for consideration, is now awaiting confirmation of funding for its second crucial stage.
Commenting on the success of the Fund, Advantage Creative Fund Chairman,
Peter Tomlinson said;
“It is a great tribute to the team at ACF that we are going to be fully invested six months early. Their professionalism and skill at recognizing the great potential within the creative industries in the West Midlands and where the talent lies has been fantastic. There is no doubt that the existence of the Advantage Creative Fund is a key element in stimulating growth within the sector. We provide investment to a diverse and exciting range of companies who needed funding to take them to the next stage of their development.
“Our success rate will mean the Fund will eventually be self sustaining and allow us to continue to invest in new creative enterprises using the returns from the investments we have made in the last five years. However, it is vital that ACF continues to receive funding from its sponsors to allow for the superb work already achieved to be taken forward and for more companies to receive our backing and expertise now.
“The only sad thing about reaching our targets early is that we have a sizeable number of fantastic applications with robust business plans on the table and until the next stage of funding is released we are unable to help them. During my five years as Chairman of the Fund one of the great pleasures for me has been to see how creative talent emerges more confident and enthusiastic to grow their businesses when they have the backing of ACF behind them.
“I know I speak for all of my colleagues at ACF when I say how much we look forward to continuing the work we have started and making an even greater contribution to the creative industries in the future.”