Blackhorse Lane business support programme

6 November 2018

London Borough of Waltham Forest invests in the future of creative industries with a two-year, £100,000 business support programme.

Creative United awarded contract to support artists, makers, designers, producers, arts organisations and music companies to create jobs and achieve their ambitions for growth.

Creative United has been awarded a contract by the Business Growth Team at Waltham Forest Council to deliver a scale-up business support programme. Set to benefit will be creative and cultural freelancers, sole traders and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone, coinciding with the borough’s year as the first London Borough of Culture in 2019.

Recognising the significant growth in creative businesses in an area described by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as a “forgotten gem”, the Greater London Authority funded programme will focus on the communities based at Switchboard Studios, Yonder, Blackhorse Workshop, Blackhorse Atelier and Gnome House. The programme will offer free courses of workshops, networking events and one-to-one support to enable entrepreneurs, artists and cultural enterprises to fulfil their potential for growth and impact.

The workshops will offer participants the opportunity to improve a range of business skills while also keeping their creative ambitions front and centre. Networking events will see the artists, makers and entrepreneurs cultivating connections and partnerships with each other and the wider business community in the borough. In addition, valuable one-to-one support will be available, providing an effective way to increase confidence through coaching and sector-led business advice.

Businesses will be able to apply for a place on the programme from December 2018, with the first cohort embarking on their course of business support in Spring 2019.

Cllr Simon Miller, Waltham Forest Council’s Lead Member for Economic Growth and High Streets, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses in Blackhorse Lane, an area where the creative industries are thriving. We are committed to keep, seed and grow local businesses in the borough and are delighted to partner with Creative United to deliver this free programme that will really make a difference to those in the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone.

As we approach 2019 and our year as the first London Borough of Culture, we want to ensure that it’s the most spectacular year London has ever seen, and that local businesses can take advantage of the spotlight shone on us. This programme will give creative and cultural entrepreneurs the opportunity to do so.”

Sarah Thirtle, Director of Business Support Programmes at Creative United, said:

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Waltham Forest Council to deliver this programme for their diverse and growing community of creative enterprises. We know from experience that when business support is shaped by and for the creative sector it can be transformational for those who receive it. From improved skills and confidence in business planning, to building capacity through access to finance and investment, or making the most of your IP, we are looking forward to helping up to 100 creative enterprises located within the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone to achieve their ambitions for growth over the next two years”.

Creative and cultural enterprises in the borough interested in the business support programme can sign up to Creative United’s mailing list to receive the latest news about its launch in December 2018 and the application process.

For more information about Creative United and its business support programmes for the creative and cultural sectors, please contact

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