LONDON.-Arts Council England has awarded National Lottery funding of almost £100,000 to the University of Northampton to enable the continuation and development of their successful Portfolio Innovation Centre.
The centre opened in May 2006 to provide Northamptonshire artists with subsidised office space and business and creative support to enable them to set up their own businesses. It also has a Creative Café offering events where artists and people working in creative industries can share ideas and network.
Wendy Nikolaidis, Innovation Centre Manager, says in the first year they recruited 14 creative industries. The further funding will enable space to be offered to a further 12 artists over the next two years.
The centre encourages new business start-ups in the arts and makes affordable space available to local artists. It also provides a hub for the creative economy in the county.
This funding enables us to expand our support to young businesses and encourages innovation in the arts.
John Cairns, Regional Partnerships Officer with Arts Council England, East Midlands, says they consider the centre is making an important contribution towards the expansion of the creative economy in the Milton Keynes and South Midlands (MKSM) growth area.
Currently creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the national economy. The increase in population in the MKSM area requires the development of arts and culture in Northamptonshire which is the largest part of the growth area and we welcome initiatives like this.