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SoCo are delighted to be one of 70 organisations and individuals across the arts, museums and libraries that will benefit from free business support through the Creative United Prosper programme.

The cohort includes cutting edge artists, innovative library services, enterprising museums and much-loved arts organisations.

Prosper was designed and launched by Creative United with funding from Arts Council England,  Access – the Foundation for Social Investment and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and is delivered in partnership with the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University and the Arts Marketing Association. It will enable those in the cohort to grow and develop into more resilient organisations, better able to attract income from a variety of sources as well as pursue their creative and social missions.

Over the next 9 months the cohort will work with a specialist business advisor to tackle areas such as strengthening business plans, empowering their teams with innovation and enterprise skills, identifying new business models and understanding the value of their own assets and intellectual property (IP). They will also have the choice of participating in a range of masterclasses, workshops and webinars designed for all levels – from CEO to project assistants, shop floor workers to trustees.

The application period for the programme ran from 27 March to 31 May 2017. In that time 260 organisations, sole traders, local authorities, charities, enterprises and artist practitioners applied from across England. The selected cohort represents companies of all sizes and types, with specialisms including contemporary dance incorporating VR technology, promotion of sub-cultures, youth theatre, clowning, design for the stage, music education, museums of social history and community libraries. 81% are based outside of London.

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United, said: “We’re thrilled that, working closely with our partners and networks across the country, we have attracted so many vibrant and culturally significant organisations to apply to Prosper. I feel this is a clear indicator of the appetite for the business development opportunity offered by the programme, and I look forward to seeing the impacts of our work – enabling creative and cultural companies to be more resilient to change, more able to respond to opportunities, and increase their contribution to our economy, culture and society.”

Matt Salvage, Director of SoCo Music Project, said: “The Prosper Programme provides a great opportunity for us to develop as an organisation, building our resilience to ensure we can keep on delivering inspiring and engaging music workshops, activities and events for children, young people and adults across the region. We’re looking forward to being part of this strong cohort of ambitious organisations and individuals, getting the support we need to take us forward into the future”.

More information about the Prosper cohort can be found on the website

For more information about Creative United or Prosper please email Sarah Thirtle.

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