St Ives hosts meeting of creative minds

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A special cross sector event attended by many of Cornwall’s leading creative enterprises and co-hosted by the county’s primary business development organisations has highlighted the current challenges and future opportunities for Cornish businesses in the creative services sector.

According to delegates attending last week’s special breakfast workshop at Tregenna Castle Hotel in St Ives, the presentations and discussions provided an invaluable insight into the different support services currently available and highlighted the potential for businesses to collaborate, innovate and grow.

The event was organised by Olivia Khadka from Creative Skills and Business Link’s Convergence team in close partnership with IMIX, Unlocking Cornish Potential, University College Falmouth and Penwith District Council, with each partner giving short presentations on their respective areas of support for the county’s creative business community.  Feedback from delegates was extremely positive and plans are being made for further similar events in other areas of the county in the coming months.

Faye Treffry was one of many representatives from the creative businesses who felt the event presented a great opportunity to share knowledge with others and find out more about the new range of financial support and advice that’s now available.  “The presentations were certainly thought-provoking and I’m certainly keen to explore the funding possibilities further, especially in the area of e-marketing which is such an important area when traditional routes to market are under such an economic cloud.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to be working so closely with partner organisations to give collective encouragement and support to businesses operating in such an important sector of the county’s economy,” said Rachel Cresswell, one of Business Link’s specialist Convergence business advisers. 

“This joined-up approach is providing the coherent and focussed support that such firms need to help them plan ahead with confidence and to drive forward with new initiatives and collaborations that will make all the difference to their commercial success.  By bringing together like-minded businesses, I believe this type of event will act as a catalyst for continued growth and development of skills and prosperity at many different levels within the county’s creative community.” 

For Olivia Khadka, creative industries business adviser at Creative Skills, attendance at the recent event demonstrates the breadth of skills within the county’s creative sector.  She said: “I wanted to connect entrepreneurial businesses with one another to encourage them to make use of opportunities to innovate, collaborate and grow.  This can be achieved through the IMIX cross sector network and the AIR project at University College Falmouth, as well by connecting with the opportunities offered them through Business Link’s Convergence Programme and the Unlocking Cornish Potential Scheme.

“Cornwall’s reputation as a hotbed of creative talent is well known, but it’s very pleasing to see so many creative businesses so keen to take full advantage of the support that’s available. This bodes well for their continued commercial success and is very reassuring both in terms of skills retention as well as the future development of such a dynamic business community within the county.”