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28/06/2006

£300,000 'BOOST' for creative industries

A new £300,000 project called ‘BOOST’ (Building On Original Somerset Talent) is being launched at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton on July 6.
This exciting new opportunity will provide the best in advice, support and training to creative industries across Somerset.
Somerset is blessed with an abundance of creative and artistic talent with more than 6,000 employed in creative industries in Somerset across 800 plus businesses. Despite this, the industry sector in Somerset is growing at half the regional rate and a quarter of the national rate.
Until now, opportunities for growth in this sector within Somerset were thwarted by a lack of resources, poor access to financial help and too few specially trained business advisers that can help with the unique challenges that face the creative industries.
Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Arts Council England South West, South West Development Agency through the Rural Renaissance programme and Integria Ltd have now grouped together to create BOOST, to assist in addressing these challenges.
The project aims to provide specialist, industry specific business advice as well as technical support and training to business start ups, sole practitioners and small established businesses related to the Creative Industries in Somerset – or those wishing to relocate to Somerset.
It will support those in the traditional sectors of the arts such as craft makers, fine artists, actors, musicians, dancers as well as those in architecture, new media, film and TV, designers and other associated services such as stage equipment companies, retail outlets selling original products, festival and event organisers. The project can also help any community groups who want to develop arts activities locally and regionally.
Initially creative people will be able to pop-in or telephone the centre located at the Brewhouse Theatre as well as attend various satellite events across the County. Later this year, much of the information will be available on the Internet via SWITCH (South West Information Technology Creative Hub).
This will provide readily available information at the click of a button as well as provide a forum for discussion. Importantly, it will deliver a radical new solution for creative industries located in rural locations across Somerset.
Justin Robinson, Somerset County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult & Community Services said: “The project will be of enormous benefit to people involved in design, music, arts, performance, audio, entertainment, video or anything digital in Somerset. BOOST will provide a one-stop shop for information and advice, bring vast economic benefits to Somerset as well as help give Somerset’s abundant creative talent a collective voice to be heard.”
For more information about the BOOST project, please contact 01823 337228.
(GB)
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