Law firm gets creative with funding seminar | 07 April 11
LAW firm Ward Hadaway has been helping creative and digital enterprises in the North West learn more about getting access to potentially vital funding.
The firm, whose specialist Creative Industries team is based at The Sharp Project in Manchester, held a special event where more than 50 people from a range of creative and digital businesses learned more about the North West Fund for Digital and Creative.
Part of the £185m North West Fund, this offers investment finance of between £50,000 and £2m to digital and creative enterprises in the North West and is aimed at businesses at all stages of development, from start-ups to more mature enterprises looking for further expansion.
The audience at The Hive in Manchester on Tuesday (April 5) heard about the Fund at first hand from David Smith, Fund Manager at AXM Venture Capital, the firm in charge of managing the North West Fund for Digital and Creative.
David (pictured above) gave a brief presentation on the criteria for the Fund, what they are looking for from creative and digital companies, and how companies can make themselves good candidates for securing funding.
Audience members also got the chance to quiz the fund manager in a Q & A session as well as talk to Ward Hadaway’s Senior Partner in Manchester, Martin Hulls, about the legal aspects of funding agreements.
Ward Hadaway’s Head of Creative Industries, Laura Harper, was also on hand to add her specialist expertise on tackling the challenges faced by businesses in the creative and digital sectors.
Speaking after the seminar, Laura said: “We were delighted to have such a fantastic turn-out for the event with over 50 people from a broad cross-section of the creative and digital communities in the region.
“The excellent attendance underlined what an important issue funding is for creative and digital businesses.
“In many cases, getting access to finance is the biggest bar to such enterprises flourishing so businesses are understandably keen to find out more about new funding options like the North West Fund for Creative and Digital.
“Hopefully, those who came along to the event will now know much more about the Fund and sources of finance in general and can build that knowledge into their plans for the future.”
Ward Hadaway, which also has offices in Leeds and Newcastle, has inside expertise on creative sector-focused public venture capital funds.
The firm advised on the establishment of a specialist creative fund in the North East - the £2.4m Creative Content Fund, which invests in companies involved in making films, TV productions, video games, interactive media and music.
Ward Hadaway has followed on from this initial advice to advise on several investments from the fund into the creative content sector, including backing for two film productions – One Night In Turin, a documentary on the 1990 World Cup, and a film called United, which tells the story of Manchester United’s famous and ill-fated ‘Busby Babes’ team and the 1958 Munich air disaster.
Martin Hulls, Ward Hadaway’s Senior Partner in Manchester and the firm’s Head of Corporate Finance, said: “Growing businesses of any kind need access to finance and public venture capital funds like the North West Fund for Creative and Digital are becoming an increasingly important for companies looking to expand.
“We think our range of experience advising on these funds, especially in the creative sector, means we can give companies we help a real advantage in securing funding on the right terms and at the right cost.
“Investment funding can make a big difference to any business, but it needs to be carefully managed to make sure it makes the right kind of difference.
“I was impressed with the calibre, capabilities and energy of the enterprises represented at the seminar and hope they found the event a useful primer on funding options.”
Further details on the North West Fund for Digital & Creative can be found at www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk/the-funds/digital-and-creative
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