Solent LEP launches free events and programmes to drive the success of the creative industries


Following its successful Championing the Solent’s Creative Industries event in March, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced that it will be providing a range of free support programmes and events to help creative businesses in the Solent to prosper and grow.

Speaking about the initiative, Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive at the Solent LEP, said: “The Solent is home to a wide range of creative and cultural industries, from gaming through to radio broadcasting and performing arts. The sector is growing fast, with an additional 10,000 jobs created over the last five years alone.


“The creative industries are at the heart of the Solent’s economic recovery and our ambitions to create an environment where the visitor and cultural economy can thrive.


“Our event earlier this year, in support of the Southampton City of Culture 2025 bid, brought together people working across the creative sector and proved incredibly insightful. We heard from creative businesses from all areas about the type of support they need now, and in the future, for their sector to thrive.


“This has led to the LEP developing a range of support for the creative sector starting with the launch of the Solent Creative Growth programme – a combination of free themed networking events and one-to-one mentoring sessions to help support these businesses to grow, access valuable guidance and overcome challenges preventing them from moving forward. Following on from this, we will be launching a Digital Skills Partnership and Tech Mentoring Programme later in the Autumn.”


The Solent Creative Growth programme launches with a series of network and skills sessions taking place in venues across the region at:

  • Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery – 25 October
  • River Recording Studios, Southampton – 22 November
  • Isle of Wight – January 2023
  • New Forest – March 2023

Each session will focus on a different aspect of the creative sector, ranging from digital technology to fine arts, from film and photography to crafts. Attendees will hear from industry experts about how to tackle a range or challenges in areas such as IP, sales and finances.


As well as joining the network and skills sessions, creative businesses can benefit from free one-to-one specialist support with industry mentors by joining the Solent LEP’s Create and Grow programme. This programme of four one-hour sessions is aimed at businesses already generating income, those looking to grow, or for start-ups who have made significant investment, including freelances and self-employed creatives.


To register or to find out more about any part of the Solent Creative Growth programme, visit: