A programme to encourage economic growth through creativity has been launched in the Tees Valley.

Creative Fuse Tees Valley works with businesses and freelance professionals in the creative, culture and heritage industries to find new ways which they can innovate and grow.

The programme is part of the wider Creative Fuse North East initiative, which is a unique partnership between the region’s five universities to explore how creative, digital and IT firms can have a sustainable future in the region.

Guests at the launch event at Teesside University learnt about the different areas of support for creative and cultural SMEs in the Tees Valley and shared best practice to encourage innovative ways of working.

Services offered through Creative Fuse Tees Valley, include one-to-one mentoring and consultancy, themed workshops, graduate placements and access to Teesside University’s creative facilities.

Wendy Parvin, Innovation Manager for Creative Fuse Tees Valley, said: “The creative and heritage sector is playing a vital role in the economic regeneration of the Tees Valley and it is essential that it is supported as much as possible.

“Through the Creative Fuse Tees Valley programme, we’re trying to unlock innovation through creativity and giving SMEs and freelancers the tools with which to do so.”

Creative Fuse North East is funded jointly by the five universities and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Arts Council England (ACE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It aims to ensure the CDIT sector in the region becomes more resilient, grows fast and creates more and better jobs in a sustainable digital economy.

For more information on Creative Fuse North East visit www.creativefusene.org.uk

Tees Valley businesses interested in taking part in the Creative Fuse Tees Valley programme can email w.parvin@tees.ac.uk