The Big House Programme

NBV has teamed up with organisations across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to launch The Big House programme – a three year, £5 million tailored support programme for the Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) sector in the region.


Aims of The Big House Programme

Part-funded by a £2.5 million contribution from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with match funding from the Creative Local Growth Fund programme, funded by The Arts Council, the programme’s aims are to improve the ability of the region’s CDI SMEs to start-up and grow, enabling them to take advantage of the UK’s booming CDI sector, which contributes just over £84 billion a year to the UK economy.

The Big House programme aims to help many of the registered creative and digital business in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, helping them to grow and create new jobs in the region, including established SMEs who want to expand and bring new products and services to market for example, and potential entrepreneurs and start-ups, keen to join a thriving UK business sector. The support on offer will include grants, one-to-one advice, support and coaching and peer-to-peer learning and networking events. The programme aims to support over 500 businesses with over £350,000 of grant funding, matched by private investment.


Delivery Partners

The project will be delivered through a partnership of business support organisations across the local area, with specialist expertise in different aspects of the creative and digital industries.

The Big House partners include The Creative Quarter company, Nottingham Trent University, The Hive (Nottingham Trent University’s business incubator), the University of Derby, Derby QUAD, New Art Exchange, Derby Theatre, NBV and Nottingham City Council – through their Growth HubThe partners will also be working closely with Broadway in Nottingham, which is managing paid internships and placements in the creative and digital industries with the support of The University of Nottingham. 


How The Big House will help your Creative Business

The idea behind The Big House programme is to bring together a wide range of support and care for creative and digital businesses at different stages of development, which businesses can access in different ways to suit them, from different partners, in different places – while still being part of a joined-up business support programme.

Businesses will move through ‘The Big House’ of support, accessing help at the level they need, from entrepreneurs, start-ups and those who face barriers to accessing mainstream business support, through to established, growing small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).


Each of The Big House partners will be delivering a different aspect of the programme:

NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd

NBV will be supporting creative individuals across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire into viable business pathways through coaching and business advice, as well as supporting established SMEs. NBV will also be offering enterprise grants to support the business development activities of their clients. NBV aims to give everyone the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and to create an environment where talent can be unlocked and flourish and like New Art Exchange are building on the success of the Real Creative Futures Programme.

Nottingham Trent UniversityNottingham Trent University

The Hive and Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University will be supporting businesses in the creative, and especially digital, sectors to both start-up and grow. Their programme will provide opportunities for students, graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs to start up their own creative and/or digital businesses with The Hive’s sector specific support. It will help individuals to think through the process of becoming an entrepreneur and what it means to start a business, while supporting early stage businesses to flourish. Growing businesses in the creative and digital industries will be able to access customised support from Nottingham Business School, through a coordinated programme including expert workshops and individual development advice. Some businesses will also be able to access grants to help them secure the talent and expertise they need to grow and prosper.

The Creative Quarter The Creative Quarter

The Creative Quarter’s programme is called Open Doors and it will aim to help businesses become ‘enterprise ready’, whether they’re entrepreneurs or start-ups just starting out, or more established businesses looking to grow. Open Doors will also help businesses bring new products and services to market. The programme will include a range of support, including one-to-one support and peer-to-peer networking events. Businesses will also be signposted to other support available through partner programmes, to make sure they get the specialist support they need.

The University of Derby The University of Derby

The University of Derby’s College of Arts will deliver a programme of business support aimed at creative and digital businesses that have been in existence for less than five years. With expertise in digital product design, software and production technologies, they will deliver a series of sector specific workshops for SMES with an emphasis on digitisation combined with commercialisation.

Derby Theatre Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre will be providing a wide range of targeted business support, from workshops to research and development grants, for performing arts professionals and companies. This work will build on the Theatre’s In Good Company programme, which has been instrumental in building the profile and competitiveness of regional creatives working in the performing arts over the last two years.

Derby Quad Derby Quad

Derby Quad will act as a first point of contact and information hub for creative and digital businesses in Derby and Derbyshire. They will also establish ‘DNA’ a creative and digital industries network for the city of Derby and county of Derbyshire. This will be a real and virtual network supported by newly created staff positions, housed in QUAD with a virtual space for information.

New Art Exchange New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange, a founder member of the original ERDF programme established for creative entrepreneurs from Nottingham’s diverse communities, will build on the strengths and success of the first Real Creative Futures programme. It aims to help these creative entities to establish and grow, and to link them through to a range of business support services tailored to the needs of creative and digital businesses in the city of Nottingham, either as start-ups or as established SMEs, by working in partnership with NBV Enterprise Solutions and as a part of the Big House consortium.

Best of all, because the programme involves a wide range of partners, businesses will be able to benefit from both specialist expertise, and the diverse, overarching support of a business support programme, without having to ‘sign up’ to lots of individual, disjointed programmes. It’s all here – in one Big House.

For more info visit the Creative Quarter website. See more about NBV’s Big House Programme here.