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18 December 2020

Dorset LEP invests in two unique digital innovation projects in the arts

Dorset LEP invests in two unique digital innovation projects in the arts

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has invested £354,400 towards the creation of pioneering accessible digital resources and new research and development space for the creative industries.

Dorset LEP’s allocation of the Local Growth Fund to Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) will provide a boost to local innovation, business growth and sustainability as well as supporting skills development for people whose employment or business will be affected by the UK’s transition from the EU or the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding comes in addition to £1.5 million of Dorset LEP investment in the arts university’s new entrepreneurial space, the Innovation Studio. 

The new accessible digital Innovation Resources project, the only one of its kind in the South-West, will provide remote access to a suite of digital and physical fabrication equipment, supporting clothing design, film and video game production, and the manufacturing, product design, engineering and health technology sectors.

Funding will also be used to refurbish an existing administrative space to create a 280m2 Innovation Suite for collaborative work/social space and specialist digital fabrication equipment.

Lorna Carver, Director Dorset LEP says: “This additional investment at AUB demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation. Building on an innovation studio to support local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, remote access to specialist resources addresses the challenge of supporting rural businesses in Dorset and those in our more deprived areas. It will also support students and businesses during COVID-19 which restricts physical gathering.”

Emma Hunt, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at AUB says: “As a top sector specialist and leading arts university for the creative industries, we are always looking to innovate, collaborate and connect in ways that turn creative talent into careers. This latest Dorset LEP investment will enable us to provide an inclusive environment for students, academics and Dorset businesses that fosters innovation and collaboration as well as enhancing the technical capabilities of the region. It also means that businesses outside of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole such as Weymouth, Portland and the west of the county can be supported too.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP says: “Dorset is one the fastest growing creative and digital hubs in Europe and a destination of choice for digital entrepreneurs.

“That’s why we’re supporting these two initiatives with a Local Growth Fund investment of over £350,000, which is just one of the ways we are supporting digital and creative industries through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This funding will support local businesses to get back on their feet, while also helping to harness local creative talent and translate this into high quality jobs.”

The Innovation Resources project expects to introduce the final wave of resources in June 2021 when the Innovation Suite is also expected to open.

Please see the Dorset LEP website Innovation Resources and Innovation Suite project pages for the full predicted outcomes of each project.

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Notes to Editors:

Dorset LEP

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is a business led private and public sector partnership, promoting local economic growth and prosperity. Dorset LEP deliver projects that support and develop infrastructure, housing, skills, enterprise and business growth to achieve long-term economic benefit for all in Dorset.

For more information visit the Dorset LEP website http://www.dorsetlep.co.uk/

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England.
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.

LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.

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