About Us

Supporting, inspiring and nurturing creative and digital entrepreneurs in Nottingham

If you’ve turned your creative passion into a business or are a budding entrepreneur looking to start a business in the creative and/or digital industries, then the Real Creative Futures (RCF) project is here for you.

RCF is part of The Big House programme 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, Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre, NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd, New Art Exchange, Nottingham City Council’s Growth Hub, Nottingham Trent University, The Hive – Nottingham Trent University’s business incubator and the University of Derby. As part of the Creative Local Growth Fund programme, funded by The Arts Council, the partners will also be working 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.

At RCF we have the expertise and insight to help launch, innovate and grow your creative enterprise.

The project nurtures entrepreneurs and SMEs with 12 hours of free tailored support including coaching and one‐to‐one mentoring from experts and advisors who have real experience from within the creative  and digital industries. Plus, networking, seminars and workshops are on offer throughout the year to help you build valuable relationships and develop your skills.


The Big House programme is a 3-year, £5 million tailored support programme for the Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) sector in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire. The programme is 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.



Signing up – What’s classed as ‘creative and digital’?

If you work in music, visual or performing arts, broadcasting, design, film, photography, architecture or publishing, online marketing and video, mobile applications design and web development,  then you’re part of the city’s creative and digital industries.

Here you can find the initial documentation you need to read (and agree with) if you would like to receive support from Real Creative Futures, and The Big House partners.

A bit more about Eligibility:
You need to be a creative business or want to start a creative business, based within the D2N2 area (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire) with less than 250 employees and not have received more than €200,000 in state funding.

You can have a look at our Terms & Conditions here.
And if you are a registered business (sole trader or company registered with HMRC) you can download the enrolment forms here.
If you would like to start a business in the creative or digital industry, but haven’t registered yet with the tax office, the please use this form.

Once you read all the documentation and decided that you want to sign up to the RCF programme, let us know, send us the documents and we’ll set an appointment to sign the forms and go through a simple diagnostics session about your business.

In case you need assistance or more information about the documentation, let us know at rcf@nae.org.uk or phone us at 0115 924 8630