NB: This article is an extract of Invest Liverpool’s press release.

The business support scheme launched by Mayor Steve Rotheram for the city region’s digital, creative and tech sector is to be extended after delivering nearly 300 new jobs in its first phase. Last month, the Combined Authority approved £895,000 to fund a two-year extension to the Gather business support programme.

Supporting a thriving sector

The programme, delivered by Baltic Creative tenant Form, supported 178 businesses during the first phase. As well as helping create jobs, the scheme safeguarded a further 213 roles.

Supported businesses reported a £19.5m increase in turnover and 82% said they will maintain or increase their revenue by their financial year ends. The two-year extension will support a further 119 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and create a further 85 jobs.

Speaking about the further investment, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

Our area is fortunate to be home to a thriving digital and creative sector that supports tens of thousands of local jobs and delivers an abundance of training opportunities. I want to put those businesses in the best possible position to succeed. Through our investment in Gather, we have helped hundreds of local employers to strengthen their workforce and create quality, secure, and well-paid jobs for local people. That looks like money wisely spent to me. 

Mayor Rotheram set up Gather to provide leadership and mentoring to support SMEs. It is aimed at businesses with growth potential to enable them to create jobs, while increasing the number of businesses.

Supporting businesses in our community

Business support included on-line programmes, workshops and bespoke one-to-one support. Notable success stories including Springpod, who are also based in Baltic Creative’s Digital House.

The scheme also supported another of Baltic Creative’s long-standing tenants, MGISS. MGISS joined Kenyons and Sood on the same Shift cohort. Following their introduction through Gather, they now work to enhance their brand strategy and online presence, resulting in new leads and business growth. Mike Darracott, Managing Director at MGISS said:

Gather has really opened our eyes to the growing [digital, creative & tech] ecosystem in the City Region and the potential of partnerships. We’re really excited to be part of it.

Gather has supported tech-led and tech-enabled businesses from a range of sectors, whilst its Sustain project is non-sector specific. The longer-term plan is to target the digital and creative sector while expanding the provision across other sectors in the city region.

The extension aims to support the growth of up to 119 of the region’s ambitious digital, creative and tech SMEs. It will be powered by a combination of public and private funding, driving towards a self-sustaining model that can run beyond 2025.

You can find out more about Gather at the website and by signing up to their newsletter!