The Creative State North West — News & Events

Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme

20 August 2014 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandEurope

As we bring the Creative State North West 4CNW programme to a close, we are delighted to publish two key reports; the final report Brokering Creative Advantage and the Independent Evaluation Report.




Brokering Creative Advantage is the final report on the outcomes of the pilot 4CNW Programme, carried out by Sligo County Council during 2012 and 2013.It summarises the benefits and impact of the project and captures the lessons learned, key issues and challenges that have arisen, and proposes a framework and recommendations for future action.




The Independent Evaluation of the programme found that it has demonstrated the merits of what creative input can give to business in terms of value, changed thinking, opening mindsets towards implementing new approaches to problems and thereby enhancing capacity competitiveness and innovation in industry. Therefore there is strong merit in the continuation and expansion of 4CNW actions.

Key findings include;

• The operation of 4CNW demonstrated a huge latent capacity for the application of creative services and input across business sectors. It showed a lack of capacity for businesses to define their creative needs and a lack of awareness of the depth of creative talent available in their local region. It provides evidence of the need for capacity building mechanisms to grow knowledge and awareness within industry as to the value of creative services.

• The application of the talent voucher fund allowed the value of creative services to be showcased and demonstrated. It created new avenues to markets and clients for creative industries while developing new solutions for participating business.

• The holistic, bespoke business supports offered by 4CNW provided a co-ordinated and targeted response, towards stimulating new markets, enhancing competitiveness and innovation among many small firms across a range of enterprise sectors.

Both the Independent Evaluation and this follow-up significant report strongly suggests there is merit in the continuation of the process of bringing together the skills of both the business and the creative sectors in the periphery regions and in elevating the process from a regional to a national level.

Both reports illustrate that the brokering of creativity clearly creates better business advantage.

Next Steps
4CNW was a two-year pilot programme, but as you will see on page 83 of the report, we met with the Minister for Small Business and officials in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in 2013 in order to define and position the 4CNW programme. We also consulted extensively with a number of national government departments and key enterprise and cultural agencies. The purpose was to highlight the potential of this programme and initiatives of its type as a driver for business innovation and change. As part of this process the 4CNW report will be disseminated widely to relevant parties at regional, national and transnational levels and to the European Commission over the coming weeks.

ECIA Policy Findings
4CNW has also been selected by ECIA as a model of good practice and will feature as a case study in its final report, which will be launched at the closing conference of the European Creative Industries Alliance, November 27-28, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference will provide a platform to further showcase the innovative approach to cross-sectoral understanding promoted by 4CNW to a wider audience and in particular to those agencies with responsibility for developing policy in this area.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and involvement with the programme to date, and hope that you will find the reports of interest. If you do, please share them!

All our thanks from the 4CNW project team (l-r below); Devona Finnegan, Aisling Smyth, Aoife Flynn and Programme Director Mary McAuliffe.

Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme




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4CNW Directory is Live

19 June 2013 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandEurope

The Creative Directory is now live. Profiling over 180 Creative Suppliers from Ireland North West, Northern Ireland and Scotland you can browse the Directory by location, creative service or company name. 

You can access it on desktop here:

or if you are on a mobile device you can acess it at Where you can tap to add it to your homescreen as a directory app. 



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Free Discovery events in Northern Ireland

15 January 2013 — EventsNorthern Ireland

The first of our free discovery events will take place in Northern Ireland next week, with separate events for both Creative Suppliers and Businesses in both Derry~Londonderry and Belfast. 

These events are a great opportunity to find out more about the fund, be taken through the application process in detail by the team and to hear from previous participants in the fund about their experiences. Members of the Creative State team will be on hand to answer your questions on the day, and the events are also a good opportunity to network with similar businesses in your area.

For Businesses

4CNW Talent offers financial assistance to bring in new types of creative expertise to help grow your business. Applications for businesses opened on Monday 7 January 2013 and close on Monday 18 February 2013

To be eligible you must:

  • Have a business address in Northern Ireland
  • Come from the Tourism, Technology, Life Sciences or Agri Food sectors
  • Be looking to grow your business through the innovative development of products, services or marketing
  • Have completed your first year of trading.

Business Discovery Events will take place on:
Tue 22 January 2013 at 08:30 – 10:30 in the Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry
Wed 23 January 2013 at 08:30 – 10:30 in the MAC, Belfast

Attendance is free but you should register your attendance at to secure your place.

For Creatives

4CNW Talent connects creatives to new customers and commissioners and helps promote the value of their creative expertise to new audiences. Applications are open to all types of creative practice including writers, artists, designers, musicians, actors and film makers who can effectively communicate ideas, services or present new or existing products to customers. Applications opened for creatives on Monday 7 January 2013 and close on Friday 8 March 2013.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be a professional creative working in the creative industries
  • Have a business address in Northern Ireland
  • Be able to demonstrate a track record on delivering projects in partnership.

Creative Discovery Events will take place on:
Tue 22 January 2013 at 11:00 - 13:00 in the Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry
Wed 23 January 2013 at 11:00 - 13:00 in the MAC, Belfast

Attendance is free but you should register your attendance at to secure your place. 


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Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme