Bristol creative industry given boost to create opportunities to survive lockdown

Co-founders Matt Allen and Ben Rees, The Famous Company

The Famous Company – a Bristol based business helping unsigned global music artists, is broadening its services thanks to support from North and East Bristol Enterprise Support (NEBES) and grant funding from the West of England Combined Authority.

The Famous Company, which was founded in 2010 by Matt Allen and Ben Rees in Stokes Croft, Bristol, have previously helped thousands of artists to launch their music careers, secure international airplay on radio, TV and Spotify and perform at high profile events including the London 2012 Olympics.

The company has recently expanded the promotional and creative services they offer to include the podcast industry, as part of work to recover from the impact of lockdowns. Podcasts have seen a surge in popularity over the past two years as performers look for new ways to reach audiences during this period.

Matt and Ben sought assistance with their business during the lockdowns which devastated the music industry, preventing artists from performing and dramatically reducing or removing income sources. They approached NEBES in May 2021 – Not knowing where to start our recovery, who we should talk to first, and what we needed to do was so daunting,” stated Matt, “If it wasn’t for the call to the NEBES team, I don’t know if we would have kept going.”

NEBES provided the pair with advice and support in marketing, finance, business and growth planning through 1:1 mentoring, online workshops and e-learning through GrowSmart, a flexible online platform created by GetSet for Growth, a programme offered through NEBES. They also encouraged them to apply for a Creative Growth Grant from the West of England Combined Authority which they have successfully used to develop their business offer.

By widening their services to include consultancy, production, editing and promotion for podcasts across all sectors, The Famous Company are feeling more confident about their future as a business. “Bristol is such a creative and culturally rich city. It’s also such a musically diverse place, which is a dream for a music services agency. We work with artists across all genres anyway, and the city definitely represents that too,”

 Of the service they received from NEBES, Matt stated, “It’s really been a game changer for us, and we will always be thankful for the guidance and support we received – it’s not only changed, but also saved our business.”

 New and existing companies in Bristol can access the support programme offered by NEBES, free of charge to achieve their business goals. The programme is funded by the West of England Combined Authority and Bristol City Council. It is delivered by YTKO, through its Outset service for business start-ups and GetSet for Growth service, for those with business growth ambition. Since 2020 it has supported over 600 pre-start, new and existing businesses, charities, CICs and social enterprises across Bristol. For more information visit https://westofengland.ytko.com/nebes or call 0800 456 1311.

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