Entrepreneurs, artists and cultural enterprises will be able to take advantage of free workshops, networking events and one-to-one guidance thanks to a £100,000 business support programme.

To coincide with Waltham Forest’s year of activities for Borough of Culture 2019, a two-year programme funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) has been announced for the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone.

It is hoped the boost aimed at hubs such as Switchboard Studios, Yonder, Blackhorse Workshop, Blackhorse Atelier and Gnome House will create jobs and help designers, makers and companies fulfil their potential for growth.

Sarah Thirtle, director of business support programmes at Creative United, which has been awarded the contract to deliver the programme, said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Waltham Forest Council to deliver this programme for their diverse and growing community of creative enterprises.

“We know from experience that when business support is shaped by and for the creative sector it can be transformational for those who receive it.

“From improved skills and confidence in business planning, to building capacity through access to finance and investment, or making the most of your IP, we are looking forward to helping up to 100 creative enterprises located within the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone to achieve their ambitions for growth over the next two years”.

The workshops will offer participants the opportunity to improve a range of business skills while also keeping their creative ambitions front and centre.

Networking events will see the artists, makers and entrepreneurs cultivating connections and partnerships with each other and the wider business community in the borough.

In addition, valuable one-to-one support will be available, providing an effective way to increase confidence through coaching and sector-led business advice.

Cllr Simon Miller, Waltham Forest Council’s lead member for economic growth and high streets, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses in Blackhorse Lane, an area where the creative industries are thriving.

“We are committed to keep, seed and grow local businesses in the borough and are delighted to partner with Creative United to deliver this free programme that will really make a difference to those in the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone.”

Businesses will be able to apply for a place on the programme from December 2018, with the first cohort embarking on their course of business support in spring 2019.