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Supporting Scotland’s independent screen micro businesses or SMEs who require specialist advice.

FOCUS is a 2-year pilot business development project for screen sector businesses in Scotland, running initially from July 2017 to 2019.

The project was developed in response to feedback from the sector, which indicated that there is currently a lack of access to sector specific business support for screen sector companies. FOCUS supports independent micro businesses or SMEs who require specialist advice in order to grow their business, but who do not have access to such support in house.

Independent companies in Scotland working in TV, film and animation can apply to take part in the project, with applications made on a rolling basis via the Film City Futures website. Twenty companies will take part in the pilot over the two-year period, with all participating companies taking part in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the project and contributing one third of the costs of participation.

In Stage 1 the participating companies receive support to create a business development strategy (BDS) which sets out a plan for achieving business growth and extending the ambition for the company, including recommendations for the company to access further support in specific business areas.

Stage 2 involves putting the plan into action through consultation with industry experts with various specialisms. Areas of specialist support include distribution, international sales and co-production, development, finance, production, HR, book scouting and legal support.

In addition to the main program, FOCUS will provide access to expertise through events, workshops and quarterly industry insights, available to screen sector companies throughout Scotland.

FOCUS is delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute and funded by Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. At its full capacity, the project represents an investment in the Scottish screen sector of £750,000, funded equally by Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and the participating companies.

The project is managed by Business Development Manager Rebecca Thompson, who is based in Film City Glasgow with a satellite desk at Scottish Documentary Institute in Edinburgh. Rebecca can be contacted on 0141 440 6998;