A new £100,000 Challenge Fund competition has opened for Belfast’s digital and creative companies, aimed at animating the city’s Maritime Mile.
Developed by Belfast City Council’s City Innovation Office, in partnership with the Maritime Belfast Trust, the fund is part of the Belfast HUB-IN (Hub of Innovation) project.
HUB-IN is all about exploring how digital innovation can help to sustain, enhance, and preserve the rich and unique heritage along Belfast’s Maritime Mile which connects key attractions, sculptures and viewing points on both sides of the River Lagan.
Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Christina Black said: “HUB-IN is part of our Smart Belfast programme which aims to stimulate collaborative innovation and this new fund provides a wonderful opportunity to nurture exciting new relationships between the heritage and creative industries sectors, local communities, and businesses along the Maritime Mile, and support people to develop entrepreneurial and digital innovation skills.”
Jenna Crymble, Marketing and Digital Content Officer at Maritime Belfast Trust added: “We are looking forward to the Challenge Fund generating some really innovative ways to further enrich and animate our iconic waterfront, encouraging residents and visitors to explore the sights and sounds of the city’s rich industrial and maritime heritage.”
Local creative digital SMEs can apply for grants of up to £20,000 to collaborate with cultural and heritage organisations and local communities to develop and trial innovative digital products and experiences to help increase footfall, dwell time and local spend in the area and further transform the Maritime Mile into a dynamic destination.
The closing date for applications is 20 November 2023. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch their ideas and successful applicants will be announced on 12 December 2023.