Funded by the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.

Creative Kernow
Title Decoration

Vital Spark Creative

Title Decoration
Vital Spark Creative is a product design company led by Chris Booker based in Tremough Innovation Centre. Through a combination of design flair, innovation and manufacturing know-how they work with their clients to create products look great, function brilliantly, and are easy and affordable to manufacture. They offer a fresh, uncomplicated approach to product design that delivers results using specialist CAD software such as Solidworks.

In March 2017, Chris met with Laura Giles, one of our Creative Business Advisors, to talk about his ambitions for Vital Spark and how we might be able to help. It soon emerged that the only thing holding the company back was a lack of capacity to take on the work they were being offered.

“I was a bottleneck,” Chris explained. “We had a good client base and a lot of work on, but because it was just me, I couldn’t take on as much as I would have liked. The cost of the 3D software we use was prohibitively high so I couldn’t purchase a second set, let alone employ someone.”

Laura encouraged Chris to apply to our Creative Investment Grant scheme to make purchasing the software more affordable. Chris made a strong case that his business could reach new heights with a second set of modelling software and was successful in his application. Soon after, he was able to apply to our internship scheme to help him find the right person to raise his business to the next level. The scheme is designed to remove some of the barriers people experience when taking on their first employee by offering up to £4000 employment incentive grant to ease some of the cashflow problems small businesses can sometimes face when taking on their first employee. The outstanding candidate was Tom Pidden, a talented CAD designer and a passionate (and semi-professional) windsurfer.

Tom was delighted to find an opportunity to pursue a career in his specialism without having to move away to a place where he could no longer engage with his passion.

“Vital Spark Creative has been a very supportive and enjoyable place to work. I’m now a much more competent designer with a more rounded skill set.’

A year on, Tom has signed a new full-time contract and Vital Spark is growing. Chris is even thinking about employing a third designer.


Creative Kernow

Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity’s transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.

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