Local start-up bringing Hollywood to the Cotswolds

Through the Cotswold Film and Location Office, Emma James aims to attract crews from across the globe to the region, by offering her local knowledge and industry expertise. Her television production career has taken her all over the world and she has also worked on some of the UK’s most successful television series, such as Lewis, Casualty, Cider with Rosie and The Casual Vacancy.

To launch her business, Emma secured a £4,000 loan from the government-backed StartUp Loans Scheme, delivered by SWIG Finance. The Cotswold Film and Location Office offers a broad range of services to film and television companies, including securing locations, sourcing local equipment, recruiting extras, organising transport, accommodation and catering and liaising with local businesses.

“I initially looked for bank funding, but I was seen as high-risk because my work has always been intermittent, due to the nature of the industry. Securing the funding through SWIG Finance was a great experience. They were incredibly helpful, but put me through my paces – ensuring I had a rigorous business plan in place. My business can offer any ‘on the ground’ advice or hands-on help a crew when filming in the Cotswolds. I am already getting lots of interest from production companies and I think there is potential to attract crews from the US in particular. As well as growing my business, I also hope I can raise the profile of this beautiful part of the world, which will boost tourism and benefit other businesses in the area.”

Emma James, Cotswold Film and Location Office

“We are delighted to be able to help the Cotswold Film and Location Office get off to such a great start. Emma put together a really rigorous proposal for this new venture and we are very confident that she has the drive and experience to make it a success. The business not only has the potential to grow, bringing employment opportunities for people in the area, but could also have a positive economic impact on the region, by raising the international profile of the Cotswolds.”

Sarah Osborn, SWIG Finance

Offering fully funded business support alongside the loan, the StartUp Loans Scheme enabled SWIG Finance to refer Emma to business advice delivery partner, Business West.

“As soon as I met Emma and saw her application, the extent of her experience in the industry and her contacts shone through. It was also apparent that she had found a niche in the market. I worked with her to support her on business planning and she was very quick to take on board our advice. As part of the scheme we will be supporting Emma over the coming year, on all aspects of starting a business, from marketing to finance. I have no doubt that the Cotswold Film and Location Office will be a success.”

Scott Bladon, Business West

The StartUp Loans Company is a UK-wide, government backed scheme, which offers a repayable loan to individuals over the age of 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to finance.

The scheme funds businesses in every sector. As well as financial backing all loan recipients are given access to a mentor, free training events and exclusive business offers. SWIG Finance is the South West delivery partner of the StartUp Loans Scheme.

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