Blue Pigeon Productions

30 April 2024

Phil Coles, Founder of Blue Pigeon Productions

About the participant

Phil Coles is the Founder of Blue Pigeon Productions – a production company based in Norwich. specialises in creating new story-driven content from existing material, and monetising archives of other companies as well as generating its own. Since its creation, Blue Pigeon has produced more than 200 hours of original programming, often using existing material, all for broadcast.

Phil was a participant of our first Creative East cohort in Norfolk, and had this to say about the programme…

Why did you sign up for Creative East?

“Like many creatives, business is not much of a strong point, but I’ve become increasingly aware that I work extremely hard on projects that make money for other people, but don’t have the time or skills to look at building my own business. I’d like it to develop, to continue to offer job security to my local team, but also to grow its own assets rather than monetising other people’s. 

What were your biggest challenges or uncertainties in your business at the time?

Television is always a challenging industry, there can be gaps in income at any point, and for years budgets have shrunk, adding pressure to delivering quality work. But 2023/24 has been much tougher than normal because the television industry has ground to a halt. Hopefully, it will pick up, but it’s good motivation to look at other workflows and funding models.

How has Creative East helped you with those challenges?

Creative East has opened my eyes to the various models of investment, giving me some foundational business knowledge that I was missing. It’s given me one-on-one time with experts, particularly in business structuring and contracting, which is truly invaluable, it’s shown me how to prepare a professional business plan at the exact time I needed it, and the whole process has helped me to analyse and streamline my vision for my company. 

In what way has the programme set you up for future business growth?

It’s helped me to find clarity in my ambition and to pitch it succinctly, helped me understand the types of investment that might suit me, and helped me make some tough decisions on company structure.

What was your favourite thing about the programme?

It’s been fantastic to be in a room of diverse people united by the same business needs. We have shared and helped each other. And it’s been fantastic to listen to business leaders and have one-on-one time with experts – it’s all been extremely useful.

What would you say to other business owners considering signing up for Creative East?

Do it, it’s such a gift to be given access to all of these resources. There are no negatives and there’s huge potential.

Thanks to Creative East my business partner and I have been able to make decisions on structuring our company and producing our first professional business proposal to secure funding – in addition, we have made good friends and invaluable contacts. “

Funders

Fully funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Delivered and managed by:

  • Anglia Ruskin University Peterborough
  • Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority
  • Innovate UK
  • New Anglia - Local Enterprise PArtnership for Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • University of East Anglia Innovation Funding
  • University of Suffolk