UK Trade & Investment
Helping you to export your creative talent

The UK's creative industries comprise of a huge number and range of businesses, delivering products and services to national and international clients. The UK creative industries sector contributed £13bn to the balance of trade in 2004 - around 4.3% of all goods and services exported. With the East Midlands exporting £16 billion per annum, the UK's strong creative international reputation and 80% of design-led businesses actively opening up new markets in the last three years*, isn't it time you looked overseas?

There's a world of opportunity out there for your business. Whether you're new to exporting or looking to expand, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government organisation that helps UK based companies succeed in international markets. A wide range of support is available to help businesses like yours succeed overseas.

UK Trade & Investment are your first port of call for international trade advice and support. Trading internationally is a proven way to improve sales and boost profits and the help available from UK Trade & Investment includes:

  • Practical support in the identification and exploration of global opportunities
  • An impartial view of your company's international trading potential
  • Information and expertise about markets, cultures and competitors
  • Assistance in prioritising opportunities
  • Information about prospective buyers / partnerships
  • Help in developing a strategy and action plan to reduce risks
  • Assistance with marketing and communications
  • Maximum return on your investment, by helping you to save time and money
  • Access to financial support to help with travel, exhibitions, research, marketing materials, translations and website development

UK Trade & Investment are here to help your venture into the world of export.


"Attending the Passport to Export workshops before the SURTEX trade show was a great help, especially
brainstorming with other creative companies. The workshops reminded me of the strategies I need to use when following up contacts from trade fairs. As a result, I secured three new contracts for my work."
Marilyn Robertson, Artist

Case Study - Briggs Hillier Design

Briggs Hillier are specialists in creating retail environments, from Flagship stores to concessions in department stores and have created and implemented retail concepts for the Likes of Harrods, Gore-Tex, HP, Schuh and Boots.

After realising the potential of their offer to brands and retailers abroad, Briggs Hillier decided to enrol on UK Trade & Investment's (UKTI) Passport to Export Programme. The programme was recommended by UKTI Creative Industries specialist Christine Johnson, as a solid starting point for making the leap into foreign markets and to help in developing an export strategy.

With the help of the matched funding made available through the UKTI Passport support programme, Briggs Hillier were able to make market visits to locations like Munich, Barcelona and Dubai.

Mandeep Bhaur, Head of Business Development for Briggs Hillier said:

"It was not long after that we were asked to pitch for an exciting project in the Middle East and the advice that was given to us through UKTI proved invaluable when putting together our research. We won the project in July 2008 which meant that we had beaten 3 other already internationally established design agencies in our first attempt.

Once we had started working in the region we were provided support through UKTI by the way of direct contact with Embassy Staff in the region and were able to meet with them to discuss issues, like social and cultural awareness, laws and legislation and most importantly what potential hazards could jeopardise the smooth running of our project."

The company has since successfully delivered the first phase of their Middle East design project and are now in the midst of project managing the fit-out of a flagship store in Saudi Arabia (the first of many). Although daunting, they overcame their fears about working in countries that are uniquely different from the UK and are now proactively in discussions with potential new clients in the region. "We have received continued support from the UKTI team in the UK and in Saudi Arabia, in developing potential new client relationships" said Mandeep.

The company recently undertook an "Export Communications Review" one of the partner services on offer from UKTI. The scheme involved a consultant evaluating marketing materials, from website to business cards and producing an evaluation report highlighting potential improvements to their marketing approach in the Middle East and they are currently in the process of implementing these changes as we speak.

Briggs Hillier continue to work closely with UKTI to develop their overseas business.

"We found UKTI's contribution to the growth of our company invaluable and we whole heartedly advise other companies to get in touch with UKTI to access the wealth of help and support available" Said Mandeep.

To find out more about Briggs Hillier visit For more information on UK Trade & Investment call 0845 052 4001 or visit

How can I find out more?

East Midlands based companies can obtain sector specific advice through an international trade creative industry sector specialist. UKTI's expert creative industry sector adviser is dedicated to supporting the international trade needs of creative and media related companies in the East Midlands.

For specialist advice and support call 0845 052 4001 or email us by clicking here

Useful Links

> UK Trade & Investment
> East Midlands UK Trade & Investment

* Source - Design Council's Value of Design Factfinder, May 2007