CREATE (Connecting Rural Enterprise for A Transnational Economy) is an innovative new project joining a group of like-minded organisations spanning public sector authorities, private sector representative groups, and business development agencies. The 6 partner organisations are from France, the UK, Ireland and Belgium, who share a joint vision of encouraging economic development.

The project has been awarded European funding through the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme, to develop and pilot best practice techniques which encourage rural small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to take up and fully exploit the potential of faster broadband. CREATE can also help SMEs identify opportunities to work with other small rural businesses across North West Europe to share best practice and learning.

CREATE looks to overcome the barriers to growth and competitiveness experienced by SMEs in predominantly rural areas. These barriers include geographic isolation, lack of infrastructure, lack of scale, poor joint working opportunities and critically, lack of ICT expertise. Faster broadband and advanced ICT have the potential to overcome these barriers and transform the productivity of rural SMEs.


On Tuesday 25 November at Hampton Court Castle, Spencer Kelly, presenter of BBC technology programme ‘Click’, joined speakers Penny Power OBE and UKITA Director Andrew Corbett at a gala dinner to emphasise the importance of Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) adopting digital technology.

The event brought together Herefordshire businesses with the Council’s transnational partner’s from France, Belgium, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland under the banner of the CREATE (Connecting Rural Enterprise for A Transnational Economy) project.

Spencer Kelly illustrated the enormous impact that future technology will have on our businesses and personal lives, while Penny Power OBE covered her work with government in supporting SMEs to network on line and discussed her new venture, the Business Café.

Andrew Corbett, Director of the UK IT Association (UKITA), spoke about the importance of local independent IT suppliers to SMEs in the UK economy, in which 95% of all businesses employ fewer than 10 people. Finally, Herefordshire businessman and food and drink ambassador, Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider and Perry gave a history of cider in Herefordshire together with a background to the making and development of the different types of drinks.

Earlier in the day the CREATE seminar focused on the project’s progression and development complete with the first demonstration of Cecille, the virtual presenter of the CREATE project’s interactive ICT guides. In addition, the CREATE:Social Score tool, CREATE:Infographic, CREATE:App and CREATE:Labs initiatives were also demonstrated. You can find out more about these on this website.



CREATE Advisors have been hired in each of the project regions to promote the adoption and exploitation by rural SMEs of Advanced ICT, enabled by Superfast Broadband Connectivity.

They will deliver:

  • One-to-one advice and guidance interventions to rural SMEs on how the application of technology through the adoption of new products and process applications can accelerate growth, reduce costs, increase productivity and improve competitiveness.
  • Deliver technology seminars

You can get more information and book time with an advisor now at the CREATE Advisor‘s page.


(Some of the CREATE Advisors)


7th  CREATE Newsletter is out!
We are pleased to announce that our seventh newsletter is out! You can access it here. Stay Tuned!
Newsletter 7 (header)

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