Behind Kin™ is Invest Liverpool. However, the story begins with the sector development agency Merseyside ACME.
Established in 1997, ACME’s role was to ensure that creative digital was at the forefront of the region’s strategy for economic growth. For over 17 years, ACME achieved this through the development of public and private sector collaborations and partnerships, as well as providing practical, relevant support and advice for businesses operating in the region.
During that time, the ACME ‘brand’ achieved high regard, particularly for its collaborative approach. Working in close partnership with both industry and sector facilitators, over the years, the ACME team supported literally thousands of businesses, secured millions of pounds for the region and been responsible for the creation and delivery a number of key transformational projects. ACME led projects and business support tools have been replicated across the UK (including T-shirts and Suits – an ACME commissioned publication written by David Parrish, which has been translated in to 6 languages and distributed worldwide).
In 2008, ACME spearheaded the delivery of Liverpool Sound City (now a stand-alone company and the UK’s premier urban festival of new music, film, innovation and creative technology) and a year later facilitated the creation of Baltic Creative Community Interest Company. BCCIC has been a key catalyst for the renaissance of the Baltic Triangle area which is now a thriving hub for the city’s creative and digital sector.
ACME also played a central role in the management and writing of the successful bid to be European Capital of Culture also celebrated in 2008.
ACME was also the organisation behind Kin™ an online resource for Liverpool’s creative and digital businesses and freelance community. Kin™ (which was national first) promotes communication and connectivity to an active membership and is complemented by a programme industry networking events aimed at encouraging cross fertilisation of professional networks across the NW region.
In 2009 ACME joined forces with Liverpool Vision and until 2014, ACME continued its sector development role.
ACME’s work with Mi led the way for the development of a significant eHealth cluster which has successfully provided meaningful working partnership opportunities for health service stakeholders and creative local businesses.
Other key projects have included the Digital Debate series – a project linking the digital community with local press to improve profile, press relations while also helping local press understand and report on issues affecting this sector.
Kevin McManus and Cathy Skelly of the original ACME team are now bringing their expertise, insight and connections to Liverpool Vision as part of the company’s investment team; working with Invest Liverpool to encouraging business growth and inward investment to further strengthen the region’s creative and digital offer.
Most recently, alongside the Liverpool Film Office, the team has been instrumental in securing investment in to a film and television soundstage for the city to complement the huge amount of film location work that takes place in Liverpool.