Local galleries and creative agencies will soon be able to access free advice and funding help through a newly created Creative Industries Innovation Centre.

The federally-funded centre, to be housed at the University of Sydney, will bring together cultural entrepreneurs and business experts in an effort to enhance Australia’s cultural life.

Australia’s creative enterprises are among the world’s best, but to remain competitive they must continue to innovate and improve their processes, explained the federal Minister for Innovation, Kim Carr.

Businesses will be able to apply for free business reviews as well as funding of up to $20,000 to implement any recommended changes.

The centre will have benefits for both cultural practitioners and the wider Australian economy, said the Minister for the Arts, Peter Garrett.

Local galleries and design studios in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills could benefit from the initiative, which could also lend itself to the City of Sydney’s Oxford St Cultural Quarter strategy. Instigated last year, the strategy will look to establish the Oxford St area as the epicentre of Sydney’s cultural life through arts markets, studio space allocations for local artists and art walks between the local art schools.

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