The Show Must Go On

Metro Mayor Dan Norris is promising more help for creative freelancers with the launch of a new support program to help them recover from the impact of Covid-19.

The Creative Sector Growth Programme aims to support recovery by working with creative businesses and freelancers to help them improve their business’s resilience.

It will offer support including:

  • – £3,000 of professional expertise (mentoring, coaching and/or consultancy)
  • – A series of peer group sessions which will bring groups of 10 businesses together regularly to address their shared challenges and learn from each other.
  • – Access to workshops and training delivered by Watershed.

Mayor Dan Norris met Clare Reddington, Watershed’s CEO, for a tour around the Watershed to learn more about the kinds of creative businesses and freelancers that will benefit from the new program.

Dan said: “Creativity and culture runs through our region’s veins – it really is the lifeblood of the West of England and is part of what makes us special and world-beating. But people working in this sector have been hard-hit by the pandemic. That’s why I’m stepping up to make sure that our fantastic freelancers get the support they need to get back on their feet. I’m urging our region’s creatives to apply for this new scheme so that we can work together to support their recovery.”

Applications to join the Creative Sector Growth Programme are open from now until Monday 26 July. It will help up to 120 creative businesses and freelancers to review their business plans and explore new business opportunities.

Clare Reddington, CEO at Watershed, said: “We are thrilled to bring our distinctive approach to creative business development to the West of England Combined Authority again, following our work with them on the Creative Scale Up programme last year. We will be working directly with 120 companies over the next year to deliver training and peer to peer sessions. Watershed’s approach to creative business development puts creative founders and their ways of making business grow at the core of what we do, building capabilities that last. We are delighted to be working with Gill Wildman and Mark Leaver who will design and deliver this programme with a team of experts, supporting the region’s creative brilliance.”

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