Creative North

Supporting Emerging Artists and Creative Practitioners

What's on Offer

Creative arts and business are a great mix

Originality and innovation are at the heart of all really great businesses so as a creator you already have one of the keys to success. At Create North we provide professional development programmes to help people with creative skills and ideas to gain commercially from their talents.

We believe a little entrepreneurial thinking can help practitioners find customers, build audiences and generate income from their work. Our role is to help creative people bring these things together to help them make the very most of opportunities. Here’s how it works…


  • We partner with real buyers and commissioners working across the region to create opportunities for you to try out your ideas and sell your work in commercial marketplaces
  • We connect you with networks of sparky/influential/ knowledgeable people who can help you take your plans forward.
  • We host workshops to stretch your imagination, build your business skills and sift your ideas until those with the greatest commercial potential emerge
  • We link you with a community of like-minded people

Professional Development

The benefits of professional development are well recognised. Artists who spend time developing their business skills are much more likely to realise to their career aspirations that those who don’t. Resister for one of our programmes to • develop a clearer sense of focus • gain a better understanding of potential opportunities and how to access them • be more productive and waste less time • feel more confident in your decision making • become better networked in the creative and business communities • learn how to value your work and it’s benefits to customers • increase your profile • become more confident in your capacity to run a business

Workshops & Events

Our workshop and events programme is designed to meet the businesses development needs artists and creative practitioners working in the North East. They cover a wide range of topics on the arts and craft of being enterprising including • vision and goal setting • innovation • product/service development • market segments • marketing strategies • communication and branding • sales channels and distribution • operations • financial forecasting • scalability • investment requirements and readiness • intellectual property protection


We place great emphasis on brokering relationships between artists and commissioners/buyers of creative work and have collaborated with many of the North East’s creative and cultural organisations to create new opportunities for arts practitioners to commercialise their work. In recent years we have worked with Baltic, Sage Gateshead, Durham Cathedral, Beamish Museum, Durham County Council Visual Arts Team and Newcastle City Library to provide opportunities for artists to create, exhibit and sell new work. We are currently delivering a professional development programme in conjunction with The Bowes Centre which has offered 10 new commissions for artists, designers and makers to create site responsive work in any media, culminating in an Exhibition of Ideas at The Bowes Museum in winter 2018. We are also working on the development of new commissioning opportunities with the Creative Fuse team and the Science Outreach Unit at Durham University, and with Durham County Council Arts Team. We’ll post more information about these emerging opportunities on our Workshops and Events page as they develop.

Growth Programmes

It’s important not to stand still if a successful start in business is to become sustainable. We are currently delivering a Thrive and Grow programme for creative practitioners who have launched businesses in County Durham and are now ready to move forward. This programme includes professional development workshops, commission opportunities, group coaching sessions, networking events, one-to-one mentoring and consultancy. Some of the workshops will be delivered by successful professional artists and, to ensure that participants can escape all distractions, we have incorporated residential creative retreats in the programme. We are delivering this programme on behalf of Business Durham, and it is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Full information will be posted on our Workshops and Events page.

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