Creative North

Supporting Creative Practitioners Generate Income from their work

What's on Offer

Creative arts and business are a great mix

Originality and innovation are at the heart of all really great businesses.

We believe that a little entrepreneurial thinking can help practitioners and cultural organisations find customers, build audiences and generate income from their work. Our expertise is in bringing new ways of thinking to help people and organisations apply their creative talents and assets to make the most of commercial opportunities. Here’s how it works…

  • We broker relationships between creators and commissioners of arts
  • We build links to networks of the influential and knowledgeable people who can help turn an idea into a realisable proposition
  • We bring together people working across different sectors to spark innovative ideas and solutions
  • We host workshops, events and mentoring sessions that stretch imaginations, build enterprise skills, hone ideas with commercial potential, and steer people to markets


Enterprise Development

Artists and organisations who spend time developing entrepreneurial skills and capacities are much more likely to realise to their personal and organisational aspirations that those who don’t. Our programmes are designed to help participants • develop a clear sense of focus • better understand potential opportunities and how to access them • become more productive and waste less time • become better networked in the creative and business communities • learn how to place a value on the benefits of their work to commissioners and customers • enlarge their profiles • become more confident in their capacities to run businesses

Commercialising Creativity

We aim to fire participants aspirations for growth and help them identify the winning opportunities and routes to market that will bring them commercial and creative success. We use diagnostic and development tools that are shaped to the needs of creative entrepreneurs. These incorporate concepts and techniques - storyboarding, the use of metaphor and mind mapping, for example – with which creative practitioners are comfortable. The programmes showcase examples of innovative thinking that has led to the creation of new products and services, and are routinely supported by successful artists and industry specialists. Participants create plans for their business progression, identify potential barriers to growth, and develop an understanding of the skills and resources that they will need to acquire if they are to maximise the commercial opportunities.


Our programmes include professional development workshops, commission opportunities, group coaching sessions, networking events, one-to-one mentoring and consultancy, and cover: 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 • costing and pricing work • building entrepreneurial capacity • collaborative working


We place great emphasis on brokering relationships between artists and 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 and buyers to build commercial and creative relationships. In recent years we have worked with: The Bowes Centre, Baltic, Sage Gateshead, Durham Cathedral, Beamish Museum, Durham County Council Visual Arts Team and Newcastle City Library.

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