It all began when we, Jane Shaw and Dave Howarth found ourselves faced with a number of challenges: unhappiness at work and a deluge of babies chief amongst them.

We were lucky though! Uninspiring schooling barely prepared either of us for the sort of working life anyone would aspire to, so we sort of had to make it up as we went along. The unexpected outcome has been varied and interesting working lives made possible by our key decision to our throw ourselves into creativity and self-employment. Jane began by starting and running a dance company and Dave, ignoring his lack of money, business expertise and maritime skills, set up a company operating magical mystery boat trips on the River Tyne.

These experiences led us to recognise what has subsequently become obvious and very important to us: that making brilliant things happen is mostly about attitude rather than academic prowess, or having money, or even having the relevant vocational skills. We believe that if a positive attitude is aligned with an understanding of what it means to be enterprising, creative people can make fantastic things happen. It is a message which seems to resonate as Create North is now one of the North East’s longest established companies working to animate and support people to start and grow creative enterprises.

Over the years we have run multiple enterprise projects of various scales for the creative sector from the Tweed to the Tees. In the last 5 years alone we have supported c.2000 creative practitioners and creative organisations to establish themselves in or grow successful enterprises.

We’re a determinedly small organisation with a huge vision and the capacity to deliver thanks to our amazing supporting cast, all of whom are creative entrepreneurs in their own right. They are drawn from a wide range of disciplines and bring great breath of experience to the mix. This allows us to ensure that our commissioners and participants work with the best people to help them achieve their aspirations and goals.

Our work is designed to sit within the creative and cultural strategies being developed at national, regional, and sub-regional level and to complement the work of those organisations using creativity as a means through which to facilitate cultural regeneration.

Our programmes are often free for participants, our work being funded through a range of sources including UK Shared Properity funding, Arts Council England, Local Authority Regeneration and Arts Departments, Further Education and Higher Education organisations, Enterprise Agencies and Third Sector organisations.

If you would like to find out more about how Create North might help you, we would love to hear from you!