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Durham University offers free skills workshops for the North East’s artistic, craft and creative businesses

(6 March 2018)

Creative businesses across County Durham and the wider North East are invited to take advantage of a programme of free business development and support workshops, hosted by academics from Durham University, this spring.

The workshops are being offered as part of Creative Fuse North East, a partnership between the region’s five universities: Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, the University of Sunderland and Teesside University.

The aim is to help the region’s creative industries to innovate and grow, by combining knowledge from across a range of different disciplines. The workshops draw on research conducted across Durham University, from the Business School to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Art, craft and culturally-focused businesses in the region are invited to attend the free workshops which include:

  • 13th March: ‘Inspire-a-Thon’: attendees will partake in a creative away day and collaborate on new approaches to innovation. The session will be led by Dr Ladan Cockshut, a post-doctoral researcher on Creative Fuse North East at Durham University Business School, and expert in play-based learning
  • 20th & 27th March: Digital Skills Development: led by Dr Mariann Hardey and Dr Alistair Brown of Durham University Business School and Department of English Studies, attendees will learn how to effectively tap into key industry influencers in online creative communities, drawing on both research and applied experience
  • 17th & 24th April: Practice in Teaching Art: informed by the latest understandings of online and offline teaching methods, a ‘Teach Your Art’ activity workshop will guide artists and creative businesses in how effectively to teach their craft to others.
  • 15th & 22nd May: Grant Writing retreat and Funding workshop: mentored by Durham University’s Research and Innovation Services team, creative businesses and social enterprises will be guided through the process of finding and writing bids for funding and commissions

Following these workshops, businesses will then be mentored by university experts to put what they have learned at workshops into practice.

Assistant Professor Mariann Hardey, of Durham University Business School, said: “We are really excited to be rolling out our programme of support to some of the astonishingly talented artistic and creative businesses that we have in the North East. Over the past few months we’ve been listening carefully to businesses and learning how our University resources and expertise could best help them. We encourage businesses to take advantage of this unique opportunity."

Workshops will be delivered in the inspiring surroundings of Ushaw College and Stanhope Dales Centre, and are funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Eligible businesses can find further details on each workshop, and sign up for free via: