Young creatives around the Lakes and Dales are being highlighted by a project using arts, heritage and culture to help increase the number of 16-34 year olds living and working in Craven and South Lakeland.
Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD), the three-year programme funded by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, is reflecting on successful seedfunding stories which have helped young people across the area. Thanks to GPLD’s Acorn and Branching Out Funds some 32 projects have been set up.
Programme manager Lindsey Hebden said: “Our ultimate objective is to help increase the number of 16-34 year olds living and working in the area. Research identified four key themes for supporting the future of creative industries in the Lakes and Dales: attracting talent, increasing workspace provision, business support and raising the profile of rural creativity.
“The Branching Out and Acorn schemes were launched in November 2018 to support these themes and funding was available to help emerging talent, start-up businesses and collaborative projects to try-out and pilot new innovative work which would contribute to delivering and enhancing the cultural offer and economy for younger people in the GPLD area.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold our planned celebration for our seedfundees because of the current crisis, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reflect on the success of the scheme. We have instead organised a virtual networking event via Zoom for all our funding recipients and we hope to reschedule our celebration event for later in the year. We also plan to hold regular digital ‘drop ins’ with seedfundees to support them.”
Seedfunding projects have included:
South Lakes area
Future Fixers business skills training programme was aimed at sustainable start-ups with a social conscience. Six women, each with an ecologically sound idea with a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, worked with Kendal-based Karen Bentley-Brown on developing their businesses. The start-ups included glamping, silicone straws and a zero-waste café. The programme is currently running an online ‘coaching circle’ every Monday 11am – 12 noon. Message @futurefixers via Instagram to join.
Somewhere Nowhere run by Rob and Harriet Fraser ran a one-week residency for four local artists in partnership with Wordsworth Trust and Grizedale Forest exploring using art as a tool for thinking about place. The artists are due to stage a special exhibition of work inspired by the project later in the year.
Mountain Oak Woodcraft at Witherslack have built a timber frame workshop with a group of young people, which will be available as a co-working space once completed. Jack Holden was supported in expanding his skills to facilitate the project.
Lakes Alive festival worked with Kendal College to create four short films produced by local young people, depicting their ideas of possible Dystopian futures. Themes were based around plastic, deforestation, true emotions and climate change, providing the young people with the opportunity to develop their own narrative whilst learning new skills.
Ragtag Arts in Kendal developed and showcased an interactive art and theatre project where audiences can step into a magical artist studio and meet the paintings that have come to life. You can currently meet ‘Monsieur Abstract’ every Thursday on Zoom. Head to ragtagarts.co.uk to find out more.
Matthew Annable, a music teacher based in Skipton, underwent training on specific software to create interactive and immersive sound for games and virtual reality (VR). He hopes to share the knowledge he’s gained as an educator, allowing young people to get high quality and relevant music, game and VR education in the rural setting of Craven.
Skipton Puppet Festival held workshops and masterclasses in puppetry led by Steve Wright, of Routes Puppets, focusing on arts and employability skills for young creatives.
Three Peaks Arts Trail diversified its annual event to include hosting a visiting artist, a residency by two art students and other community arts activities at Horton Old School.
Settle Stories has been able to offer an internship for six months for a young person to develop event management skills and gain experience of working for a small cultural organisation in a rural area. Further training for other employees has also taken place.
Juliet Klottrup made a poetic documentary exploring everyday life for young people in the area called Youth of the Rural North. The film is an ode to the landscape and a tribute to the young people whose portraits and voices are featured. Juliet is based near Ingleton.
Take a look at other seedfunding projects: https://www.lakesanddales.org/funding-the-future#1