Rural Creative Challenge

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Creative UK have a pot of £20-40k grant funding for rural creatives who develop projects which align with one of the below 7 themes.

What is the Rural Creative Challenge?

Creative UK are inviting North of Tyne based creatives to take part in this programme of support to develop projects against 7 key themes of interest. We have joined up with the Rural Design Centre Innovation Project and Creative Fuse who have identified key themes through working with rurally based creative practitioners and listening to their thoughts on current opportunities.

We have grant funding available which enables those who take part in this programme to apply for a portion of £20,000 to bring their project to life.

An Online Zoom Launch took place on Tuesday 13th December to present more information on the programme, the themes of interest, and the partnership approach we are taking. If you missed it, you can watch it here:


Programme Overview

Workshop 1 – Thursday 12th January – 10:00 – 14:30

  • Theme exploration, ideation and concept development.

Workshop 2 – Thursday 19th January – 10:00 – 14:30

  • Building a business model around the concept, piloting ideas and funding.

Workshop 3 – Thursday 9th February – 10:00 – 13:00

  • Pitching and feedback

Applications – Thursday 23rd February  

  • Final application deadline.


What are the project themes?

Applications for grant funding will be welcome from North of Tyne creatives who have taken part in the programme and who have developed projects which align with one of the following themes:

Rural Creativity : Urban Consumption – Exploring how to build links between works produced rurally, and how to raise awareness of them in urban areas.

Collective Platforms for Creative and Cultural Products – Developing live/workspaces, online directories and retail environments.

Culture, Creativity and Tourism – Finding ways to enhance touristic experiences of the countryside with culture and creativity.

Wellbeing and Creativity – Projects which enable engagement with new customer bases by using arts to support wellbeing. This may include ideas which link to social prescribing (local, non clinical services which support health and/or wellbeing).

Place-making : Regeneration – Working on the regeneration of physical spaces or developing and improving the profile of rural places via greater production of local/hyper local content.

Creative Sustainability – Projects which address the creative “brain drain” away from rural locations and which aim to upskill rurally located individuals.

Innovation for Rural Creativity – Developing current practice and production or distribution processes for sustainability by innovative use of new techniques and/or materials.



To take part in the programme you must:

  • Be an SME based or operating in the North of Tyne area (Northumberland, North Tyneside & Newcastle). Freelancers are welcome.
  • Be working in the creative and cultural sector, or have a project in mind which has creativity as a main thread.
  • Be able to attend all workshop sessions before submitting your funding application.


Book your place on the workshops here

The workshops are fully funded but spaces are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.

To take part in the workshops you will need to complete an online registration form.

Please be aware that your details will be shared within the project partners, of Rural Design Centre Innovation Project, Creative Fuse UK and Creative UK.