Wakefield: Advance

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Wakefield: Advance empowers creatives to realise their full potential and take their work to the next level.

Wakefield: Advance is a support programme for creative and cultural practitioners, freelancers, organisations and SMEs based in Wakefield and the wider Yorkshire Humber region. Wakefield is a district rich with creative talent, with some incredible cultural resources supporting the vitality of culture and creativity in the area, such as the Hepworth, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Production Park/Backstage Academy, the Art House and the Tileyard.

The programme brings together a series of networking events, specialist bootcamps and bespoke mentoring sessions, with the objective of providing a pathway for ambitious creative talent across Wakefield to access the business growth and talent development support they need to optimise the potential in their creative ideas, and turn their rich potential into Wakefield’s creative businesses of the future.

Brought to you by Creative UK, Advance is delivered in partnership with Wakefield Council and funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cultural Development Fund grant, which is administered by Arts Council England.

Visit the Creative Wakefield website to be kept up to date with this programme, as well as news of upcoming events, funding and other opportunities in the Wakefield area.

Please note, mentoring applications for the Advance programme are now closed.

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Case Studies

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Case Studies

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Advance: Creative Showcase and Networking

To celebrate the success of the Advance programme in Wakefield and all it has achieved, we are pleased to invite you to Tileyard North on Thursday 30th March 2023 from 5pm – 7pm.

Join us for some drinks and light nibbles and a chance to catch up with old friends as well as expand your contacts list. Free and open to all, but with a focus on the Wakefield creative sector and cohorts that we have worked with over the course of the programme.

Find out more and register 

Discover, Develop, Create with XPLOR

Advance, AD:VENTURE and XPLOR are partnering up to create an exciting opportunity for 12 creative businesses/freelancers based in West Yorkshire.

This fully funded offer consists of a two-day (14 hour) support package at Production Park led by XPLOR’s Virtual Production team to help businesses/freelancers discover creative solutions, develop new products and services for their clients and understand about the potential of virtual production and XR.

Areas of focus throughout the 14 hours will be LED screen setup, camera tracking, working with plate shots on LED, integrating 3D Unreal content and lighting for LED studios.

This opportunity will run throughout Autumn 2022 with dates to suit the businesses taking part

Find out more

Sharing Best Practice: Peer-to-Peer Support

Unlock personal resilience and growth. Harness knowledge and experience. Make new connections and strengthen networks.

Working in the creative industries there are many challenges and opportunities and it can be hard figuring everything out for yourself. Sharing Best Practice: Peer-to-Peer Support is a series of fully funded sessions aimed at Wakefield based founders, leaders and freelancers to come together in a small group to share best practise, learn from, and support each other.

No judgement, just a confidential, structured sessions facilitated by Kate Gledhill (Programme Manager, Creative UK). The dates are as follows:

Wednesday 19th October 2022
Wednesday 2nd November 2022
Wednesday 9th November 2022
Wednesday 23rd November 2022
Wednesday 7th December 2022

All sessions will take place from 10am – 12.30am via Zoom. Places on the cohort are limited and therefore participants must be able to commit to all of the course dates outlined above.

Find out more and register

Fast Track your Freelancing

Are you a creative freelancer or SME who is eager to grow and learn how to successfully run your business? Then you have come to the right place!

So often creatives find themselves dedicating more of their valuable energy to creating than to the running of their businesses – but now is the time to find simple strategies to take control of the whole picture and become unstoppable.

Fast Track your Freelancing is a 2 day online event here to help you think about how to successfully run your creative business. We’re here to give you the fundamentals of creating a memorable business plan that you can use for years to come, how to effectively reach your target audience, practical marketing sales strategies and how to maintain a sustainable work life balance!

Both interactive days will be taking place online on Thursday 19th January 2023 from 9:30 to 17:30 and Friday 20th January 2023 from 9:30 – 15.30 led by Alison Grade

Find out more and register here

We are offering bespoke advice and guidance from creative industry mentors who have been there and done it. As an Advance participant, you will receive 10 hours of fully funded mentoring from an industry leader to help you realise your creative ambitions. A few examples of what an Advance mentor could you help you with:

  • Creating new content, products or services
  • Project Management
  • Fundraising and Investment
  • Business planning
  • Marketing and PR
  • Leadership
  • Developing networks

To receive mentoring, you must first complete an application form. There are two forms to choose from:

  1. If you are an individual applicant or freelancer, apply here.
  2. If you are a Limited Company, Charity, CIC or other type of organisation apply here.

You ultimately have the decision on who supports you. You might already have someone in mind. If so, you can let us know on your application form and subject to Creative UK’s recruitment process, they can be added to our pool of mentors.

If you don’t have a mentor in mind, just tell us what kind of expertise you’re looking for and we will suggest a range of options for you to choose from.

Creative UK has over 150 industry consultants on our books, so we’re bound to find somebody that’s right for you.

Applicants must either be a registered sole trader/freelancer, SME, CIC or Charity based in Wakefield or the wider Yorkshire Humber region.

In some cases, we’re also able to work with pre-starts but it’s best to submit an enquiry first before taking the time to complete an application form. The Advance team will then be in touch to find out more about the support you’re looking for.

If we aren’t able to help, we can signpost you to other support available. This might be in the form of other Creative UK programmes or support from other providers such as Ad:Venture.

We can support mentees from any creative industry subsector including but not limited to:

  • Film & TV
  • Games
  • Animation
  • Digital
  • Immersive Tech
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Music/Audio Production
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Architecture
  • Publishing
  • Advertising

We’re always on the lookout for industry experts to join our books. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor on the Advance programme, please email olivia.savage@wearecreative.uk, Programme Coordinator for Wakefield Advance.

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