Durham Creatives, c/o Blue Sky Think, Evolve Centre, Cygnet Way, Rainton Bridge, Tyne and Wear DH4 5QY

Durham Creatives is a fun programme of free workshops, practical advice and support for anyone with a creative spark who's living or working in County Durham and thinking about starting creative business.

Durham Creatives is managed by Blue Sky Think LLP in partnership with Culture Works. We have been helping creative people start up in business for many years. We’ve found that when people get to grips with the idea of what it means to be enterprising, and do a little ‘sideways thinking’, fantastic things can happen. Part of our passion for this comes from getting stuck into creative businesses ourselves, taking in such things as dance, crafts and product design (and, slightly left field, starting a pleasure boat service on the River Tyne) and we know from first-hand experience that doing it for real is not the same as the theory would sometimes have it. So, for example, if you want to see a real business plan for a real creative business we’ll show you one - and tell you what went right and what went wrong when the business hit the road.

Our team has a rich variety of backgrounds – there are the Masters degrees in Entrepreneurship which underpin our work but we’ve also got our share of dyslexia and the sort of school experiences that could barely be described as a preparation for working life. This is really important because it led us to the big insight that got us going in the first place: the realisation that making great things happen is mostly about attitude and rather less about academic prowess, or having money, or even about having the a full palette of skills (fortunately, other people have these things, you just have to get them on board).

We know that creative people are often immersed in what they do, to the exclusion of pretty much anything else. So we’re happy to cajole, nudge and encourage anyone who thinks that they might just have creative talents that someone else will value (by dipping in to their wallets!).