£700,000 boost for Cornwall's creative industries

Cornwall’s creative industries have received a huge boost with the launch of a £733,000 Objective One-funded project aimed at developing skills and improving performance.

The Creative Skills Consortium (CSC) will be run by the Cornwall Arts Centre Trust in partnership with more than 25 other arts organisations across Cornwall.

The aim of the project is to build on Cornwall’s unique cultural identity through the creative industries sector by increasing skill levels and flexibility among the workforce, improving economic performance and business efficiency and creating work placements and employment opportunities for new entrants.

A discretionary skills fund is also being established to help individuals or organisations offset up to 50% of the costs of specialist one-off training.

The CSC programme will run initially for 15 months and will start in earnest in January. It will include a First Stop Shop that will deliver a training needs analysis service and information about training and Continuing Professional Development opportunities in the creative industries sector.

CSC has teamed up with Truro College and Dartington College of Further Education to deliver a range of free accredited training programmes ranging from management diplomas to administration, community arts and education, and technical skills like sound, lighting and stage management.

The project is being funded with £330,000 from the Objective One European Social Fund with the balance coming from a wide variety of creative industry organisations within Cornwall and in-kind contributions from the private sector.

Ross Williams of Truro-based Cornwall Arts Centre Trust, which will administer the project, said: “This has evolved out of the highly successful Training for Arts scheme we ran in 1999 and 2000. The difference with CSC is that it is a much larger and more inclusive partnership that will really underpin and reinforce the huge contribution this sector makes to Cornwall’s economy.

"We aim to train more than 100 people and help around 70 creative industry companies or organisations to really fulfil their potential and the potential of their people. We expect to see staff from professional arts organisations, freelancers, new entrants to the sector and New Deal trainees.

"The Arts Council nationally is looking at CSC as a potential model for other areas of the UK to promote good practice in the creative industries sector, and we’re confident this project will help build a sustainable future for the arts in Cornwall."

Julie Seyler, Objective One Cultural Industries Task Force Co-ordinator, said: "It’s no exaggeration to say that culture and the arts are among the cornerstones of social and economic regeneration in Cornwall.

"Cornwall has a very strong cultural identity and the Creative Skills Consortium will further strengthen our diverse cultural industries sector.

"Much of the training will be from lecturers and practitioners who are at the top of their field and there will be a full time training manager appointed to ensure the training on offer meets Cornwall’s needs.

"The technical skills element of the project will also address the shortage of qualified technicians within Cornwall, and hopefully we will be able to retain more of our young people by offering them relevant skills and training in the county."

The project was officially launched at a Cornwall Arts Network conference at County Hall in Truro on Friday, December 7.


Editors notes:

Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388