Developed in response to feedback to the Council’s Cultural Strategy, ‘Celebrating Culture on the Edge’, the Virtual Creative Hub will provide creatives with a way to network, feel more connected and access information, training and funding opportunities. These were all key requirements raised by local creatives during a consultation last year.
With many creative people and enterprises already working and living in Lowestoft and even more being drawn to the area, the Virtual Creative Hub will help to strengthen and grow the creative sector.
Funded through Arts Council England, the Virtual Hub will bring creatives together through social media channels and an emerging place website, which will be launched later this summer. Open to creatives who are based in Lowestoft or deliver work in the town, the hub will also have a programme of training, tool kits, networking sessions and bespoke 1-2-1 support. Additionally, a free Cultural Directory is in development which will allow organisations and creatives to promote their enterprises in one central place.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development said: “The creative sector has the potential to build thriving communities and drive economic regeneration in Lowestoft and is central to the £24.9 million Town Investment Plan. Lowestoft is blessed with creative talent and we want all creatives to have access to opportunities where they can develop and grow.”
Hazel Edwards, South East Director at Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted to see this new digital creative hub launch in Lowestoft. Led by East Suffolk Council, Lowestoft Virtual Creative Hub will help boost the arts and cultural sector in the area by providing support and advice to creatives through networking, 1 to 1 advice and social media promotion. With the Cultural Strategy already in place and new initiatives like the inspirational First Light Festival, Lowestoft is going from strength-to-strength.”
Working in partnership with Suffolk County Council, a small grant scheme, part of Creative Unlimited, funded by Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund, will be available for people who engage with the Hub. Awards of up to £1,000 are available to fund materials, exhibition equipment through to digital development, marketing and promotion.
Applications are now being accepted until 30 July 2021.