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27.05.15    Those in search of Creative Stoke's News Updates can now find them at Creative Stoke's moderated Facebook group, a group with over 1,800 members.

As a historian I feel it's sad to depart from the old newsletter format, since it was able to provide an accessible historical record of the growth of the city's creative scene. Facebook groups are much harder to archive, in that respect. But a Facebook group is just so much easier for your editor to administer.


01.03.15    The tenth issue of the Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available online...


Download the magazine (PDF, 7Mb).

The magazine has a full listing of business events and training, details of Factory opportunities, funding news, feature articles and more.

17.11.14    The ninth issue of the Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available online...


Download the magazine (PDF, 6Mb).

The magazine has a full listing of business events and training, details of Factory opportunities, funding news, feature articles and more.

17.11.14    Staffordshire University now has a new 'University Diploma in Professional Selling - For Business', aimed at employers with staff who need a better grounding in...

* Customer Relationship Management and Managing the Customer Interface
* Key Account Management
* Effective Business Negotiation
* Leading the Sales Team and Managing the Sales Function

More information from: forbusiness@staffs.ac.uk

17.11.14    A new M.A. degree for theatre professionals will launch at Staffordshire University in 2015.

17.11.14    There's a call for selfie photographs, for a forthcoming Gallery 116 exhibition in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent...

17.11.14    There is to be an open public meeting about the 2015 Stoke Pride event, which is now 'under new management', on 20th November 2014 in Burslem. An excellent set of pictures from the 2014 event can be found here.

17.11.14    If you live on Hartshill Road, Stoke, and would like to host a 'Lights on the Hill' shadow, paper-cut or lantern in your window or front garden this winter, please contact B arts at: info@b-arts.org.uk

17.11.14    The 2014 Newcastle Lantern Parade is on Saturday 13th December, and the organisers are seeking players of portable instruments and those who can contribute skills to the Lantern Band.

17.11.14    Fusion Performance Arts are now providing drama classes at The Foxlowe Arts Centre, in Leek. Classes are open to students up to 18 years and take place from 2.30pm-4pm on Saturdays. Free taster sessions are available. Anyone interested in joining please call Justine on 07515 285236 or email: Justine@thevenueattean.co.uk

17.11.14    A Stoke-on-Trent bid has made it to the finals of this year’s Big Lottery People's Millions Competition. There will be a one-day public vote toward the end of November 2014, and members of the public can cast their vote from 9am in the morning to 12 midnight. Calls and texts to vote will cost 15p, via a phone number to be revealed on the 24th. The Friends of the Potteries Museums & Art Gallery hope to win £30,000 of Lottery funds for Infusion, which would bring professional artists to work with groups of children and young people to create high quality artworks inspired by the Museum’s world collections. For details see the People's Millions website.

17.11.14    Organisations in Staffordshire have until 20th December to apply for the Staffordshire County Council Community Arts Fund.

17.11.14    Broken Mould Workshops is running a number of sculpture training workshops for adults, at Stafford...

* Plaster Waste Moulds for Sculpture - Saturday 13th December 2014
* Armatures for Sculpture – Saturday 7th February 2015
* Flexible Rubber Moulds for Sculpture – Saturday 14th March 2015

Also in the planning is a proposed BMS Sculpture Summer School 2015.

17.11.14    The Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford is running three fine art workshops in early 2015. See the new PDF brochure for more details.

17.11.14    Job: Arts Council England want a Relationship Manager (Combined Arts) at the Birmingham office, covering the Midlands. Deadline: 20th November 2014.

17.11.14    Want to go 'walking' up in the nearby Peak District, but without all the rain and mist? Google Street View has just released the 'Street View' for the Peak District walking trails, made by carrying Google's special 360-degree back-pack cameras along all the trails. This could be useful for photographers and film makers looking for local locations.

17.11.14    The 2015 British Glass Biennale, held in Wordsley and Stourbridge in South Staffordshire, is now open for entries. Deadline: 30th January 2015.

08.10.14    There is to be a big 'Start-up Champions' event for new and potential business start-ups, on 19th November 2014. The venue will be Vale Park football stadium, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. There are free stands available for exhibitors who can provide services and advice to new businesses. Contact Business Enterprise Support at: kwanc@enterprisesupport.org

08.10.14    Women in Rural Enterprise are running new training workshops on broadband use for women in Staffordshire. A variety of practical workshops will be available on topics such as: Facebook & Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram, LinkedIn & Google+; gaining confidence and and growing a business online; Social Media for Business Masterclass; getting started with Cloud services; 'A Website in a Day'; Alerts, Ads, Analytics on Google; a Two Day Course on Video for Business; and a UKTI Exporting Seminar.

08.10.14    Added to the Directory: Vividflow Studio, photography services based in Stoke-on-Trent.

08.10.14    Stoke-on-Trent is hosting this year's Tourism Management Institute Annual conference, on 10th and 11th November 2014.

08.10.14    Job: A Crafts tutor is wanted in Stoke-on-Trent.

08.10.14    Free crafts sales stalls are available for creative traders at the Stoke-on-Trent Winter Craft Fair, to be held Saturday 6th December 2014... "in a winter marquee in the city centre. A limited number of stalls are available for independent, creative traders and artisan food and drink sellers. The fair is part of part of Small Business Saturday, a national, grassroots, non-commercial campaign." Interested? Email business.growth@stoke.gov.uk

08.10.14    Job: a Senior HTML5 Web developer is wanted, in Stoke-on-Trent.

08.10.14    Job: A new Press Officer is needed at the Regent Theatre & Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

08.10.14    Job: Keele University needs a Deputy Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment.

08.10.14    Job: MMU's Department of Contemporary Arts at Crewe want a Professor of Creative Arts Practice. Also a Graduate Trainee, to help make their arts graduates more employable. See their Vacancies pages for details.

08.10.14    Make Some Noise have mentoring and training opportunities in Stoke-on-Trent for young musicians...

08.10.14    Potclays has its Annual Open Day on Saturday 11th October 2014, in Stoke-on-Trent.

08.10.14    A new FM radio licence has been awarded for North Staffordshire...

"Hitmix Radio which will provide a community radio service for the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the surrounding villages"

08.10.14    Staffordshire University has a Images of Research Photography Competition for its postgradates and other researchers.

08.10.14    Stoke-on-Trent's B-Arts now has advance details for Hush Hush Cinema #5, a 'secret cinema' showing in a mystery building in Stoke-on-Trent.

08.10.14    The new CD "Burn The Witch / Molly Leigh Of The Mother Town" is a nicely designed bit of Burslem gothic, complete with a photo booklet, from A Year In The Country...

08.10.14    Your editor's new 80,000 word book of essays on the author H.P. Lovecraft is now available...

08.10.14    A new book from Bill Cawley of Leek... Conversations at the Supermarket Till, based on conversations had as a supermarket checkout worker in the town.

08.10.14    Local crime author Mel Sherratt has a new book out, Secrets of The Estate, a companion to her popular Estate series of books.

08.10.14    Magnum photographer Mark Power has been commissioned to create new work in Stoke-on-Trent around the theme of "The City of Six Towns". He will be giving a talk on his work on Wednesday 8th October 2014 (6pm-7.30pm) at the The Science Centre, Staffordshire University. Tickets are £5.

08.10.14    Congratulations to Ellen Rogers, who has landed a major British Council exhibition in Slovakia. Ellen is based at Oakamoor in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Poster design by her partner, Prime Izm.

14.09.14    The eighth issue of the Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available online...


Download the magazine (PDF, 8Mb).

14.09.14    Factory Assembly is the city's major annual conference for the creative industries. A limited number of free tickets available are still available for this Conference taking place in Longton on 25th September 2014. Keynote speakers include Ian Livingstone the UK's creative industries champion; Wayne Garvie of Sony Entertainment and one of international TV's leading creative thinkers; plus others speakers and free practical workshops and talks.

14.09.14    A major appeal has been launched to save the Wedgwood Collection of ceramics for Stoke and Staffordshire.

14.09.14    Added to the Directory: Fantasy Wire Fairies Sculptures, wire sculptures from Staffordshire.


Picture: Fantasy Wire sculpture at Trentham Gardens.

14.09.14    There is a major new Sculpture Trail for Stoke-on-Trent, and associated website.

14.09.14    Added to the Directory: TDV Productions - video production specialising in Google Adwords for Video.

14.09.14    Added to the Directory: Custard Photography - professional photography studio in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

14.09.14    Under One Roof: Social Enterprise project is set for a launch event, at Keele on 14th October 2014. This looks like it will be of interest to anyone thinking strategically about social enterprises in Stoke and Staffordshire.

14.09.14    Staffordshire University has launched two new Distance Learning Courses in Design Management.

14.09.14    Live Age Festival: a celebration of creativity in later life, on Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd October 2014, at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and the Mitchell Arts Centre, Stoke-on-Trent. Full programme is now available.

14.09.14    Stoke-on-Trent arts organisation B Arts needs a new Chair of the Board. Deadline: 26th September 2014.

14.09.14    The Kings' Shilling theatre play is still looking for male participants between the ages of 30 - 60 plus. The play is an ensemble piece to represent the moods of 1914. Rehearsals start on the 30th September and the performances are 30th & 31st October at the Potteries Museum. If you would like to be apart of it please contact Laura at: stokecreativelearning@theambassadors.com

14.09.14    A trainee artist is required to help deliver a participatory arts residency in two care settings in North Staffordshire. Ideally a graduate in photography or film. Full-time, 13th October - 5th December 2014, plus 20 additional days to be agreed in 2015 (37 hours per week). £1,440. Deadline for applications: 5pm on Monday 15th September 2014. For further information please contact: s.c.miller@staffs.ac.uk

14.09.14    A Midlands based theatre company is needed to deliver a new £6,000 "Safer Wolverhampton" commission, to be developed for a year 10 school audience. With City of Wolverhampton College, West Midlands Police and the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership. Anticipated delivery February 2015 in a central venue. For more details please contact: admin@dialoguemedia.co.uk

14.09.14    There is to be a conference for student and independent videogame developers, 22nd October 2014, at Staffordshire University's Stafford campus. Free...

"The conference will give students, alumni and indie developers insight and knowledge to help prepare and inspire you for life after university and will also give you a chance to meet some industry leaders."

14.09.14    The Potteries Hackspace has a super new website.

14.09.14    The dedicated photography gallery in Stoke town, Gallery 116, is calling for selling pictures to show in their galleries.

Also note that a new bespoke line of frames is now available at Gallery 116...

14.09.14    There will be a handmade Gift Exhibition at the Borough Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 29th November 2014 to 11th January 2015. 30% commission, plus VAT on all sales made. All work will be on a sale or return basis. Application deadline: 30th September 2014. To apply please contact: beverley.jennings@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk

14.09.14    There will be sculpture-making weekends in Staffordshire, for adults, in October and November 2014.

14.09.14    The Sentinel newspaper and the Staffordshire Community Foundation are inviting local volunteer-run organisations to apply for grants of between £500 to £3,000. Deadline 30th September 2014.

14.09.14    The £20m extension of the Intu Potteries Shopping Centre, Stoke-on-Trent, is now finally underway. Intu would like to add some public art. The budget for this is around £50,000. Deadline: 30th September 2014. Contact: Paul Bailey, Culture and Events Manager, Stoke-on-Trent City Council at: paul.bailey@stoke.gov.uk

14.09.14    The ERDF-funded "Eureka moment" innovation fund is now open to innovative small businesses in Staffordshire...

"Receive free consultancy support and have an in-depth review of your business where new opportunities will be identified to help with growth. Small grants between £2,000 to £10,000 may be available to assist with implementing actions from your review ... [eligible] Businesses must provide at least 70% of their goods and services to other businesses."

14.09.14    The Clore Duffield Foundation is now open to applications as part of its £1 million programme to fund poetry and literature initiatives for children and young people across the UK. Through the programme, schools, F.E. colleges, community groups, libraries and other local arts/cultural organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support participatory learning projects and programmes focused on literature, poetry and creative writing for under 19s. Deadline: 6th March 2015.

14.09.14    Youth Music, England’s largest children’s music charity, which provides funding for music-making projects, has several new grants schemes available. Charities, not for profit organisations and schools can apply. Schools must show how the activities to be funded do not duplicate Department of Education funding.

14.09.14    Write a Staffordshire story, win £100, and see it printed in a major county newspaper.


Download the magazine (PDF, 8Mb).

28.04.14    The sixth issue of the Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available online...


Download the magazine (PDF, 8Mb).

28.04.14    There is a Factory creative industries networking event at the Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent, on Thursday 8th May 2014 (6.30pm to 8.30pm). There will be a talk from Helen Palmer, Director of Palmer Squared of Stockport. Helen is also the Joint Head of Marketing & Development for the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent, and she will be talking about... "what branding really means, why it’s important and how branding can make a real difference to your business". Scott Grindey, from Stoke-on-Trent City Council's Competitive Intelligence Team, will also be explaining the full range of market research and other free business research services available to all local businesses. If you would like to attend this free event then please email   factory@stoke.gov.uk   to book your place.

28.04.14    Interest-free business loans are now available from Creative England... "for small to medium-sized companies outside of London looking to develop new products".

28.04.14    Keele University's SPEED Plus business startup programme is now open for applications. SPEED Plus is for those with a untested business idea or "a hobby that could turn into a business", but who need help and support to get it going. The training takes the form of a six month, part-time business startup project, which is only open to university graduates in the West Midlands region. The deadline date for applications is 2nd June 2014. Successful applicants will start with a short induction in mid June 2014, for a start on 8th October 2014 and completion on 31st March 2015. See the website for full details.

28.04.14    Small £300 grants are available for local projects intended to help the over-50s in Stoke-on-Trent.

28.04.14    Craft Courses UK is currently listing a variety of short professional pottery courses in Staffordshire for 2014. These include: Basic Throwing with Duncan Hooson; Electric Kilns, Operation, Control and Maintenance; Glaze Application with Kevin Millward; Mouldmaking and Slipcasting; Glazing and Firing; Tile Making with Richard Miller of Froyle Tiles; Tiled Murals with Penny Hampson; and Plaster Model and Mouldmaking for Slip Cast Ceramics, among others.

28.04.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Appetite is now taking bookings for two workshops in June for visual artists and curators, both at the AirSpace gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. Cost is £10 per person.

Dodge the shredder is on 6th June 2014 (10am-4pm) and is...

"a full day workshop empowering artists and individuals to fund-raise effectively and create a financial strategy for their projects."

Appetite's second workshop is Crowdfunding on 19th June 2014 (11am-4.30pm). The workshop will be led by WeDidThis founder and producer Henrietta Norton, and is...

"designed to explore and discuss an alternative approach to fund-raising for creative individuals and organizations. It is applicable to artists working across a variety of mediums. ... includes activities that help participants explore the process of marketing creative work, building relationships and networks and practically identifying the challenges faced by creative individuals and organisations."

28.04.14    The fifth UK Craft Awareness event will be staged for creative interior decorators at Stoke-on-Trent College. The dates are from Friday May 2nd to Sunday May 4th 2014, and the event is run in association with the Association of Painting Craft Teachers (APCT). It is said to be...

"the only event of its kind in the UK. The event is open to anybody with an interest in graining and marbling and will include demonstrations on how to achieve the technique and workshops from industry professionals."

28.04.14    There is a new Lottery funded Heritage Enterprise Programme which sounds perfect for Stoke-on-Trent. It...

"supports enterprising community organisations across the UK to rescue neglected historic buildings and sites and unlock their economic potential. You can apply for a grant from £100,000 to £5 million."

28.04.14    Work:  Stoke-on-Trent City Council invites tenders from design agencies for a new graphic design framework. The Council plans to... "appoint up to five consultancies to a four-year graphic design framework worth around £200,000". Application deadline: 7th May 2014.

28.04.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Appetite is seeking volunteers to support their community arts programme in the city during 2014. There will be induction days on 14th and 17th of May in Newcastle-under-Lyme, aimed at giving applicants a better idea of the various roles available. Interested? See this Web page for full details and an application form.

28.04.14    The North West Women's Enterprise Day 2014 is to be held in nearby Crewe on 21st November 2014. The event is booking now, with only 250 tickets available.

28.04.14    The website for the first Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival, 'Hot Air', is now live with a full programme and taking bookings for June 2014.

28.04.14    Expressions of interest are invited from writers, performers and directors interested in collaborating on a new fringe theatre / storytelling project, "Stories from Pub Corners". This is destined for a tour of Stoke-on-Trent pubs during Summer 2014. Application details (PDF).

28.04.14    Audition applications are now available to appear as a performer in For the King’s Shilling at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery...

"A cast of young performers will come together in November 2014 in a free commemoration of those we should never forget. A moving, funny, yet thought provoking evocation of the tragedy and pathos of the First World War; and a fitting memorial to the fallen in the most ferocious conflicts in history."

Auditions will take place in July 2014 to bring together the ensemble cast. Interested? Email Creative Learning at:  stokecreativelearning@theambassadors.com

28.04.14    Free TV acting workshops in Manchester/Birmingham...

"The Workshop has been the recipient of a Special Bafta in recognition of its contribution to the film and television industry, and also the BFI Children’s Award and the RTS Midland Award. This opportunity closes on Friday 2nd May 2014 at 5pm."

28.04.14    The short film Seclusion, made in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has reportedly been selected for the Cannes Film Festival. There's now a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to send the film-maker to Cannes along with his film.

28.04.14    There's a new crowdfunding campaign for the Bang arts exhibition at the Spode factory in Stoke town.

28.04.14    Gallery 116's Summer Open photography competition and exhibition is now open for entries.

28.04.14    AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent has an open curatorial opportunity. Project fee: £3,000, inclusive. Deadline: 6th July 2014. There is also a graduate residency for students graduating from B.A. and M.A. Fine Art courses, for which the deadline is 13th June 2014. See their website for full details.

28.04.14    Hidden Earth 2014 is the UK's national caving conference, to be held in Leek in September 2014. For their art and film shows they are inviting submissions of cave related creative work in photography, video, art, and cartooning. See the website for full details.

28.04.14    Staffordshire County Council's Community Arts Development Programme is inviting applications up to £2,500 for project grants... "which encourage long-term arts engagement and which support community cohesion and development". Application deadline: 30th April 2014.

28.04.14    The Shire Hall Gallery, in Stafford town centre, is inviting submissions from artists in all media who create landscapes, urban landscapes, seascapes & imaginary 'scapes. Deadline: 30th April 2014. Interested? Send six .jpg images, C.V. and artist's statement by email to:  kim.gould©staffordshire.gov.uk

28.04.14    Work:  There's an AirSpace artist residency in Stoke-on-Trent, to...

"explore ideas of collaboration, partnership working and the possibilities for the cultural regeneration of [the wasteland between AirSpace and the nearby Tesco]".

The fee is £500. Application deadline: 8th June 2014.

28.04.14    Job: UCB in Stoke-on-Trent require a Head of Digital and Broadcast Fundraising. Deadline: 28th April 2014.

28.04.14    Work: Ornament needs a Curator. Ornament is... "a new exhibition of high-end collectible craft from eminent designer-makers" which is set to be launched at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2014 (9th-12th October 2014). The selected curator will work with other "curators and craft professionals from North West venues & collections" to find artists and makers in and around the North West of England. £4,450 for approx. 45 days of work. Interested? Submit a C.V. and a statement (max. 600 words) outlining your suitability for the Curator role by email to: angelagreatnorthernevents.co.uk

28.04.14    The UK government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced a new £500,000 Science and Society Community Challenge Grant Scheme to support to create and run pilot projects that... "take science to diverse audiences". There are three levels of project funding: up to £10,000, up to £20,000 and up to £40,000, depending on the size and difficulty of the project. There would appear to be an obvious role here for sci-art crossovers in engaging communities with scientific ideas and methods, and North Staffordshire has major science expertise in the likes of Keele University / the new Science Centre at Staffordshire University / and in major private industry R&D centres such as Lucideon (formerly Ceram). See the website for full details of the new grants.

28.04.14    The Decorative Arts Society (DAS) has established a small Collections Access Grant which aims to support curators in extending access to, and knowledge of, the decorative arts in their collections. For the first year of grant-giving, the DAS has earmarked the sum of £2,000 for the grant. Application deadline: 30th September 2014. See the Web page for full details.

28.04.14    Job:  A rare funded/paid PhD opportunity at Manchester School of Art, in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent's British Ceramics Biennial: "At the Edge: the designer-maker and industrial innovation". Deadline: 30th April 2014.

28.04.14    Jobs:  A number of Lecturer jobs are currently available at Chester University, in Drama and Theatre Studies, Popular Music, and Photography.

28.04.14    Job: Stoke-on-Trent's Appetite requires an Ambassador Coordinator to manage Audience Development to encourage more people to experience the arts in Stoke-on-Trent. Application deadline: 21st May 2014. See the Web page for full details.

28.04.14    Creative Health and Wolverhampton Art Gallery require a community or participatory artist, with experience of working on projects relating to conflict and war situations, to present their work at a special event. 'Art and Conflict' will take place 19th June 2014 (12.30pm – 2pm). The successful artist would be required to give a presentation of their work to an audience of 45, lasting around 30 minutes. Fee and travel expenses are available. Application deadline: 28th May 2014. Interested? Please email an outline of your suitability, along with your C.V. and links to examples of appropriate work, to:  kategant@creativehealthcic.co.uk

28.04.14    The main downstairs gallery at The Light House, Wolverhampton, is now available for hire for wall-mounted artworks or photography. £500 for two weeks, inclusive of installing and removal. "Longer periods may be negotiated".

28.04.14    The Marburae Gallery, in nearby Macclesfield, is inviting submissions from photographers for a photography exhibition in February & March 2015. Deadline: 14th May 2014. "There will be no submission or hanging fees, and only a commission of 25% on all works sold." Interested? Send 10 images of your work to marburaegallery@gmail.com along with the title, dimensions, and price inclusive of 25% commission.

28.04.14    Submissions are now being accepted for the 2014 Shropshire Open to be held in Shrewsbury from 13th October to 17th November 2014. This exhibition is "open to all artists" and it appears you don't have to live in Shropshire to enter. An entry fee applies. Deadline: Friday 19th September 2014. Details and entry form.

28.04.14    Interested in sound design? There's a Staffordshire University showcase day in Stafford on 6th May 2014, demonstrating the work of the second and third-year Sound Design undergraduates.

28.04.14    Little Miss Creative is a new network... "uniting and empowering young creative women in West Midlands".

28.04.14    Bookings are now open for the Buxton Festival and Fringe. Various traditional well-dressing festivals are going on at the same time in nearby villages.

28.04.14    Job: the Buxton Opera House needs a new CEO.

28.04.14    Added to the Directory: stokegigs.co.uk offers a comprehensive local gig listings service.

28.04.14    Added to the Directory: Colourwalls is a new wall mural painting service.

28.04.14    Added to the Directory: a new website from Stoke-on-Trent artist Marcus Wemyss.

18.03.14    Congratulations to bITjAM and the YMCA for their successful launch of the new bITjAM Innovation Qube (IQ) in Stoke-on-Trent. Carl and Ben (bITjAM) are seen below in front of the output screen for the Oculus Rift, the immersive 3D headset that's shaking up the videogaming world. The Rift is available for use on the Qube's modern two-floor site, along with lots of other fab digital kit. The Qube also offers access to creative talent and teaching/learning opportunities, in a friendly setting that is refreshing different from the usual educational environment. The Qube is located at the rear of the North Staffs YMCA activity centre in Stoke-on-Trent. See the Qube website for full details and forthcoming events.

18.03.14    The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has re-launched its North Staffordshire branch. They have an "Exporting & International Trade Made Easier" evening on 1st April 2014.

18.03.14    Jobs: bet365, one of Stoke-on-Trent's largest employers, has vacancies for: a Social Media Editor and a Social Media Editor (night shift) within the Social Media team at the Stoke HQ (bettings/sports knowledge essential); also a Web Developer and a Mobile Web Developer.

18.03.14    The planned full-length feature film version of the short film The Last Train to Budapest now has a new IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, aiming to raise £40k for development of the movie. Creative Stoke's interview with The Last Train to Budapest writer and director Richard Pekar is here.

18.03.14    James Ray has a new video about Totally Local Burslem, which features the many creative and arts businesses in the town of Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent.

18.03.14    Live In The City is a new monthly 30-minute music TV show, made for the new online community TV station called North Staffs TV. The first free edition is available online now. The show features talented local acts, and the brilliant music venues in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent. Also the winner of NME Best Midlands Small Venue Award, The Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent, plus The Glebe venue, and live performances from The Motives, Shae and Liam Lavell.

18.03.14    Staffordshire University's Drama Department, in association with Stoke's Regent Theatre, is set to run two adult Summer School short courses in theatre, 13th-15th August 2014. Successful applicants can choose from classes in either 'Directing for the stage' or 'Performing Shakespeare'.

18.03.14    A music event within the Staffordshire Festival is seeking choirs, singing groups or soloist singers to take part in the event and showcase their musical talent to a live audience. Interested? Please email: stafforshirefestival@gmail.com or visiting the event page at Staffordshire Festival Singers.

18.03.14    Unpaid volunteer work: The Alzheimer's Society is looking for a 'Singing for the Brain' volunteer in North Staffordshire. You'll... "support the running of singing groups that provide social interaction and support people affected by dementia" on Monday afternoons, starting 19th May 2014. Email: volsshropsstaffs@alzheimers.org.uk

18.03.14    Unpaid volunteer work: The Stoke-on-Trent based curator of the open access academic search tool JURN is seeking a recent graduate, or a former industry professional. During May and June 2014 you will develop and drive a short publicity campaign to promote awareness of JURN. The aim of the campaign will be to reach scholars, researchers and activists around the world, many of whom operate outside of academia. During May 2014 you will map the key channels and niches suitable for the promotion of JURN, briefly noting the best way to reach each of these. At the end of May you will craft a small repertoire of tailored campaign communications, and plan an agreed timetable of actions. Your awareness campaign will then roll out from 5th to 12th June 2014. Interested? Please first visit and use JURN yourself: the classic dozy search of what is history carr is a fun first test, and the semantic accuracy of its results compare very well with other academic search services such as Mendeley, Summon, and Google Scholar. Then please apply via posting a short comment anywhere on the JURN blog.

18.03.14    Job: An Editorial Assistant is wanted by the PR team at Staffordshire University (Stoke campus).

18.03.14    Job: Clough Hall school in Kidgrove needs an Art Teacher for the September 2014 term. They may split the job into a part-time art / and a part-time photography teacher.

18.03.14    Stoke-on-Trent photography gallery Gallery 116 is set to start a Young Photographer's Club.

18.03.14    Congratulations to Re:Source Me on the news of their successful funding bid to Arts Council England. Their funded project is titled "Pop Up Music Academy" and this...

"will be free to young bands, vocalists and DJs who want to record tracks, promos and mixes to a pro standard in a 'Pop Up' recording studio set in iconic spaces in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The studio will be fully equipped with high quality, industry-standard gear. Professional sound engineers will be on hand to offer support and guidance to produce a high quality recording."

Bookmark their website and check back for more details soon.

18.03.14    Congratulations to Meir-based Dan Weatherer, whose recent film was awarded 'Best UK Short Film' at the Stoke Your Fires film festival 2014. Dan wrote and co-produced The Legend of the Chained Oak. The film adds to the growing list of successful shorts, features and series based on local North Staffordshire legends and folklore. Watch for an interview with Dan in the next Factory magazine.

18.03.14    Added to the Directory: Domesday Morris, a folk-dance morris dancing group based in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent.

18.03.14    Added to the Directory: CineRobota a local Stoke-on-Trent video production company.

18.03.14    North Staffordshire's Trentham Gardens is running a series of one-day garden design workshops during spring and summer 2014. Work with award-winning garden designer Clive Mollart, to learn how to make the most of your garden design or apply design to... "that problem area that has always been a challenge".

18.03.14    A date for your diaries: the first Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival: Hot Air is set for 20th-22nd June 2014. The full programme is due to be announced before the end of March.

18.03.14    The Stafford Arts Festival is set for 6th September 2014, and the organisers are now seeking a wide range of artists, writers, and performers to take part. The festival takes place in various venues and locations around the town centre, both indoor and outdoor, with the main performance area being in the central Market Square. Application deadline: 14th April 2014.

18.03.14    Destination Staffordshire has 300 free training places available on an EU-funded "destination and customer service training programme", for those working in tourism and visitor attractions.

18.03.14    A major new book has just been published, The Natural History of Keele University. The work is the result of many years of research work and writing by Keele's own natural historian, Dave Emley.

18.03.14    James Peake, a radio production student at Stoke-on-Trent college, has a range of audio interviews and podcasts on Soundcloud. Including and interview with Cath Ralph, the outgoing CEO of the Burslem School of Art.

18.03.14    The Royal Television Society (RTS) undergraduate bursary scheme is now open for application, until 31st May 2014. The scheme offers 20 bursaries of £3,000 (£1,000 per year) to students who are studying television production and broadcast journalism at accredited British universities. In addition recipients will receive free membership of both the RTS and The Hospital Club, a creative arts venue and members' club in the heart of London.

18.03.14    Four West Midlands disabled visual artists are to be offered four hours of free mentoring. Sessions can cover topics such as career development, portfolio development, the artist's statement, networks and websites, and general information. Application deadline: 24th March 2014.

18.03.14    Paid work: The Big Dance West Midlands hub wants to appoint a West Midlands based choreographer for The Sightseers, a series of six unique outdoor performances to take place around the West Midlands during the Big Dance Weekend on 12th-13th July 2014. Inclusive fee: £4,000. Application deadline: 24th March 2014.

18.03.14    Paid work: A casting call from a Stafford agency, for TV shows including Peaky Blinders — a major TV drama show which is now doing some limited filming in Dudley, whereas they usually film in Leeds.

18.03.14    Job: The Midlands office of Arts Council England needs an Artistic Assessment Assistant to help co-ordinate a programme of assessments. Application deadline: 23rd March 2014.

18.03.14    The nearby Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is offering an opportunity for a disabled artist-filmmaker to undertake a commission from April 2014 onwards, to be completed by early February 2015. Application deadline: 31st March 2014. See the Web page for full details.

18.03.14    The nearby University of Wolverhampton has new short courses in Fused Glass Jewellery Making, Silver Jewellery Making, and Concept Art for Videogames, starting in April 2014.

18.03.14    The nearby University of Wolverhampton has a 2014 International Fashion Summer School on "The Mark of Style: Glamour Fashion" in June 2014. There will be a full 12-day lecture programme, and... "practical workshops will look at the detail of luxury fashion, presenting an atelier approach to textile design and garment construction."

18.03.14    The theatrical East Park Extravaganza, in nearby Wolverhampton, needs four age 20s/30s "very versatile actors" for an all-day celebration around the theme of 1896, which was the park's opening year...

"Cast must be able to deliver outdoor theatre, to ride a push-bike with confidence, have strong comedy skills and reasonable singing voices. The audiences will range from toddlers to adults. There are two short, scripted plays and some improvisation. The rate is £420 per week, for two weeks (i.e. £840) which covers both rehearsals and performance. Unfortunately, funding for travel and subsistence is not available, so West Midlands based performers are preferred."

Auditions are to take place at Newhampton Arts Centre (NAC) in Wolverhampton, on 25th March 2014 (10am). Interested? Please send details to the director Jonathan (Jon) Collings at: collings@blueyonder.co.uk

18.03.14    Local science fiction, fantasy and horror writers may be interested in Edge-Lit 3, to be held at the QUAD in Derby on 19th July 2014. Edge-Lit is... "a day of science-fiction, fantasy and horror writing", and is set to have guest author Charles Stross in attendance. Tickets are £25.

18.03.14    Paid work: Derby Silk Mill is seeking a creative partner to co-develop, design and deliver a textured installation in the entrance of their new ground floor space. They are also seeking a creative partner to use... "hundreds of Derby Porcelain figure moulds from the museum collection" to create a ceramics based wall display in the space. Application deadlines: 3rd April 2014.

18.03.14    What's billed as the first set of live "World Animation Masterclasses" are to be held in the Midlands at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, on the 23rd-25th May 2014. The organisers have lined up... "six master teachers to deliver a unique series of masterclasses containing information that is just not available in books, video or the internet", and they are reportedly expecting around 1,500 animators to attend.

13.02.14    The fifth issue of the Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available online...


Download the magazine (PDF, 8Mb).

This fifth issue of the free FactoryMag in-depth interviews, previews and advance news for the Stoke Your Fires film festival, plus an events listing, and funding news. There are also advance details of the Local TV broadcast service, set to start in Stoke-on-Trent in 2014.

Note that if you use the popular Foxit PDF Reader to read PDFs, you will need to enable clickable Web links in PDFs. To enable links in Foxit go to... File | Preferences | General, and then Uncheck "Make Hand Tool Select Text" + Check "Create Links from URLs" | then click OK.

13.02.14    Stoke-on-Trent's bITjAM has a competition ahead of the launch of their Innovation Qube, set to open on 7th March 2014. The IQ is a new equipped space at the YMCA in Stoke-on-Trent for young people to investigate innovative technologies. The Qube competition asks you to think of how to use technology in an innovative and fun way, to solve an everyday problem in your school or company.

13.02.14    Growth Vouchers have just been launched. These are £2,000 vouchers, for small businesses to spend on independent specialist business advice for your small business. Advisors must be accredited by a bona fide trade organisation or industry body.

13.02.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Appetite now has details of the Kitchen programme to develop new artworks for public spaces. Kitchen aims to... "be a place to cook up new projects, develop new ideas and share practice with other artists" and local people. Several strands of Seed Fund and R&D fundings is available. Application deadline: 10am on 5th March 2014. Further funding rounds are planned for July 2014 and September 2014. See the Web page for full details.

13.02.14    Appetite and the Stoke South Carnival Committee are seeking an artist, group of artists, or arts organisation “to capture the imagination” of local people on a First World War theme, for an annual Carnival in Stoke on 9th August 2014. Artist brief | Commission application form. Application deadline: 10am, 24th February 2014.

13.02.14    Stoke-on-Trent's SWOCA are now looking for artists to take part in this summer's London Road Festival in Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent.

13.02.14    NASA is set to land in Stoke! The National Association of Street Artists (NASA) is having its annual general meeting and gathering "For The Love Of It" in the city on 21st — 23rd February 2014. Two days of inspiration, creation, and skills sharing at the annual gathering for UK street arts professionals. Cost is £33, and NASA membership is reportedly not required for attendance.

13.02.14    Staffordshire University's The 72 Project requires two students to each serve as a Production Assistant, as part of a three day feature film shoot in Birmingham in July 2014. £400 tax-free bursary on successful completion of the project, per person. Application deadline: Friday 28th February 2014.

13.02.14    The Creative Communities Unit (CCU) at Staffordshire University, in partnership with the SAP scheme, is calling for students with technical and artistic expertise to produce...

1. a graphic/comic art/illustration case study
2. a case study using textile surfaces & surface pattern design
3. an experimental case study using ceramics
4. a crafts case study

Projects begin in March and run until 30th May 2014. The case study charts a member of the public’s journey in experiencing art/art events with reference to Appetite, a three year Arts Council-funded project. There is a £300 tax-free bursary on successful completion of project. Application closing Date: 27th February 2014.

"The student will be responsible for developing materials that will be used to promote and disseminate the research as the 72 Project unfolds. This will include the development of Facebook banners, viral videos, as well as front slides and graphics for the film itself."

13.02.14    A new five-week creative ceramics course is set to start on 12th March 2014 at the Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent. The course will run Wednesdays, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Full Fee is £20, with JSA, ESA and Income Support Claimants paying £16. See the Web link for details and booking.

13.02.14    Stoke-on-Trent best-selling crime novelist Mel Sherratt has launched her new novel, Watching Over You. There's also a recent 30 minute video interview with Mel, on the realities of life as an entrepreneurial writer...

13.02.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Prototype magazine is seeking "someone rather lovely, talented and inspired to assist in our new direction". They need bloggers who can write, interview and source creative inspiration to feature on the Prototype blog. Interested? Email  info@prototype-mag.co.uk  with a link to your current blog or a piece of your writing.

13.02.14    Billy Smart’s Circus will soon be hoisting their tents at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent, and the Circus is holding an... "Open Day on Sunday 16th February where you can tour the Big Top and look backstage all for free."

13.02.14    There's an excellent feature article on Stoke-on-Trent's ceramics renaissance in the latest issue of Monocle magazine (Feb 2014).

The revival of the Potteries also featured on Channel 4 News (video link).

13.02.14    Ceramics historians might be interested in a one-day conference being held on the other side of the Peaks, in Derby, on 21st February 2014.

13.02.14    Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre has renewed and reburbished its public market, which is set for an April relaunch. They are now seeking takers for pitches at £20 per day, and say that "incentives are available". Interested? Phone: 07771 568172

13.02.14    The 2014 King's Market (King's Hall, Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent) is inviting applicants for a 6' pitch from just £30, for their 23rd March 2014 event. Interested? Email@ markets@stoke.gov.uk for further information.

13.02.14    Job:  The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton-upon-Trent, requires a casual dance worker (15 hours per week).

13.02.14    Job:  The Lichfield Festival is seeking to appoint a freelance Artistic Director to devise and programme Lichfield's October 2014 Literature Festival and Lichfield Festival in July 2015. Fee: £12,000. Application deadline: 21st February 2014.

13.02.14    These nearby seminars might interest local museums and heritage attractions which are interfacing with film / crafts retail / or cultural tourism...

  * Film Friendly Museums – 27th Feb (Birmingham)   * Running a profitable retail department – 11th March (Ironbridge, Shropshire)   * The Tourism Economy and Museums – 18th March (Ironbridge, Shropshire)

Details:  barbara.taylor@ironbridge.org.uk

13.02.14    Shrewsbury Folk Festival requires an unpaid Children's Festival Directors. Application deadline: 21st February 2014.

13.02.14    Staffordshire University has formally announced it will move more than 3,000 students and staff to Stoke-on-Trent, from its old Stafford campus. This will mean a large influx of computing and videogame development talent into Stoke-on-Trent, probably by Sept 2015. The university is said to have around 500 students on the videogame courses, and a new Epic Games Centre funded by Epic Games (developer of the world-leading Unreal Engine videogames engine).

21.01.14    Are you a local film maker or producer with a completed feature script, completed documentary treatment, or completed film or series? Stoke Your Fires Marketplace gives you to the free opportunity to pitch your project one-to-one with experienced screen industry figures. Marketplace will happen in Stoke-on-Trent on 11th March 2014, and the application deadline is 24th January 2014. See the Web page for full details.

21.01.14    Photographers from Staffordshire are invited to submit printed and framed entries for the Keele University Art Gallery's Three Counties Open Photography Competition. Entries are via the 2014 entry form.

21.01.14    Concept Collective now has a date for the first meeting, Thursday 30th January 2014 (2pm-4pm), to discuss the idea of creating a central hub for local designers and makers from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The venue will be the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce offices on Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent [Google StreetView].

21.01.14    Opportunities for artists are now available for the London Road Festival 2014, a major community-led summer festival held in Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent. See the website for full details.

21.01.14    Jobs: Six Dance Artists & six Emerging Dance Artists (and some voluntary dancers to shadow them) are required for a joint outdoors project with Cheshire Dance and the Just So Festival. Just So is the annual young children's arts festival, held amid a wooded estate five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.

21.01.14    The Just So Festival is the young children's arts festival, set in a woodland estate located five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent. The organisers are now calling for volunteers for the 2014 festival. They especially want local art students who can be involved in the visual design and dressing of the site.

Just So are also looking for non-food vendors for the festival, and have a paid position for a Site Manager.

21.01.14    Stoke Film Theatre will host a free Arthur Berry: a celebration screen event on 22nd January 2014 (7.45pm) at Staffordshire University's College Road campus in Stoke-on-Trent. The date will be the 20th anniversary of the last filmed record of Arthur Berry, reading his "Homage to the Oatcake". The screening will show a compilation of Arthur caught on film from 1959 to 1994, featuring his painting, poetry, and plays.


Arthur Berry.

21.01.14    Work:  Nearby Telford & Wrekin Council are planning a spectacular outdoor theatre experience in June 2014, with the theme of "A Midsummers Night’s Dream". They would like to hire artists, creative teams and projects that are highly motivated and have experience of working in a community setting to deliver one of the following: art installations; fun arts activities and workshops for the public; and artists and makers to create spectacular and large scale puppets, sculptures or similar, that will be able to move around a park terrain. Deadline: 25th February 2014. Full details and briefs from Sarah Belcher via:  sarah.belcher@telford.gov.uk

21.01.14    Jobs:  North Staffordshire's Alton Towers is now recruiting its staff for the new £8m theme-park extension, BBC CBeebies Land. The five acre attraction is aimed at the many toddlers and preschool children of the UK's 'new baby boom', and is set to open 24th May 2014.

21.01.14    Rachael Lines and Clare Reynolds have volunteered to find out who is currently working in dance, and studying dance, in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and around the borders. They're also interested in discovering who may be interested in joining a dance network, and in what capacity. They are also keen to hear from those who have trained/studied, but who are not working in dance, and those working in dance administration or management. Interested? In the first instace, please complete the online survey.

21.01.14    RIBA West Midlands are looking for organisations, businesses and individuals who would like to contribute to its Love Architecture Festival 2014. They are holding an open meeting at their office on 29th January at 5.30pm, and would like to invite anyone interested to attend. If you have events or project ideas, please get in touch with RIBA West Midlands to RSVP for the meeting, via: riba.westmidlands@riba.org

21.01.14    The Buxton Poetry Competition 2014 is now open. The closing date for entries is 7th April 2014. See the wesbite for full details.

21.01.14    Down in South Staffordshire, the Bilston Craft Gallery is calling for contemporary crafts makers to exhibit as part of a "Beside The Sea" (seaside, coastal and nautical) springtime 2014 show. Application deadline: 3rd February 2014. See the Web page for full details. Further ahead, they are also seeking exhibitors for "A Glass Act: contemporary glassware for the table", 28th June – 30th August 2014.

21.01.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Denise O'Sullivan Ceramic and Design Ltd are creating a planets/ space themed commission with the Etruria-based Sculpted Steel, to be installed at Keele University. The commissioner would like to catalogue the processes, and is offering this out to students or recent graduates who would like experience or would like to use documenting this project as course work. Work would start from February 2014 onwards, for installation at the end of April 2014. Please contact Denise on Facebook if you are interested.

21.01.14    Two actors are required as part of the 48 Hour Film Challenge at Staffordshire University, 24th-26th January 2014.

21.01.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Gladstone Pottery Museum is seeking crafts stallholders for their March Makers Market on Sunday 23rd March 2014. If you make toys, clothes, gifts or edible treats and are interested in having a stall then please email:  nerys.williams@stoke.gov.uk

21.01.14    Staffordshire Living magazine is launching its own two-day lifestyle expo, Living Live 2014, in June 2014. This might be an event of interest for crafts makers and others looking for local selling opportunities.

21.01.14    Cannonball Records is looking for individuals with screen-printing experience to make and design music-related merchandise, to run alongside their city-centre record-shop business selling rare vinyl. Interested? Contact Dave on 07704 300304, or call in the shop in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

21.01.14    There's a new IndieGoGo crowdfunding project for Stalemate, a film about the fabled First World War Christmas football match. The makers aiming to raise £2,000 in funds, and plan to film in the Staffordshire Regiment Museum Trenches.

21.01.14    Independent Cinema Network is a new arts programme that aims to connect independent cinemas in the West Midlands with children and young people. Film Ambassadors, aged 14-25, will be connected with their local independent cinema or screening venue. They will develop arts experience for other young people, experiences which go beyond both 'gawp and popcorn' blockbusters and 'worthy and depressing' art-house cinema. If you are an independent cinema or screening venue and would like to be involved in the Independent Cinema Network, please email Rebecca Hardy, Programme Developer (Film and Digital) at:  rebecca@edge21.co.uk

21.01.14    The UK's Creative & Cultural Skills (CCS) body is seeking to provide young people aged 13 to 18 with an insight into job roles and skills for working in cultural heritage. They now want to hear from museums and galleries interested in helping to deliver an event or school visit, as part of their initiative. There is no funding available, but CCS can provide event support and expertise, merchandise, and some out-of-pocket expenses. For more information email:  aine.markey@ccskills.org.uk

21.01.14    The IPA (the UK's professional body for advertising and marketing agencies) is looking for Midlands companies who are looking to take on a young apprentice in September 2014 in either Creative and Digital Media, Marketing, or Design. In the Midlands they've assigned Birmingham's Creative Alliance to... "support [agencies] through the process, from job description to recruitment, including facilitating the interviews. As the training provider we will be working with you and the apprentice throughout the apprenticeship." To take advantage of this opportunity contact Creative Alliance by Monday 27th January and register your interest. Interested? Email:  sophie@creativealliance.org.uk

21.01.14    Interested in sourcing fashion supplies, fabrics, texiles, and accessories in the UK? Let's Make it Here is a comprehensive industry-supported directory of UK fashion manufacturing.

07.01.14    The airwaves of Stoke-on-Trent will have a brand new sound in January, as Internet-based 6 Towns Radio starts to broadcast on 87.7 FM. The community radio station starts to broadcast independently for a four week period on Monday 20th January 2014, until Sunday 16th February from its base in Queen Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

07.01.14    Stoke-on-Trent's Make It Your Business and the Factory programme have ten places on offer on a new year-round mentoring opportunity. The opportunity is open to creative and digital professionals in North Staffordshire. Successful applicants will have advice, support, and a bespoke action plan for getting their projects funded, made and out there. The support will be led by the team behind the Sheffield Doc/Fest, who will devise an individual mentoring plan for 2014 consisting of a total of 12 hours one-to-one mentoring. A series of workshops and activities will also enhance the mentoring experience. Interested? Email:  miyourbusiness@stoke.gov.uk with the following information:

* One page on what you hope to achieve from the mentoring, especially the goals you hope to achieve as part of it * One page of biographical information (not a C.V.) * Any supporting visual materials

Deadline for all applications is: 5pm on Friday 24th January 2014.

07.01.14    The Leek Arts Festival organisers want to know about your planned events a bit earlier than usual, for 2014. Programme content deadline: 31st January 2014.

07.01.14    Staffordshire University has Paid Graduate Internship Programme for 2013/14, providing employers with the opportunity to recruit talent from their graduates from summer 2013. Employers will be able to use the University's in-house recruitment agency, Unitemps, which covers: advertising vacancies; sourcing talent; pre-selection; and payroll. The University will also payroll graduate interns for you, at a much discounted rate, for 12 weeks. Thereafter you have the option a free conversion to your own permanent payroll. Interested? Please contact Carol Bragg, Recruitment Consultant at:  internships@staffs.ac.uk

07.01.14    Cheshire Dance is seeking a temporary Dance Development Artist for Cheshire East Borough. This is for a fixed term of 9 months, as maternity cover — with a possible extension to 12 months. For an application pack, please contact Evelyn Thomas at:  evelyn@cheshiredance.org

07.01.14    The Heritage Lottery's Start-up grants scheme is seeking individuals who are... "thinking about creating a new organisation to engage people with heritage". Applications can be submitted at any time, and grants of between £3,000 to £10,000 are available.

07.01.14    Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce are able to offer two training workshops free of charge to local SME firms who are also Chamber members, thanks to ERDF funding. Training days available include:

* 15th January 2014: Increasing Sales to Grow the Business. * 29th January 2014: Spring Clean Your Marketing. * 19th February 2014: Powerful P.R. * 27th March 2014: Getting Started with Project Management.

Free attendance will be allocated on a "first come, first served" basis. Interested? Contact Linda McQuade at:  linda.mcquade@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

07.01.14    Do you work in local museums or similar cultural heritage institutions? Museum staff and volunteers are invited to various free Winter Warmer information events in early 2014 at the Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford town centre...

* "Making the Most of Donations and Gift Aid", 16th January, 10am - 12 noon. * "Getting a Helping Hand with Volunteering and Give and Gain", 20th February, 10am - 12 noon. * "Getting Involved in National Initiatives (Museums at Night, Takeover Day and Heritage Open Days)", 13th March, 10am - 12 noon.

They say... "there is no need to book a place at any of the sessions, please just drop in and see us!"

07.01.14    The Stoke-on-Trent creatives behind the Blood and Bone China video series have a new horror music video online, Cardinal, "I'll Be Damned", directed by Chris Stone.

07.01.14    Assistant Writers are needed for the Write On! Writing Squads across the West Midlands region. These voluntary roles will involve working alongside the Lead Writers at some of their Writing Squads for 8 to 16 year olds. The Assistants provide additional support; help with mentoring and providing advice and creative writing exercises for the children and young people taking part. They also shadow the Lead Writers to learn new skills with the opportunity for career development. Writing West Midlands is able to cover travel expenses. Deadline for applications is: 1st Feb 2014.

07.01.14    BBC Radio 3 is inviting applications for the 2014 edition of New Generation Thinkers. Specifically they want to hear from early-career university researchers... "with a focus on arts and humanities topics". Successful applications will have the opportunity to develop radio programme ideas and to appear on air. They are especially keen to hear from people with an interest that encompasses biomedical and humanities. Full details at the Web page.

07.01.14    You wait for years for some creative website neighbours, and then three come along at once! Say "hi!" to: Creative Walsall; Cannock Chase Creative Hub; and Lichfield Arts.

10.12.13    The fourth issue of the Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available online...


Download the magazine (PDF, 8Mb).

This fourth issue of the free FactoryMag is 52 pages long, and includes interviews, event reports, market opportunities, an events listing, funding news, and a full report on the Factory Assembly conference which happened in late November.

10.12.13    Thinking of exhibiting at a trade show next year? Join the Factory team for a free event on Thursday 12th December, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at the Burslem School of Art in Stoke-on-Trent. Find out more about the opportunities of promoting your creative business at trade exhibitions. Speakers will include Margeret Bunn, Director of the British Craft Trade Fair and Becky White, International Trade Adviser from UKTI. RSVP to: factory@stoke.gov.uk

10.12.13    Work:  B Arts, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, have an opportunity for a Digital Developer. You'll work on improving the usability of the social media streams for the £3m Appetite arts engagement programme in Stoke-on-Trent, by integrating social media more tightly with the main Appetite website. The detailed brief is available here. Deadline: Thursday 12th December 2013. For more information contact Trevelyan Wright at:  info@b-arts.org.uk

10.12.13    Work:  The Stoke-on-Trent City Council Children's Centres at Burslem, Tunstall and Norton are each aiming to develop a 'sensory area' within the children's creche area. A commission (AN2013/284) is available for the provision of these. Application deadline: 10th January 2014. Full details from:  mandy.new@stoke.gov.uk

10.12.13    Work:  The Stoke-on-Trent City Council 'Aiming High' Short Breaks Programme aims to provide access to short breaks to enable children and young people with disabilities to try out new things, gain new experiences, and to have more opportunities. The Council now has a commission (CYPS2013/206*) for providers of these Short Breaks. There seems to be an obvious opportunity here for arts and other creative activities. Application deadline: 18th December 2013. Full details from:  kirsty.fairbanks@stoke.gov.uk

10.12.13    Work:  Staffordshire University is currently advertising for:

* Head of PR
* Head of Content Marketing
* Head of Marketing
* Schools and Colleges Marketing Officer

10.12.13    Middleport Pottery and the Prince's Trust have announced the specifications and availability of their new workshop and studio spaces for crafts production in the Victorian era factory, which is still a working pottery. Two units are already taken, but six are said to be "up for grabs". The units may be especially suitable for startup pottery ventures. Note also that the Burslem School of Art (located just up the hill from Middleport Pottery) will very soon be able to offer "hot wheeling" rentals to potters: it's like 'hot desk' office rentals, but for ceramics production.

10.12.13    Need to access higher training for an employee? Staffordshire University's Funding for Higher Level Skills has a deadline of 24th December 2013 for claiming their 15% training discount. Employers can access... "100% funding to develop a bespoke course or accredit an existing in-house programme, plus a 15% discount on a range of existing programmes" Interested? Contact their Business Team at:  forbusiness@staffs.ac.uk

10.12.13    The 1000 Lives Network Stoke-on-Trent has a new Community Matched Fund to award grants as community matched funding to local community based groups or organisations. You must be proposing a new project which involves people as volunteers, especially people who are not currently active in their communities. You can apply for up to £1,000. The total fund available is £4,000, and they expect to fund at least four projects. The closing date for applications in Round 1 is 11th January 2014. There will be a second round of funding in the Spring of 2014. See the website for full details.

10.12.13    Staffordshire University Community Winter Singers are inviting people to...

"come and sing traditional and unusual, simple, fun seasonal songs - on 5pm Weds 11th and Thurs 12th December 2013 in the Learning Exchange, Floor 2 of the Flaxman building on College Rd (above Film Theatre, Stoke campus) and Tues 17th Dec at 4.30pm in the Science Centre on Leek Rd, Stoke."

To find out more email Penny at:  p.e.vincent@staffs.ac.uk

10.12.13    Disappointed that Google StreetView doesn't cover your favorite bit of North Staffordshire? Google has just launched a new tool that enables anyone to make a seamless set of StreetView photographs of a place or route, and upload them to Google Maps for public viewing. You can also use the new tool to create a virtual tour inside a building, for your visitors.

10.12.13    Staffordshire University has a new one-day "Stay Safe on Twitter" workshop, set to run throughout the year. It will provide people "with the basics of media law" regarding Twitter use and libel, contempt of court, incitement, etc.

10.12.13    Job:  The Lichfield Festival in Staffordshire is currently seeking to appoint an Artistic Programmer to programme the Festival, on a fee paid freelance contract. You must be...

"an individual with a proven track record in programming of festivals and other events, a knowledge and understanding of music and arts, the vision to guide and develop the Festival’s future programming direction in challenging times, and the ability to work collaboratively with the Festival staff and board."

To request an application pack please contact the Festival Office at:  info@lichfieldfestival.org

10.12.13    Arts Connect West Midlands have a new pilot project, as part of their development programme aiming to explore how film and digital media can be used to enhance collections and venues in museums, heritage, and libraries. Applications are now invited from artists who are inspired by heritage collections and libraries, and who are interested in producing interpretative work in film and digital media. Deadline: 17th December 2013. Interested? Contact: Susan Goodwin, Programme Developer for Museums, Heritage, Libraries, at Arts Connect WM at:  susan.goodwin@wlv.ac.uk

10.12.13    Some very good news on North Staffordshire's connectivity: 4G EE mobile broadband is now live in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and EE say that Stoke-on-Trent is due for 4G switch on before Christmas. There is also good news on intercity train access to London: those needing to get back late to Stoke-on-Trent after evening events, meetings, etc in London now have a new Virgin intercity train departing London Euston at 10:50pm for Stoke-on-Trent. The new train service should mean that visitors to London can now stay at evening meeting or events until perhaps 9:50pm, before departing for Euston in time to catch the last train home.

10.12.13    There was also good news in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement this week (full audio | full text), with many of the business measures and changes also impacting on the UK's creative industries:

* more money allocated, £160m over six years, to the Start Up Loans initiative supporting new businesses. A report on how the new money might be spent, Small Business: Great Ambition, should be published before Christmas.

* a 're-occupation relief' that will halve business rates for new occupants of empty retail shops on the High Street.

* a discount on business rates over the next two years for every retail premises in England with a rateable value of up to £50,000, worth £1,000.

* the annual business rate rises will be limited to 2% in England and Wales next year.

* shops and firms must be allowed to pay their business rates in 12 monthly installments.

* easing of the eligibility requirements for UK Film Tax Relief, from April 2014, subject to EU approval.

* the EU "cultural test" for UK Film Tax Relief on films / broadcast animation / high-grade TV programmes will be eased and made more straightforward.

* the government will seek to extend the UK Film Tax Relief scheme to cover regional theatre productions.

* from April 2014 certain types of investments made in organisations with socially worthy aims will qualify for a 30% tax credit.

* scrapping of employer National Insurance contributions for young people between 16 and 21, thus reducing by £1,000 the cost of employing a new young employee earning £16k a year.

* personal income tax allowance to rise to £10,000 from April 2014, meaning those earning below £10,000 a year (such as many artists and bootstrapping startup owners) will pay no tax.

* cuts in corporation tax, falling from 23 percent to 21 percent in April 2014 and to 20 percent in 2015.

* moves to promote employee ownership of companies.

* doubling to £50 billion of the export finance capacity available to British businesses.

* the government will take more action to improve small business access to public sector contracts.

* the government will change the law, so that firms and organisations cannot disguise employment by claiming that the people who work for them are self-employed.

* an increase in 2014 of 30,000 university student places, and no cap at all on places in the higher education system from 2015-16.

25.11.13    Work:  Newcastle-under-Lyme's B Arts are looking for artists and writers for their new project "The Box", a three-year creative literacy programme with Stoke-on-Trent City Library. "The Box" will be aimed at boosting reading levels among children aged 9 to 13. B Arts now needs:

  * a Writer for Young People, deadline: 13th December 2013.   * an Immersive Theatre Designer/Maker, deadline: 9th December 2013.   * a Digital Media Artist, deadline: 9th December 2013.

25.11.13    Work:  Coventry's Creative Enterprise organisation, which sometimes runs workshops in Stafford / Stoke, wants to commission a new £3,000 promo video. Deadline: 28th November 2013.

25.11.13    Work:  Stoke-on-Trent City Council is looking for a training provider to develop and deliver a series of business development workshops, preparing companies for trade show activity. Closing date is 5pm on Friday 29th November 2013. If you are interested in this opportunity, or would like more information, please email: marc.wootton@stoke.gov.uk

25.11.13    BIC Staffordshire has three new 2014 workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, all from 4-6pm at the Sutherland Institute in Longton...

  * 13th February: Profit from Innovation.
  * 27th February: Protect & Fund your Innovation.
  * 13th March: Leadership Skills for Innovation.

25.11.13    Aiming to build on recent success of The Potteries Tile Trail project, the new Ceramic City Stories project is seeking help to identify, explore and tell your own stories about the people, buildings, and industry that continue to define our unique ceramics city today. There will be an initial briefing session on Wednesday 27th November 2013, 3pm-6pm at the CoRE centre, Enson Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. They are looking for volunteers who can commit to attending 12 sessions of approximately 3 hours each month, over the next 12 months. More details from Danny Callaghan at:  danny@mcardlecallaghan.com

25.11.13    The 2014 Stoke Your Fires film festival in Stoke-on-Trent wants your movies. Do you have a feature-length production ready for screening, and would you like the chance to have it shown at Stoke Your Fires Film Festival 2014? The organisers are looking for a feature length production of any genre to add to next year’s 2014 programme and to potentially open the 2014 festival. See the website for full details.

25.11.13    There's a new Kickstarter campaign for the Stoke-on-Trent film Grandma's Ashes.

25.11.13    There's now a new Facebook Group, Concept Collective, for discussion of the possibilities around setting up a central physical space or hub for local designers and makers from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

25.11.13    The Venue in Burslem is looking for new stage acts.

25.11.13    Stoke-on-Trent City Council is hosting a training day for tattooists, at the Civic Centre in Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent. This day should also be a good networking opportunity, as it is also open to tattooists from Staffordshire and Shropshire. Interested? Contact the Staffordshire and Shropshire Health and Safety Group on:  01782 232003.

25.11.13    There's a new Staffordshire County Council Superfast Staffordshire website which has news of the BT superfast fibre broadband fibre being rolled out into the rural parts of the county.

And according to BT's superfast home broadband rollout plans, the wiring of the Stoke-on-Trent BT exchange called Stoke City WMCIT (which appears to be Stoke Civic Centre and Stoke town) has been brought forward. This is now listed as November 2013. The town of Stone appears to have slipped back to March 2014, and Trentham is now listed as May 2014. The key Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hanley exchanges already offer superfast home and business broadband.

As for mobile connectivity, the uSwitch 2013 mobile broadband speed survey shows that Stoke-on-Trent gets an average 14.34Mbps, and that the city has one of the most stable 3G city connection speeds in the UK...

"... Stoke-On-Trent having the average [3G] broadband speed change by just 0.7% between 4am and 9pm, showing they have a very consistent broadband speed" (uSwitch)

25.11.13    Creative Nation is creating 6,500 UK jobs for creative people, in 1,000 days. Funding is available to arts and creative industries employers to take on apprentices and offer paid internships.

25.11.13    Staffordshire University has a date for your shiny new 2014 calendar. The opening night of the 2014 art and design graduation shows will be Friday 13th June, with the shows then running through to the 21st of June 2014. They are also planning a third year for the accompanying Fringe Festival.

17.11.13    The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise has an Introduction to Self Employment (over 50s) workshop, on 4th Dec 2013 at Burslem Methodist Hall, Stoke-on-Trent.

17.11.13    The Use of Social Media as a Marketing Tool is a workshop event on 20th November 2013 (11.30am - 1pm) in Congleton...

"Gain an overview of current Social Media trends and the most popular social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube. Understand how you as a small to medium sized business can use social media to promote your services [...] The free to attend Hub workshops and networking events are aimed at anyone considering self employment, new and established businesses and the third sector (e.g. charities and social enterprises)."

17.11.13    Oatcake Camp 2 is a unique Stoke-on-Trent grassroots discussion and talks evening, to be held at the YMCA North Staffordshire. There will be three sessions on ideas for improving city life, with media and innovation strongly to the fore. The line-up is:

   * How do we measure success of community engagement across social networks? (Carl Plant, BiTjAM).
   * How can local institutions be #morelikepeople? (Clare White, WEA).
   * Is innovation in the public sector dying? (Dan Slee, Comms2point0).

Grab a brew and cake from 6pm, and Oatcake Camp 2 officially kicks off in the YMCA Sky Room at 6.30pm on Tuesday 26th November (finishes at 8.30pm). This event is free, book your ticket now.

17.11.13    The curators of the AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent are inviting submissions from walking artists, and artists who walk, to send in documentation of their practice. This can be historic or current, in all forms of media. Submissions will form part of their forthcoming The Walking Encyclopaedia show at AirSpace, timed to coincide with the Richard Long touring exhibition at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery (opens 30th Nov). Deadline: 13th December 2013. Email to:  mail@airspacegallery.org

17.11.13    "Robots, Cyborgs and the Ghosts of Christmas Future" is the title of a public talk/demo at Staffordshire University (Stoke campus), on 11th December 2013...

"Intelligent robots and real life cyborgs will be on view in this exciting interactive presentation. You will be able to see if you can tell the difference between humans and machines in conversation and will have to think about what it means for a robot to be intelligent. Can robots have a biological brain like yours? Have you thought about what Christmas present to get your robot in the future? Suitable for both humans and robots of all ages as long as you have an open mind! Booking required:  public@staffs.ac.uk

17.11.13    18th – 22nd November 2013 is Global Entrepreneurship Week at Staffordshire University. Details on the flyer, or email:  beinspired@staffs.ac.uk

17.11.13    Added to the Directory: photographer Alex Harford.

17.11.13    Alex Clowes writes that he is looking for volunteers to help set up an arts group at the day centre he manages in Stoke-on-Trent, for older people with physical disabilities and dementia. He would like to hold an art exhibition in the Spring of 2014. Interested? Please phone 01782 324715 and ask for Alex, or email:  alex@thegrocottcentre.co.uk

17.11.13    Small Business Saturday (7th Dec) will see a Christmas market at the Burslem School of Art and another at the Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Spaces are now available for creative businesses and small traders. Businesses who attend will also be given a free business training guide, and have the opportunity to attend free business training workshops through the Make It Your Business project. Interested? Please contact:  business.growth@stoke.gov.uk including contact details, a description of the business, and your location preference.


Above: Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent.

17.11.13    The major Acoustic Festival of Britain, held at Uttoxeter, now has 2014 dates: 30th May to 1st June 2014. Note that this may also be a selling opportunity for crafts makers and instrument makers — enquire for details of market pitches / tables.

17.11.13    Jobs: Artist-led children's artist workshop providers are needed for hospitals in Sheffield, on the other side of the Peak District. Application deadline: 29th November 2013.

17.11.13    The Manchester Writing for Children Prize is offering a £2,000 first prize for the best individual portfolio of poetry that is aimed at children aged between five and 12. The competition is open to all writers aged 16 or over, whether they are established or unpublished. The portfolio should consist of between three and five poems of no more than 120 lines in total. The poems must not have previously been published anywhere else. Deadline: 28th February 2014.

17.11.13    The leading PC operating system Windows 8.1 is now available free from Microsoft, for charities and non-profit companies.

17.11.13    The Design Council's Design Leadership Programme is open to larger UK-based businesses, offering a subsidised programme of up to 10 days of design and innovation-focused mentoring, over a period of 6 to 18 months.

17.11.13    The New Art Gallery Walsall will be hosting a two-week artist residency from 20th January – 2nd February 2014, to be awarded to an artist living and working in the West Midlands. Applications are now invited. The selected artist will receive a fee of £500, plus £250 towards travel and materials. Application deadline: 29th November 2013.

17.11.13    Congratulations to Stoke-on-Trent Library Service and Newcastle-under-Lyme's B Arts. Together they've recently had £90,000 of Arts Council England funding to produce a new project called The Box, aimed at boosting reading levels among children aged 9 to 13. The Box will travel around North Staffordshire during the school holidays during 2014-2017, encouraging children to devise short one-to-one mini theatre productions. There will also be a showcase exhibition of children's work in the City Centre Library in Stoke-on-Trent (for which local sponsors are needed, up to £9,000).

03.11.13    The Factory creative industries conference for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is coming up soon, and free places are still available. This major conference will be on 21st November 2013, at the Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent. See the latest quarterly Factory magazine for full details and speakers...

03.11.13    Volunteer jobs: Volunteers are required for North Staffs TV, which will soon be in a position to start delivering local TV content to North Staffordshire and the world via the Internet. North Staffs TV will be holding two open-days at the Staffordshire University campus at Stoke. The first will be on Wednesday 6th November 2013 at 6.00pm, with the second on Saturday 9th November 2013 at 1pm. See the website for full details and the application form.

03.11.13    Job: Painsley Catholic College, in Cheadle, near Stoke-on-Trent, requires a temporary Teacher of Art. Deadline 15th November 2013. Apply via:  janekelly@painsley.staffs.sch.uk

03.11.13    The Axis Arts Centre, at nearby Crewe, is hosting a Brand Me workshop on 3rd December 2013 (6pm-8.30pm), a practical workshop on branding. Cost is £10 for non-CIM members. For more details contact: cimevents@cim.co.uk

03.11.13    Youth Enterprise CIC is the local delivery organisation for the government's Start-Up Loans for people aged 18-30 in North Staffordshire. Despite their name, Youth Enterprise can now offer Start-Up Loans to those aged over 30, following recent national changes to the scheme's age limits. Last month the government also approved another £34m for the Start-Up Loans scheme, as well as promising dedicated special help for former members of the armed services to start their own businesses.

03.11.13    There will be a free life drawing class in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, on 15th November 2013...

03.11.13    "Drawing with Light" is the title of a two-day masterclass in experimental tonal drawing. The dates set are 23rd and 30th November 2013 (10am-4pm), at Shire Hall in the centre of Stafford. Cost is £25. Other upcoming adult arts workshops at Shire Hall include :

* "Landscape, developing a personal response", on 1st February 2014 (£25)

* "Portrait Drawing with David Gleeson", on 8th February 2014 (£25)

See the new 2013-14 Shire Hall brochure for full details of all adult workshops.

03.11.13    Sarah Armitt at The D.J. School in Stoke-on-Trent is looking for a volunteer Building Manager, with experience of working in a community building, to help manage the repairs programme. Interested? Please email your C.V. and experience to:  info@djschool.org.uk

The D.J. School also has an Open Day on Thursday 7th November 2013 (12 noon till 3pm). All invited. Free drinks, entertainment, and much more with info packs for all. Also free D.J. sessions for the unemployed — send a txt to book a slot to: 07816 318676.

03.11.13    Stoke-on-Trent artist Rob Pointon has a new 2014 calendar, made with images from his "Year of the Boat" project. Sales help to support the Canal and River Trust, the self-funding successor to British Waterways.

To order please email:  enquiries@robpointon.co.uk

03.11.13    Cat's Curiosity Shop is a Stoke-on-Trent based online shop, specialising in hand-crafted and unusual steampunk/gothic accessories.

03.11.13    Waterside Arts Centre in Cheshire is offering... "£3,000 + support, for an emerging theatre company to develop a new work for The Chambers space at the Arts Centre in April 2014." Deadline: 15th November 2013.

03.11.13    Added to the Directory: Richard Swancott Associates, a public relations firm based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

03.11.13    UKTI, the UK's official export support service, now has over 50 useful Web seminars, using online video listed and coming very soon. Many of these are multi-sector introductions to the export markets in particular countries.

03.11.13    UKTI, the UK's official export support service, is running Great Creative Weeks, which will bombard selected export nations with large numbers of creative firms at any one time. Cost of participation in a "Great" overseas sales trip will be just £700. These Great trips will run across a period of 18 months, and our UK ambassadors overseas will actively help push the export sales events. See the Great website for full details.

03.11.13    Creative England has launched a new £250,000 Innovations and Partnerships Fund. The Fund is looking for... "companies who have new and innovative ideas for ways to help the film sector to grow and develop outside London." The funding on offer is between £10,000 and £50,000 per project. They are especially "looking for projects that demonstrate a commitment to cross-sector collaboration and to the use of new technologies and platforms."

03.11.13    The Big Music Project is a new £4 million investment from The BIG Lottery Fund, recently announced. As part of this the BPI will deliver a... "music-focused programme of training, job opportunities, and community outreach for young people aged 14-24 across the UK, focussing on deprived areas." The programme is expected to start in Spring 2014 and run until 2015. There's no website yet. More news on the The Big Music Project as Creative Stoke gets it.

03.11.13    The Spectator magazine has a new UK wide competition for cartoonists. Win a one-year contract with The Spectator.

03.11.13    Interesting national news: peer-to-peer funding (such as Kickstarter) is to be regulated in the UK from April 2014 with new EU laws. The main legal change with be that those pledging funds will not be "locked in" at the end of a successful Kickstarter, as is currently the norm. Instead they will be given 14 days in which to cancel their pledge to you.

03.11.13    New funding of £260,000 has reportedly allowed Shropshire's Business Enterprise Fund to extend to cover... "the Telford & Wrekin and the Staffordshire area"...

"The programme has grants available of up to £1,500 for individuals to start-up a company, and £5,000 for existing businesses to improve performance, enter new markets or to assist in diversifying. The capital investment has to be match funded at least 50% by the business."

Shropshire County Council's website appears to have totally crashed over the weekend, but if it's still not up by Monday then an enquiry via  customer.service@shropshire.gov.uk  should get you some details.

21.10.13    The third Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available for download...


Download (PDF, 7Mb).

This third issue of the free FactoryMag is 40 pages long, and includes interviews, event reports, news, funding news, an events listing, and much more. Plus details of the Factory Assembly conference in November...

21.10.13    Keele University's SPEED Plus graduate business training programme is accepting applications now for its January to July 2014 course. Wolverhampton University also have places on their own SPEED Plus. Note that, despite the weasley wording of Wolverhampton's Web page, SPEED Plus places should be available to any locally-based recent graduate who is returning to the West Midlands — and not just to the institution's own graduates.

21.10.13    Stoke-on-Trent's new fanzine The Kiln has issue #1 out now, and available free online...

21.10.13    Facebook has a new 'teaser' trailer video for the film The Last Dragon Hunter. The new live/action animation film has been made in Stoke-on-Trent by Chris Stone Films and BIGred. The premiere event is Friday 25th October 2013 (6pm) at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

21.10.13    The video made for the official opening of the Stoke-on-Trent graffiti tunnel/gallery is now online...

21.10.13    Added to the Directory:  Illustrator Sarah Croker, who has just moved to Stoke-on-Trent.

21.10.13    Added to the Directory:  Children's author and illustrator Kate Leake, based at her studio Planet Pencil in Stoke-on-Trent. Kate also runs schools workshops.

21.10.13    Added to the Directory:  Graphoonist, based in Stoke-on-Trent.

21.10.13    Added to the Directory:  The Situation is a new Facebook page with a... "mission is to bring interesting and innovative music to the people of Leek" in North Staffordshire.

21.10.13    Added to the Directory:  Hullabaloo Arts, based in North Staffordshire.

21.10.13    Added to the Directory:  Ali Reed has recently graduated in Fine Art from Staffordshire University, and is currently one of the team renovating and running the new Majestic Studios artists' studios in Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent.

21.10.13    Job: a temporary part-time Arts for Health Project Worker is needed for Spring 2014 at the Health Programme at South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The post will be 15 hours per week, as maternity cover. Full details from Jessica Kent at:  jessica.kent@sssft.nhs.uk

21.10.13    Job:  Saint George's Hospital in Stafford is seeking a musician, to run sessions working with various wards and NHS service users. Full details are available online.

21.10.13    The Burslem China Painters are hosting weekly china painting lessons (Tues, 9.30am-12.30pm) at the Burslem School of Art, in Stoke-on-Trent, with tutoring from Spode artist Tony Challiner. For further information phone either 01782 784025 or 01782 502451.

21.10.13    Hidden Earth is the UK's major annual caving conference. It will be held 26th-28th September 2014 in Leek, North Staffordshire. Creatives should note that the event is running several competitions including ...

  * Video Media Salon: The term 'video media' is intended to encompass all depictions of moving images and sequences of pictures and the competition will cover any aspect of caves, mines or potholes.

  * International Society for Speleological Art, Art & Cartoon Salons: These are open to all forms of visual art, except photographs, relating to any aspect of caves and caving.

21.10.13    The North Staffordshire Geologists’ Association currently has a photography competition for pictures of "geological features and/or landscapes". Entries to arrive by the 31st October 2013.

21.10.13    The North Staffordshire National Trust Association has a "Behind the Scenes at the City Museum" event for members on Wednesday 20th November 2013.

21.10.13    Nesta and the Nominet Trust are seeking ways to have... "digital making to go mainstream." They now have a number of grants available between £20,000 and £50,000, to fund projects that encourage young people who participate in digital making activities. Deadline: 14th November 2013.

21.10.13    Staffordshire University now has a page for the Global Game Jam 2014 event, 24th-26th January 2014. There's no sign-up page, just yet. The event will ask local indie videogame coders to work for 48 hours flat, to create their own new videogame using either Unity, or the UDK, or a PC. Anyone can participate. Take your own PC and kit, some survival pizza, and have a go!

21.10.13    Creative England has launched a new fund for regional filmmakers and production companies. To be eligible for The West Midlands Production Fund, productions must be based in the West Midlands, and must demonstrate a positive impact on the region. The Fund can invest from £100-£500k, to be matched with private equity on the same terms. Short films can also be funded, separately, via the BFI/Creative England Talent Centres.

21.10.13    Sky Arts and IdeasTap are set to offer five one-year bursaries of £30,000 each, to emerging artists aged 18-30. Deadline 6th December 2013. The bursaries are designed to help talented individuals from a range of creative disciplines focus on their creative practice for a whole year. Creatives must be practicing in: performing arts; dance; music; visual arts; creative producing (bringing together different artists); creative writing. See the Web page for full details.

07.10.13    The Factory creative industries service has a free Factory Floor networking event on Thursday 10th October 2013 (5.30pm to 7.30pm). This will be at the Spode Factory Site, in Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent...

"There will be a spotlight on the British Ceramics Biennial 2013, from the Biennial's Co-Director. This will be followed by a guided tour of the Biennial, and your chance to network with other local creatives."

The five-day weather forecast suggests "cold and crisp" for this evening, and the Spode factory interiors are cool at the best of times — so dress warm for this talk and tour.

07.10.13    Factory has a "Choosing the right business structure" training afternoon soon, on Tuesday 15th October 2013 (2pm–5pm) at Room LT011, Josiah Wedgwood Conference Room, Ashley Building, Staffordshire University. Places are free, however booking is essential for all the above events. To book please email:  factory@stoke.gov.uk

Details of other Autumn training events are available here.

07.10.13    There's 'digital humanities' event, at Keele University on 9th October 2013 (6pm for 6:30pm). 'Search Visualiser' is an exhibition preview & lecture, at the Westminster Theatre and Art Gallery in the Chancellor's Building at Keele...

"A new lecture and exhibition at Keele University uses this approach to examine how Helen of Troy and Maeve of Connaught are depicted in the Iliad and its Irish counterpart The Cattle Raid of Cooley. This is a multidisciplinary collaboration that brings together art, computer science, literary studies and social science. The software, "Search Visualizer", displays a text schematically, with the locations of chosen keywords shown in coloured highlight. The images are visually striking, and also give powerful insights into the structures of the texts."

07.10.13    Added to the Directory: David Horvath. David's artwork is on show now at ArtWaves in Burslem. David is also a skilled set designer and maker.

07.10.13    Added to the Directory: NACRE art, based in Stoke-on-Trent, makes hand-crafted felt pictures with a 'pop surrealism' edge...

07.10.13    Added to the Directory:  Kevin Millward is a highly skilled hand-thrown potter, who lives at Brown Edge, Stoke-on-Trent. His work can be seen at Barewall in Burslem, and he also has a feature on his work in the latest Ceramics Review magazine.

07.10.13    Job:  Stoke-on-Trent's three-year Appetite programme requires tenders from individuals or organisations for the services of an Audience Development Consultant, with the aim of encouraging infrequent and low attenders to make a long-term engagement within the arts in Stoke-on-Trent. The maximum fee for this is £5,000 (inclusive of all expenses). Appetite anticipates that the research will take place from October to December 2013, with a final report delivered in January 2014. Deadline is 5pm on Friday 11th October 2013.

07.10.13    Job:  Staffordshire University requires a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design to develop and lead the new BA (Hons) in Fashion Design at Staffordshire University, scheduled to launch in September 2015. See the Web page for full details.

07.10.13    Keele University is calling for entries to the Three Counties Open Art Exhibition 2013. The exhibition shows work from artists in Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. The 'receiving days' for the 2013 exhibition are: Friday 25th October (10am-4pm), and Saturday 26th October (10am-1pm) at the Chancellor’s Building reception on the Keele campus. Prizes for the competition include The Arthur Berry Prize, worth £1,000; the Barracks Trust Prize worth £250, and Keele University Prizes of £300, £150 and £50. The Exhibition will be open to the public from 13th November to 11th December 2013.

07.10.13    The forthcoming Artist Room with Richard Long at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery is to be accompanied by an AirSpace Gallery exhibition on walking art, "The Walking Encyclopaedia". AirSpace is inviting submissions now, with a deadline of Friday 13th December 2013...

"An attempt to collate and present as many different artistic responses to, and uses of the walk as possible. Timed to coincide with the Richard Long Exhibition at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, AirSpace invites submissions from walking artists and artists-who-walk to send in documentation of their practice, historic or current, in all forms of media, in order that we can offer a significant overview of the contemporary state of the genre."

07.10.13    Alongside BCB 2013 there's now a crowdfunding campaign to raise £2,500 to create a ceramic rose as part of restoring the Spode Rose Garden at the old Spode factory.

07.10.13    The 6 Towns Radio Secret Postcard auction sale is now underway. The winners of the bids will be revealed at the event on 18th October 2013.

07.10.13    There's to be a free screening of new films from graduates of Staffordshire University, at the Film Theatre on Wednesday 9th October 2013 (starts 7.45pm)...

"In association with Stoke Cine and Video Society, this is a programme of new films by students who graduated this summer in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies. An exciting programme of drama, documentary, animation, and experimental film"

07.10.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme's film festival is inviting submissions...

07.10.13    Advance 2014 dates have been set for the major 014Dance Festival at The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, an event which brings together a great many of North Staffordshire's many youth dance groups. Wednesday 12th to Saturday 15th February 2014.

07.10.13    "Two Ways of Life" is a symposium and photographers' portfolio development day, at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Saturday 23rd November 2013 (10.30am-4.30pm). Cost is £20/£12...

"This one-day event will enable photographers to explore and discuss analogue and digital image making, engage with professionals in critical debate and seek advice on their own career and portfolio development. It has been developed in the context of the exhibition "From Darkroom to Digital" (opens 16th Nov) at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, which is co-curated by Wolverhampton Photographic Society."

There will be a rare chance to see one of the versions of "The Two Ways of Life", the combination print masterwork of the pioneering Wolverhampton art photographer Oscar Rejlander.

07.10.13    The Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University is offering a new short-course starting in January 2014. 'Growing Your Social Enterprise' will be held at the Stoke campus, and is partly funded by the HEIF Social Enterprise Fund...

"this course will help develop the business skills and knowledge needed to create and sustain a social enterprise"

For those who can't find the time to do the course, Social Enterprise West Midlands has a new free Start Your Social Enterprise Guide for download...

07.10.13    Applications have opened for the Leading Learning Programme 2014, a UK-wide cultural leadership development scheme aimed at senior-level employees in the public sector. The LLP's bursaries are... "worth £1,000 to £1,500".

07.10.13    UKTI has just launched a new music industry funding scheme. The Music Export Growth Scheme will allocate millions of pounds of grants to small independent music companies who want to export. Eligible companies can apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000, by presenting detailed campaign proposals to a specially-appointed Selection Board. The first grants are expected to be awarded by December 2013.

07.10.13    Creative Skillset's Challenge Fund is now open for bidding. Media production sectors eligible to training funds grants include videogames, film, TV, animation and VFX. Successful applicants will receive support with their training funding for the next two years. Applications can be for between £10,000 and £1 million. The government is matching the funding pound-for-pound. See the website for full details.

07.10.13    The NESTA digital makers fund aims to have thousands of creative young people involved in digital production activities, and is now open for grant applications...

"successful initiatives will use young people’s existing interests, passions and pastimes as a gateway to digital making, inspiring young people to become creators, not just users of digital technologies. NESTA are looking for applications from organisations, or partnerships between organisations, that have the capacity to engage thousands of young people in digital making activities."

Deadline: 14th November 2013, for grants of between £20,000 to £50,000. See the Web page for full details.

07.10.13    State of Play is a useful new September 2013 report from Ticketmaster UK, which has crunched its abundant Big Data to inform...

"the first major investigation into the theatre sector by the world's largest ticketing company" ... "mixes information from its own ticket transaction data with survey responses from a representative sample of the UK population, as well as a selection of theatregoers from abroad."

21.09.13    Majestic Studios is shortly set to become a new creative studio space in Stoke-on-Trent. Currently being fitted out, the space has been set up by a recent B.A. Fine Art graduate of Staffordshire University together with several other recent graduates. The studios are in the c.1926 art-deco Majestic Chambers building, located in the centre of Stoke town...

"with many large studio spaces and a contemporary art gallery. Here we will be setting up events, exhibitions, residencies and a place to get on with your artwork. Forming a creative environment and a supportive art network, we aim to provide space and opportunities for local artists, international artists and recent graduates.”

The studios are very near to the new Studio 116 photography gallery, and to Spode which hosts exhibitions and events. Good cheap cafes and shops are on the doorstep, and it's short walk to the city's main train station and Staffordshire University (with academic library and art supplies shop).


Door photo: Creative Stoke.

21.09.13    After a very succesful official launch night on 20th September 2013, the Studio 116 photography gallery and studio in Stoke town is now fully open. The first exhibition, on now, is of a fine series of b&w pictures of the Spode ceramics factory made by Stoke-on-Trent's Dave Yarker.


Photos: David Moss.

21.09.13    The Kiln is set to be a new monthly Stoke-on-Trent fanzine. It will be free, and has been...

"set up by Gaz Williams and Rob Barrs and is dedicated to the Stoke-on-Trent music and arts scene [and will be] hand-printed and made available across The Potteries and Staffordshire and Cheshire"

21.09.13    A new award-winning documentary, Wild North Staffordshire, has been made by Peter J. Durnall. "Four years in the making", the film will be shown on the big screen at the "Halcyon Days" Staffordshire Film Archive screening, at the Staffordshire University Film Theatre on 16th October 2013.

21.09.13    Want to learn how to programme cultural film programmes or festivals? The short course "The Business and Creativity of Programming Cultural Film" is on offer from the Independent Cinema Office West Midlands...

"This one day course will unlock the mysteries of film programming from start to finish with practical insider information from the people that do it every day. It will equip you with the business and creative skills, knowledge and inspiration to create film programmes that will excite your local audience and get bums on seats."

The date is set for 26th September 2013 in Birmingham. Cost is £100 + VAT = £120. Interested? Contact Sarah Bourne at:  sarah.bourne@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk

21.09.13    Added to the Directory: Daro Design, based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. Daro is a product design consultancy, and can offer help with prototyping and visualisation services through to production.

21.09.13    Jobs: Freelance creative practitioners are required for the Staffordshire Hoard Gallery at Birmingham, by the Birmingham Museums Trust. Application deadline: 26th September 2013. Submit proposals for a specific project strand to:  richard.statham@birminghammuseums.org.uk

21.09.13    Job: the Mitchell Arts Centre, in Stoke-on-Trent city centre, needs a new CEO. Full-time post. Application deadline: 30th Sept 2013.

21.09.13    Robert M. James has started running a weekly acting class (Tuesday nights, 8.15pm-9.30pm) at Staffordshire University, for people interested in the process of acting (psychological realism)...

"We won't be doing any showcase or projects — just a 'lab' with a few like minded actors exploring the work of Stanislavski, Bella Merlin, Michael Chekhov, Uta Hagan and a few more thrown in for good measure! We'll also explore connecting meaningfully with other actors/characters; giving 100% attention to another; looking at wants/needs over 'motivation' and much much more!"

Interested? Then please email:  robert.marsden@hotmail.co.uk

21.09.13    New honours degree courses for Theatre are being set up at Staffordshire University for September 2014. These are:

  * B.A. (Hons.) in Acting and Theatre Arts.
  * B.A. (Hons.) in Technical Stage Production.

21.09.13    A free photo session is on offer from talented final-year student photographer Ryan at Asicit Photography. The venue is Monday 30th September 2013, at 9:30am at Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent. Terms and conditions apply.

21.09.13    A one-minute silent movie is wanted by the Just So Festival, the young children's arts festival which is held annually just north of Stoke-on-Trent. Deadline: 1st October 2013.

21.09.13    Potclays and Mayco are holding a ceramics training event on 10th-11th October 2013, in Stoke-on-Trent...

21.09.13    The British Ceramics Biennial starts shortly, in Stoke-on-Trent. There will be plenty to see, alongside the professional development events: a writing workshop for artists, and the BCB 2013 conference on 17th-18th October (£75 + VAT: PDF programme).

21.09.13    The Barewall Gallery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, is publicising new Apprenticeships and Paid Internships as part of the government's £15m Creative Employment Programme. See the website for details.

21.09.13    The Potteries Tile Trail website has officially launched, and is now fully loaded...

21.09.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme Camera Club now has a website.

21.09.13    The Acoustic Festival of Britain, held in Uttoxeter, now has 2014 dates: 30th May to 1st June 2014.

21.09.13    The Michael Heath Award for Cartooning, sponsored by John Lobb, has just launched for its first year. Submissions are invited now. See the website for full details.

21.09.13    There are art exhibition opportunities at Gallery3 in nearby Shrewsbury. The Gallery3 exhibition space is run by SADAA Art Panel to showcase the visual arts in Shrewsbury. They are now accepting exhibition proposals from artists who wish to exhibit their work during 2014 If you are interested, please send your proposal by email to:  exhibit@gateway-gallery3.co.uk

21.09.13    A new UK survey from the Cultural Commissioning Programme is asking for responses about experiences of delivering publicly-funded services in the arts and cultural sectors.

21.09.13    There's a new National Skills online survey about the skills/training needs among UK jewellery-makers and industry.

21.09.13    Arts Council England has issued June 2013 guidelines for all applicants to their GfA National Lottery grant programmes, giving information on rates of pay for artists.

21.09.13    Arts Council England has announced that it is seeking applications under its new £3 million Cultural Destinations programme. The closing date for applications is 5pm on 26th September 2013.

21.09.13    The UK's Futurelearn has just launched, and is offering free online courses from major British universities. Of immediate note is the short online course "The Power of Brands", which starts 14th October 2013.

21.09.13    "Exploring and Developing Your Creative Business Idea" is a one-day workshop to be held 21st November 2013 (9.30am – 5.00pm) in Stafford town...

"Delivered by Alison Grade, a very experienced small business owner and entrepreneur, this one-day intensive workshop will focus on tackling the key issues facing start-up creative businesses, enabling participants to examine and test whether they can turn their creative idea into a business reality."

The course fee is fully subsidised by EU taxpayers via European funding, so places are free.

21.09.13    Enterprise Nation's Fund 101 is back, thanks to PayPal UK. Win up to £500 for your business with this innovative small-scale funding scheme for new start-ups and growing businesses. The money is intended for materials and equipment. Elance have also chipped in with $500 of credit to successful applicants, to spend on outsourced online work.

21.09.13    UK Global Enterprise Week wants "digital savvy" volunteer reporters, for a week or so the end of November 2013.

27.08.13    Stoke-on-Trent's British Ceramics Biennale 2013 is seeking to commission artists for a new temporary Ceramics Trail, as part of the British Ceramics Biennial 2013 Burslem Weekender. The outdoor commissions will ask artists to create works which form the basis of a canalside walk, from Hanley Park in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent, to Middleport in the north of Stoke-on-Trent. The walk will take place on Saturday 12th October 2013. Application deadline: Thursday 12th September 2013. Apply to:  mail@airspacegallery.org

27.08.13    Factory: Assembly is a one-day creative gathering brought to you by CIDACo, as part of the North Staffordshire Creative Industries Business Development Project. Hear about the latest trends and developments in new markets, new opportunities and how to grow their creative business, collectively, interactively and creatively. Priority registration is now open for all Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire creative companies. To register your interest in attending and secure your place please email before 31st August 2013:  assembly@cida.org

27.08.13    Congratulations to Zeke Ares, 2012 animation graduate of Staffordshire University. Zeke writes that he and his studio have gained the contract to create a stop-motion animation pilot of children’s author Jack Trelawny and his Kernowland books. The team are hoping to set up their own animation studio in Stoke town centre in October 2013, to start full production. Have a look at their Kickstarter campaign and see if you can help them out!

27.08.13    Added to the Directory: Pez and pencil is a local freelance designer & illustrator based in Stoke-on-Trent, specialising in fresh hand-lettered goodness...

27.08.13    Job:  The Stoke-on-Trent -based Creative Minds Festival 2014 requires an freelance Outreach Worker (Nov 2013 to July 2014), to advance public understanding of the Bertarelli Foundation Creative Minds Festival. Closing date for applications is 20th September 2013. For a full job description please email Julia Barton at:  creativeminds@live.co.uk

27.08.13    A reminder that the local Business Innovation Centres (BIC) are running business workshops in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford this autumn: 25th September, 4pm-6pm at the Stoke-on-Trent Centre, "Profit from Innovation"; 2nd October, 4pm-8pm at the Stafford Centre, "New Product Development – Why do we need to be innovative?"; 16th October, 4pm-6.30pm at the Stoke-on-Trent Centre, "Protect and Fund your Innovation – What is Intellectual Property?". For more information and to book your place contact Sandra Butterworth at:  sandra.butterworth@thebic.co.uk

27.08.13    Coming soon is Ceramics 2013, the annual Staffordshire ceramics industry conference. This year the event will be held at the CORE centre in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, on 26th September 2013. See the website for full details of exhibitor bookings and schedule.

27.08.13    Stoke town's photography gallery, Gallery 116, is now taking bookings for all photographers wanting to showcase their work. Gallery 116 is in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent, a short walk from the university and train station. There is a modern and contempory space on the ground floor, with a 1st floor studio space. Spaces are available from late November 2013, at a very reasonable rate. Interested? Contact Darren Washington at:  gallery116@hotmail.com

27.08.13    The creative technology team at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent have a sharing day on Thursday 29th August 2013 (10.30am and 3pm)...

"There are two presentations, one about how we photographed the Staffordshire Hoard and a second one about how we took these resources and used them to create iBooks files to display in the new exhibition. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits either side of these talks to enable attendees to network and chat about their work and areas of interest. Please let us know if you're coming by e-mailing creative.technology@stoke.gov.uk "

27.08.13    Added to the Directory: Willfield Camera Club is a new creative camera club in Stoke-on-Trent.

27.08.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme's Bottle Cap Film Festival is open for submissions. Free to enter. Categories in short films, short documentaries, and music videos.

27.08.13    And the Doctor Said... is offering two free creative writing workshops with Life Writing Facilitator Chrissie Hall on Tuesdays 10th and 24th September 2013 (10am-4pm) at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Total beginners and more experienced writers are welcome. Booking is essential. Please contact Jackie Reynolds for more details or to book a place: j.reynolds@staffs.ac.uk

27.08.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Museum and Art Gallery is calling for entries for its annual Open Art and Craft exhibition (21st Sept to 10th Nov). Artists can submit up to three artworks – officers welcome submissions from all disciplines but are keen to see entries from those working in 3D, sculpture and crafts. There is a non-returnable fee of £4 per artwork or £10.50 for three pieces. Concessionary rates are £3.50 per item or £9 for three. There is also an under-16s category which costs £1 to enter and in which applicants can submit one piece of art/craftwork. Entry form are available online.

27.08.13    Elizabeth Hawley is to present a workshop on... "the local, regional and national visual arts ecology and the place of the individual artist within this context" at Stoke-on-Trent's AirSpace Gallery on 17th October 2013 (10.30am-1.30pm).

27.08.13    Down in Burton-upon-Trent, the Brewhouse Arts Centre is calling for "work from sculptors, designers and craft workers for Sculpture On A Small Scale a future exhibition." Deadline: 31st August 2013. For details email:  anna.roebuck@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk putting 'Sculpture On A Small Scale' as the email title/subject.

The Brewhouse Arts Centre is also looking for wall-based artwork for exhibition slots in 2014 for the hireable exhibition spaces. A 5 week slot costs from £80; cost is dependent on space, but included is hanging of your work, publicity material and online promotion, plus the opportunity to sell to the Brewhouse's cinema and theatre audiences. Application forms will be needed by 31st August 2013, prior to selection for the 2014 programme at the start of September. For more information and an application pack please contact the gallery officer by e-mail  anna.roebuck@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk  putting ‘Exhibitions 2014’ in the subject line.

27.08.13    Stoke-on-Trent's Red Rust Studios writes that they now offer a Script Consultancy and Development Service...

"from writing loglines, treatments and script editing all the way up to writing whole screenplays. We have a brand new student service available too"

27.08.13    The British Film Institute (BFI) is inviting applications to its Programming Development Fund, enabling cinema exhibitors... "to back more adventurous programming". Up to £1.4 million per year will be available through the Programming Development Fund over the four years to 2017. Applicants and/or their partners should have direct experience of film exhibition and audience development activity within the UK, such as cinemas, cinema chains or consortia, film festivals or arts organisations with experience of film curation. For full details visit the BFI website.

27.08.13    Interested in indie videogame development? The LAUNCH Future Gaming & Digital Conference is a Birmingham event especially for student and indie game makers, 21st-22nd November 2013.

27.08.13    The remaining 2013 application deadlines for the Creative Employment programme are...

 20th September 2013.  25th October 2013.  29th November 2013.

Creative Employment is a £15 million national programme with funding for 6,500 new paid apprenticeships and paid internships in the arts. Part-wage grants are available to arts and creative industries employers who create new apprenticeship and internship job opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24.

27.08.13    An advance reminder that the UK's Global Entrepreneurship Week is on 18th-22nd November 2013. The website is now open for you to list your workshop, talk, or expo.


12.07.13    Creative Stoke will now be taking a customary Summer break in activity. See you again in September 2013!


12.07.13    The second Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available for download...


Download (PDF, 8Mb).

This second issue of FactoryMag is 48 pages long, and includes ten pages of export advice, advice for recent creative graduates, interviews, news, an events listing, and much more. Plus details of a new £3,000 commission from Appetite. The deadline for content for the next issue of FactoryMag is 16th September 2013.

12.07.13    Stoke-on-Trent's Prototype magazine now has the sixth issue available for purchase, on the theme of "Enchantment"...

The editors are also now calling for content for their seventh issue, for which the theme is "Nostalgia"...

"we want recipes that you remember from childhood, we want photography that provokes memories, we want illustrations of summer haze, we want music that flings you back to a better time, we want written pieces of your fondest times."

Closing date for submissions is 11th August 2013 — send to:  submit@prototypemag.co.uk

12.07.13    Congratulations to Stoke-on-Trent's FRONTLINEdance, who have received £12,000 from the European Social Fund (through Staffordshire Community Foundation) for their new project called TRANSCEND. This is a new 12-week programme to give disabled people new skills and the confidence to find jobs. Creative dance, voice and speech, drama and role-play will all help develop skills and confidence on this free course, which will run Tuesdays from 9.30am to 3pm. The final 12-week block starts on 10th September 2013. Full details available from:  rachaelfld@gmail.com

12.07.13    The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme has a free open day on Saturday 13th July 2013 (10am-4pm). On offer will be backstage tours, and the opportunity to learn about props, lighting and sound, costuming, and all the other stagecraft needed to put on a show.

12.07.13    Stoke-on-Trent's AirSpace gallery has two 2-week residency opportunities available. Advocate seeks someone to... "speak, plead, or argue in favour of the arts". Park Traces will use... "drawing to capture Hanley Park as it is today, and developing a responsive artwork, which proposes the park's future."

12.07.13    Paid work:  Public Art Commission at Chesterfield (in Derbyshire, about 12 miles NE of Stoke-on-Trent). The artist payment is £21,250 (plus VAT if applicable), for a new public art commission to be located in a retail development at Ravenside in Chesterfield. Application deadline: 22nd July 2013 at 10am.

12.07.13    Paid and unpaid work:  Stoke-on-Trent designer-maker Camila Prada is inviting applications for a ceramics Studio Assistant, helping with casting, decals, and ceramics production. This is a paid post with an August 2013 start. Camila says...

"This would suit a graduate (or student) of ceramic design or someone who used to work in the ceramics industry."

Also available with Camila is an unpaid position for a Social Media Intern...

"helping with online marketing and research. This is not paid and would suit a student or recent grad interested in work experience."

Interested? See the Web pages linked above for full details.

12.07.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme's Digital Delight is looking for a talented Junior Web Developer to join them for a 12-week summer internship.

12.07.13    Stoke-on-Trent filmmaker John Williams requires 500 extras for a big Stoke-on-Trent zombie movie.

12.07.13    North Staffordshire's 'And the Doctor Said....' project is looking for a new group of participants to get involved in this creative research project. The project involves people sharing their stories and memories of health care in North Staffordshire, in workshops led by a creative writer. The writing will result in an exhibition and a book. See the website for full details.

12.07.13    The Artists Access to Art Colleges is set to run for a second time at Staffordshire University, between October 2013 and April 2014. Selected artists and/or designer-makers will be able to use the university facilities to undertake a period of research, or to realise a project. Closing date for applications is 1st September 2013. Full details at the website. For an application pack please contact the university directly:  a.mawson@staffs.ac.uk

12.07.13    The UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council has new funding for collaborative research projects between arts & humanities researchers and videogame developers. Proposals should explore new areas of interest to research and development in the videogames industry, be multi-institutional, and demonstrate creative and innovative approaches. Up to £45,000 may be available per project. Application deadline: 1st August 2013.

12.07.13    North Staffordshire's The Sentinel newspaper has teamed up with the Lottery to give away £250,000 to... "good causes across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire".

12.07.13    Stalls are booking now for the Stoke Pride event. If you are a business and would like to be part of and show support for Stoke Pride '13, then please email for a application form to:  stokepride@lgbtstaffordshire.com

12.07.13    Hanley's new Number 26 Pop Up Shop in Stoke-on-Trent is planning expansion and is looking for... "quirky alternatives to the High Street to fill our up-and-coming number26 building". More details from:  info@number-26.com

12.07.13    Have you always (secretly) wanted to try improvised comedy? North Staffs Improv Comedy is a new Facebook group where you can get in touch with like-minded local people, and learn more about planned training and opportunities.

12.07.13    Want to attract more visitors to your museum or public-funded art gallery? Arts Council England has a new £3m Cultural Destinations fund which is now open for applications. Applications must be... "submitted by a lead applicant on behalf of a consortium" and you'll have to... "work in partnership with tourism bodies and local authorities". See the Web pages for full details.

12.07.13    The annual DACS Payback scheme allows visual creatives to claim a share of the £3-million DACS Payback fund. If you've had an image of your work published in a British magazine or newspaper, or seen on a TV programme, yet not been paid for it — then applying could get you a DACS cheque. The Payback cash is raised from the annual photocopying and video/TV/DVD duplication licenses paid for by British schools, colleges and universities. All claims must be submitted no later than 1st August 2013. See the website for full details.

12.07.13    The Business Innovation Centre (BIC) in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, will be running a free business leadership training day called 'Leader in Motivating Change through Innovation' on 17th July 2013 (10am-4pm). For more information or to book your place contact Sandra Butterworth at:  sandra.butterworth@thebic.co.uk

12.07.13    A new group has been set up for photographers in the town of Stone, near Stoke-on-Trent. The first meeting of the Stone Photographers group was on 9th July 2013. For details of future meetings see the Facebook group.

12.07.13    Advance notice of a local academic conference which may be of tangential interest local screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, and also theatre producers and film-makers. Adaptation and the Novel is to be held on Saturday 9th November 2013 at Keele University. Academics are also invited to send proposals for papers. See the conference website for full details.

12.07.13    Advance notice of a ceramics industry conference, ClayTech UK 2013: Challenges for Growth. This will be on 21st November 2013, at the Staffordshire County Showground, near Stafford. The conference, from the Ceramics Society and the International Clay Technology Association, appears to be mostly aimed at the industrial/manufacturing end of the business — but if you're interested in making contacts in that sector then this might be a useful event. Full details from Melanie Boyce at:  melanie.boyce@iom3.org

20.06.13    The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) is holding a Introduction to Self-Employment one-day workshop in Stoke-on-Trent on 26th June, specifically for the over 50s who are thinking of starting a new business. Practical advice and mentoring will be on offer at this introductory event. Interested? See the event Web page for full details.

20.06.13    Two free creative writing workshops are on offer with historian and creative writer Dave Reeves on Saturday 29th June and 20th July 2013 (10am-4pm) at Burslem School of Art in Stoke-on-Trent. This is part of 'And the Doctor Said...' project, a creative research project about health care and local history. Total beginners and more experienced writers welcome. Please contact Jackie Reynolds for more details or to book your place:  j.reynolds@staffs.ac.uk

20.06.13    An update on the summer art & design graduation exhibitions. Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) now has dates for the annual end-of-year exhibition, which runs from Saturday 22nd June to Friday 28th June. The exhibition encompasses all creative subjects from the Colleges Faculty of Art, Media and Design including fashion, film, painting, ceramics, graphic design, media, music technology, photography and textiles:

  Saturday 22md June, 10.00am - 1.00pm
  Monday 24th June, 10.00am - 8.00pm
  Tuesday 25th June, 10.00am - 8.00pm
  Wednesday 26th June, 10.00am - 8.00pm
  Thursday 27th June, 10.00am - 8.00pm
  Friday 28th June, 10.00am - 4.00pm

You can also enjoy the M.A. Contemporary Arts final showcase at MMU's Axis Arts Centre, Crewe. Their "PRAXIS" show is at the OpenSpace at Axis, on Friday 21st June 2013 (10am-5pm). Free.

20.06.13    The Animation Forum West Midlands is the regional network for animators and they now require a new manager. Application deadline: 15th July 2013.

20.06.13    Tatton Park (ten miles north of Stoke-on-Trent) is recruiting a team of unpaid Research Volunteers (up to 15 people in total) to assist and support a new archival assignment called Memorymaker, made up of three key projects: 1) Paint and Provenance: Investigating the origin behind some of the paintings in Tatton’s extensive art collection; 2) Oral History Archive: Discovering new memories, stories & experiences to extend and build upon Tatton Park’s current archives and resources; 3) Finding connections between the local waterways, Tatton Park, post-industrialisation and contemporary art. Deadline 30th August 2013. Full details at the Web page.

20.06.13    Treasure Plus is a new funding programme from the ArtFund, to help museums "of all sizes" deepen public engagement with items officially labelled 'treasure', and other notable archaeological material. Funding of between £2,000 and £10,000 is available for display and interpretation projects. See the Web page for full details, or pop along the the fund launch at Manchester City Museum on 27th June 2013 (11am – 12 noon).

20.06.13    The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme is seeking young performers for The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Interested? You must be from age six up to being age 14 and in Year 9 at school. The first step is to attend auditions on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2013. These lead through to places on a £75 Summer School on 27th-31st August, which has 30 places available. Successful performers will work with a professional cast and perform in The Hundred and One Dalmatians from Saturday November 23rd 2013 to Saturday 1st February 2014. If you would like to request the audition application form please telephone Katharine Boon on 01782 717954 or download one from www.newvictheatre.org.uk.

20.06.13    The Arts & Business organisation is looking for local businesses to put their young high-flyers forward to take part in a 'Young Professionals on Arts Boards' programme. This will enable young business professionals age 18 to 30 to join the boards of leading arts and culture organisations. The deadline to apply is 28th June 2013. To find out more about the programme contact Rachel Pyke at:  rachel.pyke@artsandbusiness.org.uk

20.06.13    The Jerwood Choreographic Research Project is now inviting research proposals that involve new thinking in choreography. The Project is an innovative new investment model for open-ended research in choreographic practice across all artforms. An investment pot of over £120,000 is available to be shared among projects. Deadline: 29th July 2013.

20.06.13    ReStoke is running monthly contemporary dance workshops in Stoke-on-Trent...

20.06.13    If you get creative with leather, latex and tattoos then there's a special .alt fashion and crafts event for you in Stoke-on-Trent in August 2013...

20.06.13    Added to the Directory: Eternal Iris Film and Photography, based in Stoke-on-Trent.

20.06.13    Robin Wood is running bowl carving and spoon carving short courses in the nearby Peak District in November. Details at the Web page.

20.06.13    Art in the Park (and on the Railings) in nearby Buxton requires selling artists on 6th - 7th July 2013 (11am-4pm) on Broad Walk in the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Pitches cost £10 for the whole weekend. Interested? Contact Suzanne at:  suzannepearson.art@gmail.com

20.06.13    The Midlands Arts Centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham, is hosting an Early Years Music Conference on 28th June 2013, an event for anyone in the Midlands who has an interest in creative learning and music making with young children.

20.06.13    The nearby town of Shrewsbury has announced its Open Studios dates: 6th-7th and 13th-14th July 2013 is when Shrewsbury-based artists and designer-makers open their studio doors to the public.

13.06.13    Stoke-on-Trent City Council has created a new fund to support community events. £30,000 is being made available for local groups to create and put on a range of arts events and cultural activities. Groups or individuals can receive up to £1,500. More money is available if the event is of a particular benefit to key audiences in the city. A fund panel will meet to review applications, and deadlines to apply fall on 17th June and 20th September 2013. Details and application forms here or email: rachel.james@stoke.gov.uk

13.06.13    Paid work:  The Making It Work consortium of five local arts organisations (B Arts, AirSpace, bITjAM, PiCL and Re:Stoke) in Stoke-on-Trent are seeking to appoint a Facilitator to co-ordinate a programme of development following their successful bid to the Arts Council’s Catalyst Arts fund. The Facilitator’s role will be to enable the partners to develop and deliver a skills development and knowledge-gathering programme — including the mapping of existing provision, looking at examples of good practice, external training, and the development of digital tools and approaches to support greater private sector investment. They are looking for an individual/organisation with substantial experience in developing fundraising strategies, with a focus on corporate and individual giving (i.e. not public sector / Lottery / trusts' funds). Experience in working in challenging contexts, especially outside of London, and with small organisations without big brand impact or large footfall will also be valuable. Application deadline: 5pm, 8th July 2013. For the Facilitator brief please contact the lead organisation, B Arts, at:  info@b-arts.org.uk

13.06.13    The Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Fellowship programme is now open for applications. Eleven... "entrepreneurial self-starter fundraisers with a passion for the arts" will benefit from a programme of practice-based support. It is supported by Opera North, the University of Leeds, Cause4, and other arts and educational organisations. The 12-month fellowships are certified by the University of Leeds. The selected fellows benefit from an in-depth experience in the development department of organisations, such as Sadlers Wells, the Sage Gateshead, Dance UK, and Liverpool Tate. Application deadline: 1st July 2013.

13.06.13    Paid work:  The Just So Festival 2014 organisers, Wild Rumpus CIC, are now looking to... "commission three exceptional companies to create new work, to be previewed at the 2014 Just So Festival at Rode Hall, Cheshire, with the possibility to tour in 2014/2015." The commission is worth £3,000, and the event is a young children's creativity festivel located in parkland about five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent. Application deadline: 30th June 2013. For more information about Wild Rumpus and the Just So Festival.

13.06.13    The UK's Start Up Loans Company was originally set up with a mandate to support 18-24 entrepreneurs. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, later increased this to 18—30, after an announcement in January 2013. Over 30s are now planned to be included by the end of summer 2013. As such The Start Up Loans scheme is inviting potential Delivery Partners to apply to support and deliver the programme to the age range of 30 and above. If you are interested in registering your interest in becoming a Delivery Partner for 30+, please contact: nicholasdear@startuploans.co.uk

13.06.13    Fund 101 is seeking to micro-fund new UK entrepreneurs with startup ideas and who are looking to commence trading. Those who are already in business and need funding may be eligible, for instance small UK firms wishing to purchase equipment to help take their enterprise to the next level. Administered by Enterprise Nation, the programme is designed to assist those who are looking for relatively small amounts of capital support. Individual grants as small as from £50 to £500 can be requested. Fund101 winners will also receive up to $500 of Elance credit to spend on outsourced work from online freelancers. Applications will be accepted with monthly deadlines until November. The next deadline is 24th June 2013.

13.06.13    Interested in networking with creatives in the nearby Peak District? There's a big Creative Industries roadshow in Buxton on 26th June 2013.

13.06.13    Kevin Sheldon is running a short-story writing workshop in Hanley, Sotke-on-Trent, on 20th July 2013 (12.30pm - 7.30/8.00pm). All materials and refreshments provided, suitable for all levels. Cost is £25 for a seven hour workshop.

13.06.13    A Stoke-on-Trent graffiti jam is set to happen alongside the official opening of the Stoke-on-Trent UK Graffiti Hall-of-Fame (just north of Bradwell Wood, the farmer's tunnel under the A500, next to the old abandoned sand workings). This event is for artists and invite only! They say "space is extremely limited" but if you contact the organisers with some samples of your work you might get an invite.

13.06.13    Cheshire Dance is recruiting for freelance dance artists who are interested in leading/supporting dance workshops + projects, as well as in gaining performance experience. Deadline: 8th July 2013. To find out more, please contact Leanne Cardill, Creative Producer at:  leanne@cheshiredance.org

13.06.13    The Potters Club, Stoke's exclusive private members' club located across from the intercity train station, is starting a...

"new 5.30pm networking club. Escape the evening rush hour! Business networking at its best. Speaker sponsorship available. Booking essential."

The first club event will be on Wednesday 25th September 2013 (from 5.30pm - 7.30pm, cost £15).

13.06.13    Award-winning photojournalist and university lecturer Martin Elliott, in conjunction with Staffordshire University M.A. Photography students Fee Wood and Yvonne Grimshaw Baker, is creating a new project entitled Sex in the Potteries. This will be exhibited in Staffordshire University from December 2013 to Easter 2014. Find out more details from the project's new Facebook page.

13.06.13    Sarah Armitt is looking for volunteers and artists for this year's Kids Karnival in Etruria Park, Stoke-on-Trent, 14th and 21st July 2013. Interested? Contact the Shelton D.J. School on 07816 318676 for more information.

13.06.13    This year’s Stone Music and Arts Festival (5th-14th July 2013) is seeking volunteers, especially for the big festival weekend on 13th-14th July 2013. Festival programmes have recently gone through doors in Stone town. Volunteers should contact the organisers via the website.


Picture: Stone Festival’s Party In The Park.

13.06.13    PRS for Music Foundation has a new round of funding to fund your music. Beyond Borders 2013 can given funding of up to £15,000 for both new commissions and repeat performances of music written in the past five years. Deadline: 27th June 2013. They also have the Momentum Music Fund a £500,000 investment to develop the careers of talented artists and bands. Deadline: 27th June 2013.

13.06.13    There's a professional development opportunity down in Walsall at GalleryCamp 2013 on 9th September 2013. The whole of the New Walsall Art Gallery will host an 'unconference' discussing the future of public galleries, and the increasingly important role of digital in and around galleries. See the tickets bookings page for more details.

13.06.13    Added to the Directory: Ian Weightman Media Services, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Ian specialises exclusively in travel, tourism and destination PR.

13.06.13    Congratulations to local performer Owen Richard, who recently starred in a new film made at the Factory club in Stoke-on-Trent. The film will be the second in a forthcoming trilogy of contemporary art film pieces exploring sexual identities.

13.06.13    Congratulations to Potteries painter Rob Pointon who just successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund a painting trip to America.

13.06.13    Congratulations to Stoke-on-Trent crime writer Mel Sherratt, who after many years of striving now has a print and audio-book deal with Amazon's mystery imprint Thomas and Mercer! Watch for an article by Mel in the second FactoryMag publication, along with an introductory guide to the crime fiction industry.

13.06.13    Funding from the National Lottery can be applied for to commemorate next year’s centenary of the First World War. The funding scheme is titled The First World War: Then and Now. A variety of community heritage projects will be eligible. £3,000 to £10,000 is available. The Lottery is seeking to fund not-for-profit organisations, and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations.

13.06.13    The Midlands Arts Centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham, is hosting an Early Years Music Conference on 28th June 2013, an event for anyone in the Midlands who has an interest in creative learning and music making with young children.

13.06.13    Paid work: Education Central are looking to recruit a full-time director for Arts Connect West Midlands, based at the Science Park in Wolverhampton (within easy walking distance of the train station).

13.06.13    Creative Stoke has a preview selection of some of the works shown in the huge Show & Tell art & design graduation shows and pop-up comics shop at Staffordshire University 2013. On now at the Stoke campus, until 15th June 2013. Free. Stoke's Prototype magazine also has a photo review. Also of note is local Photography graduate Mark Wilbrey who has an outstandingly well-designed Web portfolio, including his behind-the-scenes theatre pictures.

13.06.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) has fixed a date for the unveiling of their new town centre MADE pop-up shop in the Lancaster building, showing the best work from their 2013 graduates. To take place in the Guild Hall Square and the shop, 1pm-5pm on Saturday 29th June 2013. Including live music and fashion show.

13.06.13    Advance news:  a new £4m Jobs and Growth Fund Programme is being set up as the local arm of the government's Regional Growth Fund scheme. The Jobs and Growth Fund will be aimed at small and medium firms in North Staffordshire which need funding for premises or equipment that supports new jobs. The Fund is recruiting staff now, and Creative Stoke will bring readers a Web link for the application process when the Fund is officially open.

13.06.13    News just in: Mailout magazine is reporting that the DCMS has released an official statement that Crafts will continue to be part of the official UK government definition of the creative industries.

03.06.13    In May 2013 the British Exporters Association (BExA) republished a new fully revised edition of its popular 84-page book A Guide to Successful Exporting. This is now available free as a PDF ebook on the BExA website, and no registration is required to download it.

03.06.13    Volunteers are needed for the forthcoming British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent (28th Sept - 10th Nov 2013). Needed are: an Exhibition Assistant; Marketing & Press Assistants; Front-of-House Assistants; Invigilators; and Workshop Assistants. Some roles will start in July. Ideally you will be available to cover a number of sessions per week, particularly during the Festival (each session is 4 hours). Training and induction will be provided. Reasonable travel expenses will be covered.

03.06.13    Grow Your Own Talent is a North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce breakfast event, at which you can hear about new traineeships and study programmes for young people, which link with their work experience and apprenticeships. The event is set for 2nd July 2013 (8.30am-10.30am) at the North Staffs Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent. Full details at the event Web page.

03.06.13    Hanley's AirSpace Gallery is now inviting applications for a Graduate Residency 2013-14. Application deadline: 10th June 2013. Graduating students from B.A. and M.A. courses in Fine Art are eligible to apply...

"Are you considering staying in, or moving to Stoke-on-Trent, and looking for that all important first opportunity in the art world? Then this could be for you. AirSpace is offering a fantastic opportunity to be part of an exciting and innovative artist-led space in the city of Stoke-on-Trent."

03.06.13    The School of Art & Design at the University of Wolverhampton is inviting practicing artists to engage with the School and its students via a new Artist In Residence scheme. The scheme has now replaced the previous Artists' Access to Art Colleges programme, and has been extended from four artists to ten artists. Application deadline: 12th June 2013. See the Web page for full details.

03.06.13    Added to the Directory: Anita Harris Art Pottery, a maker of vivid hand-painted pottery. Based in Longton in Stoke-on-Trent...

03.06.13    The Number 26 Pop-up Shop is now open at 26 Town Rd in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent and is looking fabulous. Inside is a big range of creative and interesting items from local makers, and Rebecca Jones Photography is located upstairs. They currently have a good range of stock, but say they are currently interested in seeing more potential sale items from local makers. The Google StreetView for the location is here.

03.06.13    West Midlands art teachers are invited to Birmingham on the evening of 3rd July 2013 (5pm–7pm) at the Ikon Gallery, for a 4MAT networking evening with regional art teachers. Places are free, but should be reserved by contacting the Ikon Gallery.

03.06.13    Fancy a summer art-trip out to the Welsh Marches? Borderland Visual Arts Open Studios is on 15th-16th June & 22nd-23rd June 2013, in and around Oswestry in Shropshire (about 28 miles west of Stoke). 33 artists are opening their studios in and around Oswestry (10am to 5pm each day). There is also a group show at the Willow Gallery in Oswestry. An open studios leaflet/map can be downloaded at the website. Sounds like a great networking opportunity with neighbouring artists and makers.

28.05.13    Eventbrite now has a bookings page for the free Factory Floor debate on cultural animation. This networking event starts 6pm on 13th June 2013 at The Pavilion, Staffordshire University's Stoke campus.

28.05.13    The Business Innovation Centre (BIC) has an information event for the Specialist Advisor Fund on 5th June 2013 (10am). The venue will be the Sutherland Institute in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. The BIC states that there will potentially be funding on offer from the scheme of... "£2,500 available to Staffordshire companies". Details:  sandra.butterworth@thebic.co.uk

28.05.13    Creative Stoke doesn't usually list arts and crafts exhibitions, but makes an exception for the end-of-course student shows:

  * Staffordshire University's Show and Tell 2013 is the main arts and design graduation show. This huge show is spread over the ground floor spaces of the Stoke-on-Trent campus, and opens on Friday 7th June 2013 at 6pm, with the official opening ceremony starting at 6.30pm. Includes the Comic Arts 'Pop-up Comic Book Shop', among many other attractions.

  * This year sees the second Fringe festival, complementing the main Staffordshire art and design shows. The full programme is now online.

  * Astound 2013 is an exhibition directed by graduates of the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Art Practice at Leek School of Art. The show is on now at the Nicholson in Leek town, and runs until 15th June 2012.

  * MADE is the Newcastle-under-Lyme College media, art and design final show. It appears that this year it is taking the innovative form of a pop-up shop in the centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme (13-14 Lancaster Building, near W.H. Smith), since there's nothing about the final show on any of NULC's blogs, website or Facebook page. Exact official opening date tbc, watch the blog. Deb Hilditch is the person in charge:  deborah.hilditch@nulc.ac.uk

28.05.13    Staffordshire University's annual Creative Networking Breakfast is happening on the 11th June 2013. This is a great way for local creative professionals and businesses to help the 2013 graduates with their networking skills, and to link them with professional development opportunities. To book a place please email  careers@staffs.ac.uk

28.05.13    Staffordshire University has its annual Business Funding Update evening set for 19th June 2013 (6pm-7pm)...

"This is the University’s annual business funding round-up. Several speakers and exhibitors will come in to discuss funding options available in the region for business start-up and growth. Speakers will cover the following topics: angel investment funds and venture capital; bank loans (Gurpreet Jhand); other types of loan funds (Kathy Poole/Ben Dyer); sourcing business funding (Pete Ball); crowdfunding; and the University interventions available."

Details from Clair Hameed at:  beinspired@staffs.ac.uk

28.05.13    Stoke-on-Trent's bITjAM is seeking a research partner, to... "work on a research and development project for which we are seeking funding through the NESTA R&D fund." This project is... "Thanx, an audience development toolbox with a membership and loyalty scheme interface for the arts and cultural sector." The research partner will: help develop project ideas from conception to development; develop research methodology; add academic rigour. Interested? To express interest or get full details, please contact:  carl@bitjam.org.uk

28.05.13    The UK's official export body UK Trade & Industry (UKTI) has business masterclasses at Tillington Hall, near Stafford, during May and June 2013. The Expo Skills Masterclass is 30th May 2013, all day in Stafford, and will show attendees...

"how to meet the sales, marketing and international communication needs for business [to] exhibit at overseas exhibitions. As well as effectively follow up leads gained from trade shows."

The E-Business Masterclass is on 6th June 2013, all day in Stafford...

"insight on how to develop and market your business online, to win business internationally on an online environment."

Scheduled for later in the year are further UKTI masterclasses, also near Stafford: Market Research & Selection for Export on 9th July; Intellectual Property Review on 18th September; and International Marketing on 15th November 2013.

28.05.13    Are you a successful exporter aged under 35? Enter the British Exporters Association's Young Exporter Award 2013, which offers media coverage and a prize for the winner of £1,000. Entrants must either be employed by a BExA member, or (if employed by a non-member company registered in the UK) be proposed by a BExA member. Entrants must have been be aged under 35 on 31st December 2012. The entry form is here.

28.05.13    Are you involved in studio ceramics? The international Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association is to hold a two-day event at Wedgwood near Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. The dates are from 30th September to 1st October 2013. Studio potters are invited to...

"Join top artists, designers, business leaders, worldwide suppliers and CCSA staff for two days of projects, workshops and expert business advice".

28.05.13    Jobs: the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme has vacancies for a Sound and Lighting Technician, and for a Borderlines practitioner (community arts).

28.05.13    Period costume extras are needed for the filming of pub interior scenes in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. The Heritage Lottery funded film will be filmed at: The Congress Inn, on Sutherland Road, during the afternoon of Monday 3rd June 2013; and at The Vine Leaf, on Liverpool Road, during the morning of Tuesday 4th June 2013. Local people are being urged to don outfits from the 1960s for the first event, and Victorian era garb for the second event. Costumes can be provided if necessary. Anyone who would like to take part in the film should call: 01782 231523.

28.05.13    The unique Buxton Puppet Festival is returning to the nearby Buxton Opera House in the Peak District this summer (22nd-27th July 2013). There's no festival schedule of performers or Facebook page yet, but the organisers Funny Wonders have announced a Scratch Night (the puppeteer equivalent of an open mic night) on Wednesday 24th July 2013, and anyone interested in performing then should email:  ali.quas-cohen@funnywonders.org.uk

28.05.13    The Ashbourne Festival in the nearby Peak District is seeking submissions for the Summer Art Exhibition which will mix local artists with those from further afield. The selling exhibition will run 22th - 29th June 2013 in Ashbourne Town Hall. If you would like to show your work please download the entry form from the festival website.

22.05.13    Keele Launchpad is a new free 2-day business "start-up bootcamp" set for 7th and 8th August 2013, on the Keele University Campus. It's open to graduates who are interested in starting their own business, or creating a hobby business that might grow in time. Attendees will...

"learn about different business models, tax requirements, legal contracts, marketing, e-commerce, social media and sales from industry experts... and you could make some great contacts."

Deadline for applications is 26th July 2013, but... "places are limited, so be quick!" Application forms available at the website.

22.05.13    The government has announced it will extend the Start-up Loans scheme to the over-30s, by the... "end of the summer". The scheme offers a five-year low-interest loan of £2,500.

22.05.13    There's to be a North West Women's Enterprise Day 2013 on 15th November 2013. The location will be Cranage Hall, about ten miles north of Stoke-on-Trent. Last year there were apparently about 250 attendees, so it could be useful for local networking.

22.05.13    Job: Appetite, the new £3m three-year Arts Council funded programme in Stoke-on-Trent, is recruiting for a part-time Get Talking Researcher to be based at The Creative Communities Unit in Staffordshire University (Stoke campus). Graduates only. Closing date: 22nd May 2013 (today!).

22.05.13    Local map-makers will be interested to know that The Society of Cartographers annual conference and summer school will be in Stoke-on-Trent on the 2nd-4th September 2013. There will be a number of Stoke & Staffordshire -specific mapping talks on the programme, plus a map illustrator's surgery. The timing of this complements the international OpenStreetMap convention, a global gathering of grassroots open access map-makers which is being held in Birmingham on 6th-8th September 2013.

22.05.13    Game and toy designers interested in making new board-games have a perfect opportunity to do informal research in Stoke-on-Trent, at the UK's annual national board-game players convention The Cast Are Dice 2013.

22.05.13    Staffordshire University is now offering "KEEN for Export" placements, aimed at helping SME’s to develop export capability. A graduate is employed within the business, supported by an academic expert at Staffordshire University. The Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (KEEN) will generate...

   * A full understanding and mapping of internal company capability    * Completion of an export capacity plan and gap analysis.    * Scanning and understanding of overseas markets.    * Researching and implementing regulatory requirements.    * Executive investment reporting.    * An implementation programme, including generation of a tactical export plan.

Interested? Contact KEEN at:  forbusiness@staffs.ac.uk

22.05.13    Job:  The Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, is currently seek a professional Costume and Properties Person / Maker, to work on their forthcoming youth theatre (age 11 to 17) production of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. This is a freelance contract for services, with pre-show activity and then work at the performances which are on Monday 15th (7pm) and Tuesday 16th July 2013 (7pm) in The Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Plus a clear-up date on 17th July. Interested? Send a C.V. and a covering letter to:  ianmoore@theambassadors.com

22.05.13    Job:  The music arts project called Harmony Telford/Stoke is seeking... "a committed and enthusiastic PR Professional or Agency to fulfil the PR needs of this life-changing music-based programme." This is a freelance commission of £10,000. Full details are online or available from:  info@inharmonytelfordstoke.org

22.05.13    As part of the Prince's Regeneration Trust work now underway at the historic Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, local children are being engaged to make 2,000 small bottle kilns for an exhibition in 2014. Interested in being involved? Contact Teresa Fox-Wells for more information.

22.05.13    Arts Council England now has a new £500,000 fund which for the first time will help... "indie rock bands and cutting-edge dance musicians", via 75 grants of between £5,000 to £15,000.

22.05.13    Stoke-on-Trent's Prototype magazine is now taking advertising bookings for the Sept 2013 issue.

22.05.13    Cre8 Radio is now broadcasting to Stoke-on-Trent on FM.

22.05.13    Nearby Buxton in the Peak District is running a Buxton Poetry Competition, in co-ordination with Buxton Festival. The theme is "History & Heritage" and the deadline for work is 8th April 2013. Full details of cash prizes and categories are at the competition website. There doesn't appear to be a limitation on where entrants live.

22.05.13    The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Birmingham's universities will launch the second "Birmingham Made Me" design expo in Birmingham on 6th June 2013. Despite its title the expo's press information rather hopefully says that it's... "a celebration of Midlands design" — although someone from Stoke-on-Trent who attended last year reports that it was very strongly Birmingham-focused. As part of the Expo, on the morning of the 6th... "Midlands business leaders will consider ways to boost economic growth by drawing on creativity and design-driven innovation." Tickets are still available.

22.05.13    To celebrate its 160th birthday, the Skipton Building Society has launched a new community funding programme, Grassroots Giving. This will offer 160 donations of £500 to community groups across the country, groups which do not have access to other funds. Application deadline: 31th July 2013.

12.05.13    Bookings are now open for Factory creative industries training workshops in Stoke-on-Trent:

   29th May: Brand development & implementation.
   10th June and 11th June: Winning More Work: making more effective presentations.
   17th June: How to get press interest.
   19th June: Brand development & implementation.
   20th June: How to build a better website.
   26th June: Engaging Your Customers: social networking for business.
   18th Sept: Brand development & implementation.
   Date tbc: Intellectual Property Seminar.

12.05.13    The Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available for download...


Download (PDF, 5Mb).

12.05.13    The Staffordshire University Fringe Festival programme is now available online. Highlights for training and networking events include...

   23rd May: Creating the change: Developing a sustainable social or community enterprise.
   29th May: Social Media Surgery.
   11th June: Creative Networking Breakfast (8am-10am).
   12th June: Social Media Surgery (repeat).
   12th June: "Where do I go from here?", career planning and coaching workshop.
   13th June: Factory event, the Factory Floor creative industries debate.

12.05.13    Interested in exporting to high-growth markets? The UK's official Export Week is 13th-17th May 2013, and there are a number of events happening in the West Midlands and the North West. Stoke-on-Trent has "Any more for Singapore?" on 13th May; and a "China Export Clinic" on 15th May 2013.

12.05.13    Start Up Your Creative Business is a free two-day workshop (9.30am - 4.30pm on both days) in Stoke-on-Trent. This workshop is for any graduate based in the West Midlands who is starting up a creative business in the arts, design or media...

"We will cover all the essentials around your values, marketing, financial management, intellectual property, your legal structure (e.g.: self-employed, limited company) and your networks."

12.05.13    Social Enterprise West Midlands has a free networking event in Stoke-on-Trent...

"...for socially minded businesses and social enterprises looking to network and develop their business"

The date set is 20th June 2013 (3.30pm - 5.30pm), at the Atlas Works on College Road, Stoke-on-Trent.

12.05.13    Here's the flyer showing the arts & crafts workshops dates and 'meet the artist' dates in Leek, part of the town's Astound 2013 show...

12.05.13    Grain is running a Portfolio Development Day for photographers on Saturday 8th June 2013. The venue will be the Learning Exchange in the Flaxman Building, at the Stoke-on-Trent campus of Staffordshire University. Cost is £20 for professionals, or £12 for students...

"During the day there will be a series of talks by experts, advice sessions and one to one reviews to help emerging photographers, artists who work in photography and students to develop a professional portfolio. The day is a must for emerging photographers who wish to understand how to develop their work and their portfolio in order to secure opportunities."

12.05.13    Job:  Staffordshire University requires a Lecturer in Cartoon and Comics Arts (ACT12-23). Deadline: 12th May 2013.

12.05.13    Job:  Staffordshire University requires a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design / Illustration (ACT12-25). Deadline: 16th May 2013.

12.05.13    Jobs:  It looks like there will soon be ten Web developer jobs available at Ticketmaster in Stoke-on-Trent, according to a report in The Sentinel newspaper. The jobs will be at the Ticketmaster division, located at the Boothen end of Stoke town.

12.05.13    Graduates from B.A. and M.A. degree courses in 2012 and 2013 are invited to submit their ceramic work, for selection for the British Ceramics Biennial's Fresh 2013 exhibition in Stoke-on-Trent. Deadline: Friday 5th July 2013.

12.05.13    Added to the Directory: 3D Creation Lab offers 3d printing and prototype building services. Based at The Sutherland Institute in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. Below is a 3D printed sculptural bust of a celebrity they recently made for a TV company...

12.05.13    Evolve 13 will showcase the Staffordshire University 1st and 2nd-year media/film production students' final films, at the Staffordshire University Film Theatre, on 15th May 2013 (6pm).

12.05.13    Keele University, in North Staffordshire, is hosting a one-day academic conference on Britishness on 19th June 2013. The conference has a wide range, including discussing representations in media and the arts, and it may be of interest to creatives who are addressing or incorporating Britishness in their work.

12.05.13    Keele University, in North Staffordshire, is hosting a three-day academic conference titled Teenage Kicks: the representation of youth subcultures on 11th-13th July 2013. This event may be of interest to documentary makers and cultural historians.

12.05.13    Set of 480 costume photos of the recent Keele University AmeCon convention for fans of Japanese youth culture...

12.05.13    There's a new street photography blog, Staffs Street, for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, from the Staffordshire Street Photography Project. They're welcoming submissions via their Flickr group.


"Working in Leek", Staffordshire Street Photography Project.

12.05.13    The Staffordshire heats of the Red Cross's 'Dance: Make Your Move' dance competition are to be held at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on 15th June 2013. As well as the West Midlands Area Final on 29th June 2013. This national competition is for any dancer aged 4 to 18, regardless of their ability. The winners of the area finals will go on to perform in London.

12.05.13    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Libraries are seeking a young poet to represent the county.

12.05.13    Jobs:  Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is seeking 6 x Casual Technicians for stage-hand work at the theatre. Deadline: 16th May 2013.

12.05.13    A new Knit and Knatter knitters' group starts 1st June 2013, at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. From 1.30pm-3.30pm, every 3rd Saturday of the month.

12.05.13    Live-work apartments are available now for creative business or start-ups seeking affordable one-bed live/work space. In central Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, from c.£300/month. Interested? Contact John Webbe at:  john.webbe@midlandheart.org.uk

12.05.13    A new feature-length DVD film is available for order from Stoke-on-Trent's Re:Stoke. Made by local film-makers Junction 15 Productions, the film documents the recent Re:Stoke PALACE dance and theatre performance at the Bethesda Chapel in Stoke-on-Trent. A special screening of the new film will be happening at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, on Sat 25th May 2013 (3pm-4pm), where DVDs will be available.

12.05.13    The BBC Performing Arts Fund distributes funding which raised via the phone-call charges on various BBC phone-ins. It has so far given away £3.5m, and the fund's 2013 focus is on theatre. Interested groups can apply here.

12.05.13    Jobs:  Details of the creative commissions are now online for the Just So Festival 2014, the young children's creative and cultural festival located about five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.

12.05.13    Staffordshire County Council's arts service has now publicly released its list of experienced artists and organisations (PDF link) who are able to deliver community arts workshops and projects in Staffordshire. To be in future editions, download the application form here.

12.05.13    Congratulations to: AirSpace gallery; B Arts; BiTjAM; Picl; and Re:Stoke. Together they've made a successful funding bid to the Arts Council's national Catalyst Arts scheme, which aims... "to enable arts organisations with an underdeveloped fundraising model to increase capacity". A two-year programme "Making It Work" will start June 2013, and will assist the consortium with with exploring effective new fundraising models.

12.05.13    StaffsLive has a peek behind the scenes at the garden design that Stoke-on-Trent is entering in the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show...

12.05.13    New Art West Midlands 2014, for contemporary fine arts graduates, now open for submissions.

12.05.13    The Stafford Town Centre Partnership and Stafford Arts Festival 2013 are seeking artists and performers for the town centre, for Saturday 7th September 2013.

12.05.13    An interesting short course is to run at nearby Wolverhampton. "Creative screen print for textiles" runs 5.30-8.30pm on Wednesdays at the University of Wolverhampton, starting 15th May 2013 for 10 weeks. The university is within easy walking distance of the intercity train station. Cost is £240...

"The course will focus on screen print for textiles and will include inductions in pigment printing, discharge, devore, printing with puff binder, and using flock, foil and pearlescent techniques."

12.05.13    The unique international festival of deaf culture Deaffest festival takes place 17th-19th May 2013, at the Light House arts centre and cinema, in nearby Wolverhampton.

28.04.13    The first pilot issue of the new Staffas magazine is now available online. This free 78-page PDF magazine is a personal 'zine for Stoke-on-Trent & North Staffordshire. Download the PDF (19Mb) for your desktop or tablet PC


Cover photo: David Adams.

28.04.13    Burslem's 6 Towns Radio has announced they will apply for a license to broadcast on FM through a restricted service license (RSL). 6 Towns is a genuine community station, in broadcasting for the last two and a half years, and dedicated team of around 100 volunteers give up their time every week to produce a wide variety of radio shows. If the RSL is granted, then 6 Towns Radio will have a short-term FM broadcast trial lasting up to 28 days.

28.04.13    Staffordshire Innovating for Impact is a Staffordshire University event, for businesses to discover the innovation help available via the University. There are two dates: Thursday 16th May 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent, and Friday 17th May 2013 in Stafford. See the Web page for full details.

28.04.13    There's to be a free event on the use of QR codes, GPS and RFID technologies in nearby Telford, on 2nd May 2013 (12pm-2pm). The venue will be the Business Innovation Centre at the Sutherland Institute, on Lightwood Road in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. For more information or to book your place, contact Sandra Butterworth at:  sandra.butterworth@thebic.co.uk

28.04.13    The Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre (BIC) has a two hour workshop on "Using Social Media to Market Your Innovation", at the Stafford Business Village, on 12th June 2013 (4pm-6pm).

28.04.13    The art-led Bird Yarden project launches at the AirSpace contemporary art gallery in Hanley on Saturday 4th May (11am - 7pm). A free day of activities and talks will celebrate the launch of the Bird Yarden...

28.04.13    AirSpace contemporary art gallery in Stoke-on-Trent has three one-week exhibition slots available in their street-facing window. Dates: 13th-19th May, 20th-26th May, 27th May-2nd June 2013. Application deadline: Sunday 5th May 2013.

28.04.13    Artists are being asked to submit proposals for works sited anywhere in Britain’s public forests, in Open Forest. The scheme will offer £30k to make a commissioned idea become reality, and is a partnership between the Forestry Commission and Jerwood Visual Art. In 2012 Stoke-on-Trent saw the planting of three Queen's Jubilee Woods at Chell and Fenton, a total of around 250,000 native oak trees. There are also Forestry Commission woods nearby at Cannock Chase and Dimmings Dale at Alton. Five artists will be chosen to each receive a £2,000 development grant to explore ideas over six months, with the best final proposal getting the £30k commission. With no brief, the projects considered could be permanent or could travel, and could exist in any medium. Submission deadline: 28th May 2013.

28.04.13    Photographers' Collective North Staffordshire is calling for submissions of photographs for its annual Open, held at the upper floor gallery of the Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent. Their annual 'Open For All' exhibition will run 5th May to 8th June 2013.

28.04.13    The Community Performance Arts Centre (CPAC) is now open at 19 Birch Terrace, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (opposite the new bus station). This serves as the home to CPAC Dance Academy, M.Y Theatre Company and the M.Y Inter-Theatre Group. The venue is now available as an affordable city-centre arts venue for hire, suitable for rehearsals, classes or workshops. There is a separate coffee lounge which can be hired as a package with cafe facility, or separately for forums and meetings. Interested? Contact Jill on 07805 443595 or elizabethjillyoung@gmail.com for further information.

28.04.13    Jobs:  St. Margaret Ward Catholic College, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, requires a Teacher of Music and a Teacher of Drama (0.8 as maternity cover) for the September 2013 term.

28.04.13    Job:  St. Joseph's College, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, requires a Director of Music.

28.04.13    Job:  Keele University's Faculty of Health has a vacancy for a Software Developer to work with the Web and a 3D game-engine (Unity) to develop a Web-based virtual 'information assistant' for the university.

28.04.13    Job:  Keele University requires a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Marketing.

28.04.13    Darren Washington's new Gallery 116 is now open in Stoke town. It's the same site as the old SHOP artists' shop in 2010/11, at the main road entrance to the Spode works at 116 Church Street. Contact via the Facebook group or gallery116@hotmail.com / 075 570 58582.

28.04.13    Good photos of your prized Spode teapots are wanted, for a summer exhibition at Spode in Stoke town. Ideally a straight-up view showing you holding the pot, and accompanied by some detail on the pot and why it's special to you. Mail your pictures to:  hello@spodeworks.org

28.04.13    Stoke-on-Trent arts duo Dashyline are currently undertaking a commemorative sculpture for the Lidice Shall Live campaign. The sculpture will be made by small contributions from the community...

"To contribute you must make a promise; a promise to retell the story of Lidice to two people. Everyone who makes a promise has the opportunity to be featured on the sculpture itself in the form of a large coal miner's tag etched with their own personal code (initials and your day of birth), alongside thousands of others who have made the same promise."

For full information visit the project's Web page.

28.04.13    There's a new casting call for a short Staffordshire film by Stoke-on-Trent's Chris Stone Films and Big Red Studio, called The Saga of the Saxon. An ambitious & committed young lad is required (unpaid, with supportive parents for transport) for a short adventure film in the vein of The Hobbit. They need someone who can playing a boy aged between 13-15, ideally local to Stoke-on-Trent. You must physically look like a young warrior (think Anglo-Saxon/Viking), and have a good range of emotional and improvisational skills. You will play alongside David Lemberg, who has been cast as the 'Old Man'. Some rehearsals may be required, when convenient, in Stoke-On-Trent or central Manchester. Filming will be during half-term (27th May - 2nd June 2013) in Staffordshire. Please be advised filming will take place in rugged terrain and caves, in any weather conditions. The film will also be partly animated.

28.04.13    Now online, a selection of the best films made by the second-year B.A. Film students at Staffordshire University.

28.04.13    If you're quick, you might just catch the big second-year B.A. Fine Art show at Staffordshire University. Ends today (Sunday)! Free. There's also the AA2A show in the Flaxman gallery on the campus, which runs until Wednesday.

28.04.13    The nearby Chester Performs festival is calling for artists and creative collaborators, for summer projects on Saturdays in July & August 2013. They need people who can create and run workshops, make props, make games, and do entertaining site decoration such as giant garden items, bendy mirrors, wind/solar powered props, giant storybooks, and more. Deadline for proposals: Thursday 9th May 2013. See the website for full details.

28.04.13    Artists' Newsletter (AN) has a new report available to subscribers, The Lay of the Land: current approaches to professional practice in visual and applied arts B.A. courses (April 2013). The report involved 25 of the UK's 149 fine and applied arts degree courses, and it explores key problems such as: how to overcome the alleged "boredom" factor in activities such as career planning or client research; the fatal allure of London after graduation; and the teaching of transferable skills of use to non-arts employers after graduation.

28.04.13    Job: a Children's Library commission is on offer at the new Birmingham Library. They require a series of illustrations — of characters and their environment — that will be produced as large-scale soft toys/furniture and as vinyl illustrations on specified walls and floor. It is expected that children will be able to develop their own narratives and play with the characters in both informal and workshop contexts." Fee: £1,000. Application deadline: 5pm on Monday 29th April 2013.

28.04.13    The new Grain photography hub, based the new Birmingham Library, now has its website online. Its aim is to become a hub for photography in the whole of the West Midlands.

28.04.13    NESTA has just released its new Manifesto for the Creative Economy. Despite the fluffy title, this is a substantial and and very well-researched 128-page document with a raft of footnotes. Its aim appears to be to aid the floundering new Culture Minister, and also to help shape policy ahead of the General Election in 2015. It has a useful short summary of the UK’s post-1997 creative industries policies, and the various reactions to them among politicians and vested interests. Local and regional efforts to develop creative clusters are pithily addressed on pages 58-62.

14.04.13    Job: a paid Evaluator is needed for the Enson Works Heritage Project in Stoke-on-Trent, between June and November of 2013...

"You will be collecting together information from our 10 projects, plus putting on fun, interactive evaluation sessions at our launch events, before putting all the statistics and stories together an A4 PDF final report for our Heritage Lottery funders."

Application deadline: 12 noon on Wednesday 24th April 2013. For more information about the opportunity contact: elise.turner@stoke.gov.uk

14.04.13    There's a new Facebook group for scriptwriters in and around Stoke-on-Trent.

14.04.13    The Baring Foundation and Arts Council England have launched a new £1m fund for arts projects to bring arts to the elderly over the next three years.

14.04.13    Stoke-on-Trent's £3m Creative People & Places reports that their business plan has been accepted by Arts Council England. The programme will be branded as "Appetite", and aimed at adults who have not experienced the arts before. Appetite have now announced their new appointees:

  Karl Greenwood – Project Director, previously a Project Manager for Multistory in Sandwell.   Gemma Thomas – Creative Producer, previously a freelance arts Project Manager, most recently working with DanceXchange.   Gary Cicinskas – Programme Manager, previously the Dance 4 Life Project Co-ordinator in Lincolnshire.

The new team will be introduced and the next steps in the programme explained, at the Mitchell Arts Centre on Thursday 9th May 2013 (5pm–7pm). "Spaces are limited so please email appetite@picl.uk.com to confirm your attendance."

14.04.13    Job:  there's a paid opportunity to edit an 8-10 minute student film about the history of the Longton beerhouses in Stoke-on-Trent. Filming will take place in May 2013, supervised by professional film company Unique Media and supported by Staffordshire Film Archive. Deadline for quotations is 12 noon on Monday 22nd April 2013. For more information about the opportunity contact:  elise.turner@stoke.gov.uk

14.04.13    Stoke-on-Trent's Burslem School of Art is to host a Spring "Wide Open" selling exhibition in the Atrium Gallery, 1st May to 29th May 2013. Photography can be entered for the Staffordshire Photographers' Collective Open, which will be run upstairs in parallel with the BSOA Wide Open. Full details from:  info@burslemschoolofart.com

14.04.13    Architects and cultural historians may be interested in a talk at the Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, "Utopias in Urban Planning: dreams and realities", on 15th May 2013 (from 5.30pm)...

"Utopian dreams in planning have too often resulted in disappointing realities. This lecture looks at garden cities, architectural modernism and the spread of suburbia, and their legacy in urban planning policy in the UK."

14.04.13    Stoke-on-Trent painter Rob Pointon now has a Kickstarter to send him on a painting trip to the streets of San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York.

14.04.13    Staffordshire Innovating for Impact is a Staffordshire University event for businesses to discover the innovation help available via the University. There are two dates: Thursday 16th May 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent, and Friday 17th May 2013 in Stafford.

14.04.13    Don't forget that the deadline for application to the Staffordshire County Council Community Arts Fund is Tuesday 30th April 2013. One funding opportunity of £2,500 for each of the following districts: Stafford; Newcastle-under-Lyme; and Staffordshire Moorlands.

14.04.13    Gone in 20 Minutes will fund eight artists or performance companies with £3,000, to develop a small to medium-scale idea or project for a new outdoor performance. Applications are welcome from... "all art forms including circus, dance, theatre, music and visual arts or a combination of the above". Application deadline: Friday 19th April 2013, at 5pm.

07.04.13    Jobs:  Volunteers are required for North Staffs TV, a new service which aims to start delivering local TV content for North Staffordshire via the internet. They are holding two open days in Stoke-on-Trent. The first will be Thursday 11th April 2013 (6.30pm). The second will be on Saturday 13th April 2013 (2pm). High demand for places is expected, so they require potential attendees to commit to attending by requesting a place via an email, clearly stating your skills... "and how you think you can assist North Staffs TV". North Staffs TV is looking for a wide variety of skills... "from presenters, camera crew, editing team, production, Web editors, journalists and content writers, administrators, graphic designers and much more." The application email address is:  volunteer@northstaffstv.com

07.04.13    The Chartered Institute of Marketing is hosting a talk on the art of sales copywriting, How to write words that sell... and engage, in Stoke-on-Trent. This is stated on their website as being a... "Free event for members and non-members." It is set for the 24th April 2013, at Ashley Conference Centre, Staffordshire University (Stoke campus). Full details from the Web page.

07.04.13    Denise O'Sullivan's Pop-up Emporium now has booking forms available for those wishing to take a selling pitch at either the Lymelight Festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme (May), or the London Road Festival in Stoke town (June).

07.04.13    Artists are wanted by Tiled Space. Tiled Space is a Stoke-on-Trent company which manufactures bespoke ceramic tiles. This has led them into many different areas, including community arts projects, supplies to tile shops and distributors, and services for architects and interior designers. They are now considering the development of a range of Aga panels for kitchen splash-backs, for sale through independent tile shops and bespoke kitchen companies. For this they are asking artists to submit their designs, with a view to compile a portfolio of suitable artists. Tiled Space hope to find designers who cover a range of different styles and themes, but who can work to their specific need for custom-made panels and splash-backs. For more information, or to apply, please send an artist's statement and up to 5 .jpg images to Mark Wood at:  mark@tiledspace.com

07.04.13    Added to the Directory: Tiled Space, a Stoke-on-Trent manufacturer of bespoke ceramic tiles.

07.04.13    Added to the Directory: Creative Walls and Floors, a specialist in... "unique natural, handmade and ceramic tiles, featuring the largest variety of limestone, slate, terracotta, ceramic, porcelain, mosaic, glass, and feature tiles in Stoke-on-Trent."

07.04.13    Added to the Directory: The Firing Line, a Stoke-on-Trent firm offering bespoke runs of white and coloured biscuit ceramic tiles.

07.04.13    Added to the Directory: H&E Smith, specialist tile manufacturers based in Stoke-on-Trent.

07.04.13    Local artists are invited to submit work for the 2013 Staffordshire Open Art exhibition at the county's Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford (18th May - 14th July 2013). Entry is limited to anyone... "who lives, works, studies or who was born in Staffordshire". Full details at the Web page.

07.04.13    Job:  A part-time Community Engagement Worker is needed by PiCL as part of Stoke-on-Trent's forthcoming £3m Creative People & Places programme to engage adults with the arts — which will be branded as 'Appetite'. Application deadline: 19th April 2013. Full details from:  appetite@picl.uk.com

07.04.13    The "new baby boom" is obvious all around us, and those shaping creative and commercial responses to this boom might be interested in the 2013 Children's Media Conference. This is being held on the other side of the Peak in Sheffield, and is trailed as... "the most important event in the UK calendar for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing content for kids." Dates are 3rd-5th July 2013. Also of note for those interested in creating products for the boom is the UK's major expo The Baby Show, down at the NEC in Birmingham, on 17th-19th May 2013.

07.04.13    Burton-upon-Trent is to host a large conference for those who work with very young children and their music / movement skills. The 2013 UpBeat Conference 2013 is set for 16th April 2013, and is being staged by Make Some Noise with support from East Staffordshire Borough Council. The venue will be the town's Brewhouse arts centre. Full details at the Web page.

07.04.13    Added to the Directory: Stoke-on-Trent based Little Dreams, a bespoke furniture manufacturing firm with a wide range of products.

29.03.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme College has announced an investment of £5,000 in a new glass kiln, giving the region a glass production capacity in post-16 education lacking since the closure of the glass degree course at Staffordshire University in the early 2000s. The new specialist glass kiln extends the possibilities for full-time Foundation students, and the College has also added a new part-time recreational course for adults. The college's new 'CREATE Glass' course for adults starts on Wednesday 17th April 2013 and runs for five weeks from 6.30pm – 8.30pm. CREATE Glass will provide an introduction to fused glass, and students will make a glass item to keep. Full details from:  info@nulc.ac.uk

29.03.13    Staffordshire's Shire Hall Gallery is seeking submissions from artists in all media who create contemporary portraits & self-portraits, for an exhibition in January 2014. Deadline: 3rd May 2013. Interested? Please send up to 6 JPG images (no larger than 1Mb per image), a current C.V. and an artist's statement by email to:  kim.gould@staffordshire.gov.uk

29.03.13    The new Staffordshire University Videogames Design Showreel for 2013 is now online...

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbPerpdHxmU&w=330&h=186]

29.03.13    Would you like to be in the stage musical Guys & Dolls at Stoke's Regent Theatre? The deadline for submitting audition forms is fast approaching. If you are aged between 11- 25, you'll have a chance in the Audition Room to be a part of this year's Stage Experience at the Regent. If you need an audition form please email Laura at:  stokecreativelearning@theambassadors.com

29.03.13    The UK’s only Cartoon Festival takes place nearby, and now has 2013 dates and a full programme. The Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is set for Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April 2013. The festival includes exhibitions of cartoon art, plus talks, workshops, and 'cartoon clinics'. See the website for full details.

29.03.13    The Light House, in nearby Wolverhampton, is to run a writing course "From Idea to Publication". It will run every Tuesday from 16th April for 8 weeks, 6pm – 8.30pm. Cost: £100. Interested? Please contact Alex Davis at:  alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk

29.03.13    The Granary Gallery, at nearby Weston Park, has opened its 2013 Fine Art Open Competition. There is a £15 entry fee per work. If sold, works attract a 40% (+ VAT at 20%) gallery fee. Overall winner receives £2,000. The Shropshire / Staffordshire award winning artist receives £500. Deadline: 28th June 2013. Exhibition dates: 2nd to 29th August 2013. See the website for full details.

29.03.13    The Creative Employment Programme is the government's new £15m fund for arts and cultural apprenticeships and internships opportunities for those aged 16-24. Interested employers should note that the first application deadline is Friday 29th March 2013.

29.03.13    Staffordshire County Council has a new Community Learning Trust Responsiveness Fund of £100,000. This is available to fund needs-based learning projects across the county. The Fund is available to learning providers from all sectors including private sector, public sector and voluntary and community organisations. Application deadline: 31st March 2013.

29.03.13    Job:  An Art Teacher is wanted for a June start at a North Staffordshire school.

29.03.13    Congratulations to the organisers of the new 'Park Traces' arts project in Stoke-on-Trent. They have secured funding from Staffordshire University's Teaching Enhancement and Student Support (TESS) fund for... "15 students and 3 artists" to document Hanley Park, in Stoke-on-Trent. The Park Traces team now have a weblog for the project, which has all the details.

29.03.13    The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has just launched a new two-year search for evidence of the real impact that culture makes on the UK. The AHRC's Cultural Value Project will aim to broaden the existing evidence base, and to provide a framework for deeper public discussion on the topic in 2015. If you are part of a cultural institution which would like to participate, please note that the closing date for funding applications is 16th April 2013. For more details contact project researcher Patricia Kaszynska at:  p.kaszynska@ahrc.ac.uk

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Joanna Dawidowska, ceramics designer-maker.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Denise Maloney, ceramics designer.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Anne Mychalkiw, a surface pattern designer and ceramics designer.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Quirky Bird, hand-maker of silver and lampwork glass jewellery.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Nicola Blaize Ceramics.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Gillian Laverick, maker of porcelain and gold jewellery.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: McCullough & Howard Guitars, an electric guitar repair and refurb service based in North Staffordshire.

29.03.13    Added to the Directory: Taurus Entertainments, the website of card and close-up stage magician Damen William Lewis. Damen is also set to be a lead actor in the Accolade to Evil segment of the forthcoming Stoke-on-Trent feature film Inquisitous (being made by Stoke's Chameleon Monkey Ltd).

25.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's BIGred Studio has released a super new five-minute animated documentary. This creative film celebrates the life of the neo-gothic architect Pugin (1812-1852), with some especially delightful animated ceramic tiles seen in the introduction. The eastern part of North Staffordshire has been called "Pugin-land", because there are so many of Pugin's great gothic buildings there. The animation has been funded via the Heritage Lottery and local sponsors...

25.03.13    Shane Oakley's new Channel Evil graphic novel (with major writer Alan Grant) was published by Renegade on 13th March 2013. Shane is an internationally-acclaimed professional comics artist, and an illustrator of horror and the gothic. He works from the Wolstanton Marsh area of the Potteries.

Shane Oakley

25.03.13    Somewhere Nowhere is Sam Dahl's documentary graphic novel, illustrating five stories of homeless people living in Stoke-on-Trent. It appears to have been made available for free in a limited-edition b&w print form, at an event last year on homelessness — but is not yet available for public purchase. A possible opportunity here, for a local publisher or digital distributor?

25.03.13    The UK's Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has unveiled a new £4m initiative to use the new digital technologies to help communities explore their culture and heritage. The funding is available to AHRC-accredited research institutions, including museums. The new initiative was launched at a showcase event in March 2013, as part of the Connected Communities Programme. A podcast about the programme is available here.

25.03.13    Job:  Staffordshire University requires a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, specifically... "a pioneering digital journalist". Application deadline: 1st April 2013.

25.03.13    The Technology Strategy Boards's National Innovation Voucher Scheme can help UK small and medium businesses to pay the cost of working with a consultant from a local university — specifically, to explore the innovative uses of 'open data' (i.e.: official data sets and databases, openly published under permissive usage licences). This Innovation Voucher application system opened on 26th November 2012, and is currently still open.

25.03.13    The Innovation Networks scheme for the West Midlands has been awarded funding to carry on until March 2015. The scheme offers small £10,000 grants to West Midlands projects that are...

"...truly innovative, resulting in a new product, process or service and provide tangible benefits for the West Midlands economy"

25.03.13    Create Innovate is a new six-month development programme for feature-film producers interested in online content. The programme is being delivered by Northern Film & Media, but appears to be open to experienced filmmakers who are... "based in one of the English regions", rather than being restricted to those based in the north of England. The Create Innovate programme will support four teams... "as they explore the commercial and creative potential of their feature-film story-worlds online". Application deadline: 30th April 2013.

25.03.13    Job:  Chester Council wants to commission a lead artist... "to have an overarching view" of a project in their Odeon Units (a new theatre and public library), and then to coordinate a programme of creative activity within the spaces. Fee of £6,000. The project's start date is May 2013, running until the end November 2014. Application deadline: 15th April 2013. For a full brief please email:  artswest@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

25.03.13    Job:  The managers of Stoke-on-Trent's Local Sustainable Transport Fund want to commission a new design concept for the Fund. Application deadline: 28th March 2013. A copy of the design concept brief for 'Tender CR2013/878 New Design Concept' is available now from Natalie Baker at:  natalie.baker@stoke.gov.uk  The scheme is part of the government's £266 million investment in local sustainable transport schemes.

25.03.13    It's been a week in which North Staffordshire's ceramics industry has had good news to celebrate on keeping energy costs static, but also a week in which we've also seen the stability of the UK's shaky energy-supply system severely tested by the bitter weather. In such a context one might also ask: are there also energy savings to be made in cultural buildings? The UK Theatres Trust has recently published a substantial free report on this very topic, titled Energising Culture: a guide to future energy for cultural buildings...

"Energising Culture surveys strategic issues around energy demand, supply and implications for business models; the current range of financial incentives and sources of funding and investment models available; and examples of innovative and bold responses to the energy challenge showing the potential of the cultural sector."

25.03.13    Staffordshire University and Enterprising Futures are surveying the current 'social enterprise' activity in North Staffordshire. They would like interested parties to complete their online survey.

25.03.13    Lloyds Banking Group's Social Entrepreneurs Programme is now available, for the first time in the Midlands, to help local community projects. For successful applicants the package includes: training; from £4,000 to £25,000 in project funding; and a senior mentor from Lloyds Banking Group. Application deadline: 2nd April 2013.

25.03.13    Royal Bank of Scotland has a free "Kick Off in Business" course from 22nd-23rd April 2013 (9.30am-4.30pm), at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent. The aim is to give participants the basic knowledge needed to set up in business on their own.

25.03.13    After a slow start, the UK's Startup Loans service has now loaned "more than £10 million" to 18-30 year old entrepreneurs in the UK. They now report that they have another £5.5 million to spend, taking the Startup Loans fund to £117.5 million. The service is intended for those who would rather start a business than go to university, and offers low-rate £2,500 loan to fledgling entreprenuers.

25.03.13    Burslem's 6Towns Radio has available... "discounts [on radio advertising] to new business startups trading in Stoke-on-Trent". They also have the ideal vehicle for ads for new creative firms and services, in the form of the regular Leeka's Kulture Klub show on Wednesdays. Interested? Email: sales@6towns.co.uk

25.03.13    The Staffordshire Moorlands now has all the dates available for their informal Arts Forums networking events, from May to November 2013.

25.03.13    Want to try market trading on local markets? The 'New First Pitch' initiative will offer six free market-stall spaces in Stoke-on-Trent. Five in Hanley and one space on Longton Market, available for five days from mid-May 2013.

25.03.13    The Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University is to run a one-day masterclass workshop in coaching skills, on 16th April 2013. Cost is £60 to £100, with discounts available. Full details from: 0800 169 2148.

25.03.13    Developing Arts For Health Training is a professional development programme accredited by Staffordshire University. It costs £300 and is aimed at artists, arts development workers and health workers using the arts. Includes three days of workshops, and a practical work placement. The deadline for expressions of interest is: 12th April 2013. Full details at the website.

25.03.13    All the Web links in the Creative Stoke directory have been checked by hand, with dead links being either repaired or deleted.

21.03.13    The government's new £15m Creative Employment Programme is holding an arts/cultural employer roadshow with Creative & Cultural Skills, in Manchester on the 26th March 2013. Over the next 2 years this £15m programme will aim to generate:

  1,600 Pre-Apprenticeships, targeted at 16-18 year olds
  2,900 Apprenticeships, targeted at 16-24 year olds
  2,000 paid Internships, targeted at 18-24 year olds

21.03.13    Job: Newcastle-under-Lyme's B Arts now has a paid Web development tender available, part of the £3m Creative People & Places programme (aka 'Appetite'). There is no graphic design requirement, as the graphics and branding are being done by someone else. The planned Artsbank phase of the website (local community-arts resources directory + a 'skills swop / time bank') will come later, and is not included in the tender. Total fee is £8,000. Application deadline: 2nd April 2013.

21.03.13    UK Steel Enterprise is set to launch a new Access to Finance scheme for former steelworking areas. Grants of between £25,000 and £750,000 are available for growing companies creating "sustainable jobs". Eligible areas of the Midlands include the Black Country and Stoke-on-Trent. Details from UK Steel Enterprise on:  0800 915 1188.

21.03.13    Staffordshire County Council's "New Markets, New Horizons" event for potential local exporters in "manufacturing and service companies" is to be repeated. The new dates are 19th April 2013 at the Stafford campus of Staffordshire University; and 26th April 2013 at the Westwood Golf Club in the Staffordshire Moorlands town of Leek.

21.03.13    The young children's arts Just So festival, a major annual festival located just five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent, has filmmaking opportunities available for students...

21.03.13    Added to the Directory: Lou Marshall, a fashion designer based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

21.03.13    Jobs: Several rare funded PhDs are on offer at Loughborough University, over on the other side of the Peak. These are in: Drawing and Visualisation; Textiles; Visual Culture; and Texts in Context. Deadline for applications: 13th May 2013.

21.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's Regent Theatre has an event of interest to local crime writers, on Tuesday 28th May 2013 (5.30pm). 'Go Back for Murder' is to be a discussion panel of "the country’s leading crime writers", talking about their profession and discussing their latest novels. Cost is £3.

21.03.13    Moving Forward is a free community crafts course at the Mitchell Arts Centre. The 12-week course is free to people who are unemployed, working part time (less than 8 hours per week), or who are registered carers. Starts 16th April 2013, (10.30am-12.30pm).

21.03.13    The Community Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) of Congleton is moving to Hanley, to the old Jewish synagogue on Birch Terrace. It'll be home to the M. Y. Youth and Adult Theatre and M. Y. Inter-Theatre Company, there be a dance academy, art and drama sessions for the disabled, and a coffee lounge. The place is being renovated now, making it suitable for disabled access, having previously been in a bit of state. Opening is set for April 2013. Can you help? Tradesmen are particularly needed Sunday March 17th – Sunday March 24th. Contact Jill on 07805 443595 or email elizabethjillyoung@gmail.com

21.03.13    The Government's new Cultural Giving Scheme has launched. If you have a masterpiece tucked away in a safe deposit box, why not donate it to the nation, during your lifetime, and claim a nice reduction in your tax liability? The scheme is capped at £30 million per year — first come, first served.


2013 BUDGET NEWS:

Disclaimer: this is my early understanding of the key budget measures for the creative industries. I haven't had time to delve into the core documents with all the fine print.

Britain listened to the annual Budget from the Chancellor on Weds 20th March 2013. The main news for Stoke-on-Trent was that the local ceramics industry will be exempt from a new energy tax... "the industrial processes for that [Stoke-on-Trent ceramics] industry and some others [will be exempt] from the Climate Change Levy." There will also be a 20% rate of corporation tax, "the lowest business tax of any major economy in the world" — which should benefit larger firms such as those operating in ceramics. The only drawback may be if this measure gets tangled up in the EU's "state aid" rules.

There are planned new Tax Credits, to be aimed primarily at the UK's leading visual FX industry — including advertising, high-end TV shows such as mini-series, and documentaries using 3D visualisation. These Tax Credits are seemingly set to be introduced on 1st April 2014, subject to EU approval. Tax Credits support for videogames developers, announced in the last budget, are reportedly delayed because they are tangled up in EU red tape.

These new VFX Tax Credits should provide a 25 percent tax break on qualifying productions. To qualify, productions are likely to have to meet the same rules as for earlier Tax Credits — to include a significant British cultural element, and to be valued at roughly more than £1m per episode or product. The government estimates that this will cost the nation £65m a year by 2017/18 — but that this spending will bring in £12 income for the UK, for every £1 of taxpayer cash spent on the measure.

The current filmmaking tax credits will also reportedly stay in place until 2015, allowing filmmakers and their funders a 20% tax break.

The Skills Investment Fund will be increased by £10m, providing match-funded training for over 5,000 people working in film and TV mini-series, visual effects, animation and videogames.

There will be an extra £15 million for the Technology Strategy Board, supporting digital content production in the UK via industry-level competitions.

The government will... "increase by fivefold the value of government procurement budgets spent through the Small Business Research Initiative."

There will be "growth vouchers available to small firms seeking advice on how to expand". No further details on these yet, it seems.

The innovative and very successful Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is being expanded and improved, which will make it even easier to attract investors to small startups needing up to £150,000. Filmmakers are eligible for the SEIS.

There will be a new tax relief to encourage private investment in social enterprise, with legislation brought forward in 2014 to enable this.

Radical and very well-funded measures to stimulate house-building and home ownership may (in time) have knock-on effects in boosting UK demand for home furnishings, interior design, and garden design. That's just my guess.

Everyone will benefit from the new £10,000 Personal Allowance tax threshold. No-one will pay any tax at all on the first £10,000 of income, from April 2014. The former 10% tax band will also be reduced to 0%, effectively making the Personal Allowance £12,000 for some types of people. These changes are likely to help many low-earning artists and crafts makers and/or those growing their business while only taking out a small amount in income.

Small businesses wanting to employ people will benefit from the whopping £2,000 that has been chopped off an employer's National Insurance wages bills.

Being an employee shareholder will become subject to "more generous" measures.

There was apparently an increase for "above-the-line" R&D Credits "to 10%".

15.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's 2013 British Ceramics Biennial is now inviting submissions for...

"ceramics films, of no more than 30 minutes, to be included as part of the programme to be delivered at the original Spode factory site [in Stoke town]"

Interested? The deadline is 30 April 2013. Please mail by post clearly labelled DVDs with the name of the film, date, length and appropriate credits. The envelope should be marked 'Ceramic film submission'. The postal address for entries is...

  British Ceramics Biennial,
  Staffordshire University,
  Faculty of Arts, Media and Design,
  College Road,
  Stoke-on-Trent.
  ST4 2DE

15.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's 2013 British Ceramics Biennial will be requiring about 50 volunteers this year (28th Sept – 10th Nov 2103). For more information on becoming a volunteer, please contact Dena Bagi at:  dena@britishceramicsbiennial.com

15.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's AirSpace contemporary art gallery has a commission to make new artworks responding to the AirSpace Bird Yarden, an urban yard space with a planting scheme and landscaping. Deadline: 17th March 2013.

15.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's AirSpace contemporary art gallery is now offering a graduate residency for 2013-14. You are eligible if you are a graduating student from an B.A. and M.A. Fine Art degree course. The successful applicant will have:

  * a shared studio space within the AirSpace building
  * monthly support meetings
  * your first solo show at AirSpace
  * access to all studio facilities and support structures

Apply in a maximum of 1,000 words, setting out: why you are right for this opportunity; how you would approach the six months in terms of research and development towards your first solo show; some details about your current work and ideas for involvement with the gallery and studio. Include any Web links, and a maximum of five images (2mb each) and send by Monday 3rd June 2013.

15.03.13    SPEED Plus is a six-month, part-time business startup project which offers Keele University students, graduates, alumni and staff, plus "other graduates returning to the West Midlands region", the opportunity to develop their idea or hobby into a business. The second cohort of students will be starting 16th October 2013 for a course that ends 31st March 2014. See the Web page for full details.

15.03.13    Job: Staffordshire County Council requires someone to undertake an 'action research' project to...

"identify existing creative practice with young people 0-19, and develop a range of creative commissions [for them]."

The fee, inclusive of expenses and VAT, will be £8,000. Plus an additional £1,000 for marketing, consultation and arts activities to deliver the brief. Application deadline: 19th April 2013. See the Web page for full details.

15.03.13    Stoke-on-Trent's Trentham Estate is offering one-day garden design workshop with award-winning garden designer, Clive Mollart. £39.50 per person, includes garden entry and lunch at the Italian Garden Tearooms. Must be booked in advance. Dates in 2013 include: 8th April; 29th April; 13 May; and 31st May. Inquire via the Trentham Gardens ticket office.

15.03.13    Interested in having a stall at the Keele Fashion Show 2013, on 27th May 2013 at Keele University? The organisers are seeking... "local designers who produce ethical clothing and accessories, 'eco' items and recycled accessories" A small donation to the charities Oxfam and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be required on the night, but the stalls are otherwise without charge. If you are interested in attending this event with a stall please email:  j.holland1@keele.ac.uk

The organisers also need volunteer seamstresses or dress makers, hair stylists, make-up artists, and general sewing assistance.

15.03.13    The winner of the 2013 Stoke Your Fires film festival's "48 hour film challenge" (to make a short film in just 48 hours) was The Paper Boy, now available online...

15.03.13    Added to the Directory: Steve Perry a designer and web developer based in Oakamoor, Staffordshire. Steve specialises in design and web development for the sports and outdoor adventure markets.

15.03.13    Added to the Directory: Zankyo UK, a niche record label which specialises in promoting selected Japanese artists in the UK. Currently based in Stoke-on-Trent.

15.03.13    Added to the Directory: Luke Brookes Illustration, a graduate of Staffordshire University who is currently living and working in Leek...

Illustration from Luke's book The Littlest Mammoth...

15.03.13    The University of Wolverhampton is hosting a "Pathways to Making: developing your craft career in an expanded field" symposium on Friday 3rd May 2013. Cost is £15, and the booking deadline is 19th April 2013. This event is billed as...

a one day symposium to debate craft as an expanded field. How are makers diversifying their practice? What potential avenues are there for the application of creative thinking and skills?

15.03.13    The Stafford Music Day is the annual learning day for the county's folk musicians. This year the learning day will be held on Sunday 12th May 2013. See the website for full details.

15.03.13    Newcastle-under-Lyme Museum & Art Gallery is inviting crafts makers to rent a stall in their main gallery, for the B(u)y Me! Craft Fair. This will take place on Friday 17th May (6pm-9pm), and Saturday 18th May 2013 (10am-4pm). The cost will be £20 per stall for the two days. They are looking for makers of "quality, hand made items". Stall holders are encouraged to dress up, to give the Fair a vintage feel, as the event will be in conjunction with the Museums at Night event.

15.03.13    Nearby Burton-on-Trent's Brewhouse Arts Centre is calling for crafts makers to exhibit in the Brewhouse's changing display programme of contemporary craft. They have a six to eight week changing programme of themed exhibitions. They are currently looking for participants in "Wood You" (work made using sustainably sourced/reclaimed wood) on 17th May until 22nd June; and "All Creatures Great and Small" (any work that relates to the title), on 29th June to 10th August 2013. Brewhouse take a 30% commission. Application deadline: 13th April 2013. Apply to: arts.development@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk and put "Craft Cases at The Brewhouse" as your email subject line.

15.03.13    Emily Whitehead Consulting is running a "Pinterest for Business!" workshop, offering fresh ideas and new directions for your social business. Pinterest is one of the most compelling social sharing services, set to become the second biggest social media platform during Spring/Summer 2013, and has a huge audience of affluent American women. The workshop date is Monday 25th March 2013 (9.30-12.30pm), at Beechenhill Farm, Ilam, in the Peak District. £25 per person including refreshments. Book a place at: hello@simplystaffordshire.co.uk

15.03.13    "Summer of Science Fiction: a residential writing weekend" will be running at the Dove Valley Centre, near Buxton, in the Peak District. Dates are 10th-12th May 2013, and the weekend will offer...

"workshopping opportunities, feedback sessions, group discussions plus a host more activities."

The guest author is Jaine Fenn, a short story writer and novelist, and author of the Hidden Empire series. Cost is £150 including two nights accommodation, meals, tea/coffee throughout, a goodie bag and a host of writing activities. To book your place, please contact Alex at:  alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk

15.03.13    Job: Birmingham University's Barber Institute of Fine Arts art gallery is looking for a Writer In Residence for 2013. You must be from the West Midlands. The scheme is in its third year, and this year it will run for six months from June – November 2013. The fee is £1,600 (inclusive of all expenses). Application deadline: 25th April 2013.

15.03.13    Creative Health CIC and Staffordshire University are running a 'Developing Arts for Health' development programme for community artists. Participants will attend three day-long training workshops, be supported to undertake a short practical placement, and will meet professionals working in the field. This year the programme will be based at Friction Arts, in Birmingham. Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 12th April 2013. If you are interested in applying for a place, please email: kategant@creativehealthcic.co.uk

15.03.13    The Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University are running a community course in digital storytelling in Stoke-on-Trent. The course is to run on Fridays (10am to 3pm) on 12th April; 3rd May and 24th May 2013. Full details from Samantha Rushton at: creativecommunities@staffs.ac.uk

15.03.13    The disabled people's drama club at Elite Staffordshire is asking for volunteers. They also run an arts and crafts groups in Leek each Thursday and in Chesterton each Tuesday and Thursday. If you would be interested in getting involved - please get in touch. Call on 01782 611992.

15.03.13    Staffordshire County Council’s Community Arts Fund is now open for applications of up to £800, for arts activities or events which... "benefits the community, widens participation and promotes accessibility". Activities must take place between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014. The deadline for the current round of applications is 20th December 2013.

Staffordshire County Council also offer a Community Arts Development Programme for parts of Staffordshire. This can offer up to £2,500 in Newcastle-under-Lyme or the Staffordshire Moorlands. Deadline: 30th April 2013. The funding is specifically for...

"arts project which specifically address social issues, develop new audiences [for the arts], target marginalised groups and support community development".

15.03.13    The Staffordshire Performing Arts Festival is calling for artworks, for its first venture into a visual arts show. The gallery venue will be the Cadman foyer at Staffordshire University on 3rd May 2103. Full details from: staffordshirefestival@gmail.com

15.03.13    The UK Museums Association is currently surveying how digital technologies are being used by UK arts and cultural organisations. The survey is available to take online.

15.03.13    In the Staffordshire Moorlands? Fancy adding a creative studio to your period home? People living in the Staffordshire Moorlands can apply for grants of up to £4,000 to help improve their home or business, via a building restoration scheme "which must preserve character and heritage". Information about the scheme is available from Gill Bayliss at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council on: 01538 395576.

15.03.13    The venerable Birmingham Press Club has finally arrived in the 21st century in its annual Midlands Media Awards, with two all-new prizes for 2013: for Blogger of the Year, and Best News Website. Entries are now open for the Awards, which cover newspapers, magazines, websites, TV and radio across the East and West Midlands. Deadline for entries to the awards is 22nd March 2013. For the first time, submissions will be accepted in digital form as well as by post.

 

   (Older "What's New?" items are archived here, and even older items (2002-2007) are are archived here as a 1.2Mb PDF.)

 



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Made in Staffordshire, England.  Updated: May 2015.  © 2015. All rights reserved.