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3 February 2020
Deadline to apply for the next round of support.

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A new, free business support programme for culture and heritage organisations to help them become stronger, more impactful, and make the most of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund investment opportunity  

Prosper North’s aims are to improve the capabilities of around 80 cultural heritage organisations in the North of England – from music venues to community art groups, and independent museums to literature festivals – to increase income and impact, becoming more resilient businesses. It is aligned with the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF), managed by the Key Fund, which is offering social investments (mix of grant and loans) to creative and cultural organisations in the north of England who deliver positive social impacts.

Between May 2019 and May 2021, 3 cohorts of participants will benefit from a series of free workshops on subjects such as business modelling, social investment and change management, and one-to-one business advice. There will be three enrollment points over the 2 year period: September 2019, March 2020 and September 2020.

If you are looking to start the programme in March, please submit your application by 3 February 2020. 
Applications for the other editions of Prosper North will be open until August 2020.

Current participants

To see who is taking part in the programme so far, visit the Prosper North Community page.

Programme overview

In the following overview, Sarah Thirtle, Director of Business Support Programme outlines the aims and structure of the programme.

Creative United are delighted to welcome legal firm Bates Wells  (BW) as a delivery partner for Prosper North, providing their expertise on key legal areas such as making the most out of your IP, trading models, data protection and social investment in workshops, alongside Creative United’s network of creative, cultural and heritage sector business advisors, and Key Fund and Social Investment Business (fellow partners on the NCRF fund).

Do you think Prosper North might be the right programme for your organisation?
Please check our FAQs, contact us (info@creativeunited.org.uk) or start your application now.

Your organisation is eligible to apply to the Prosper North programme if:

• You are based in one of the 11 northern-most Local Enterprise Partnership regions (click here for a map)
• Your organisation operates in the cultural heritage sector;
• The work your organisation does, either directly or indirectly, provides positive social impacts, such as:

– training, education and participation opportunities for your local community; or
– a safe, inclusive space to experience art and culture; or
– improves well-being and reduces isolation for local and diverse communities; or
– safeguards and promotes local stories and heritage

Apply online

Our Business Advisors

Prosper North has established a network of exceptionally qualified business advisors whose expertise span the full breadth and depth of the arts and creative industries.

Any more questions?

If you still have any questions regarding the programme or eligibility criteria, please check our FAQs below, get in touch by email, info@creativeunited.org.uk, or call 020 7759 1111.

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Online resources

Press Release

Upcoming Prosper North briefings

Join our team at one of our briefing events and find out if your organisation is eligible for support, how to apply, and what to expect on the programme. We’ll also introduce you to our partners helping us to deliver the programme.

23 January 2020 - Birkenhead Briefing Event

Date And Time

Thu, 23 January 2020, 09:30 – 11:00am
Location
Birkenhead Central Library, Borough Rd, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 2XB
Booking via Eventbrite.
Speakers
Hannah Mason Senior Project Manager – Prosper North, Matt Smith, CEO- The Key Fund and Emma Clarke, Business Advisor – Prosper North.

22 January 2020 - Whitby Briefing Event

Wednesday 22 January 2020, 10:00 – 11:30 GMT
Location
Pannett Art Gallery, Pannett Park, Whitby, YO21 1RE
Booking via Eventbrite.
Speakers:
Hannah Mason Senior Project Manager – Prosper North, Adrian Bean, Lead Investment Manager – The Key Fund and Patricia Stead, Business Advisor – Prosper North.

11 December 2019 - Huddersfield Briefing Event

Find out about how to take part in the next edition of this new business support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Time:
9.30-11am

Where: The Reading Library, Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery

Princess Street
Huddersfield HD1 2SU


Register for free
here

26 November 2019 - Durham Briefing Event

Find out about how to take part in the next edition of this new business support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Time:
9.30-11am

Where: Meeting Room 2, West Wing Conference Centre
Ushaw College
Woodland Rd,
Durham DH7 9RH


Register for free here

Prosper North Events

Organisations accepted on the programme will be able to attend a series of bespoke events as the ones scheduled for Edition 1:

19 February 2020 - Meet up 3

29 January 2020 - Business Modelling Part Two 2

15 January 2020 - Introduction to Social Investment 2

4 December 2019 - Business Modelling Part One 2

20 November 2019 - Meet up 2

6 November 2019 - Business Modelling Part Two 1

30 October 2019 - Social Enterprise and Trading

9 October 2019 - Introduction to Social Investment 1

18 September 2019 - Business Modelling Part One 1

11 September 2019 - Meet up 1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Prosper North?

Prosper North is a business support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will provide free one-to-one business advice and workshops to help 80 cultural heritage organisations in the north of England improve their enterprise, trading income, sustainability, social impacts and investment readiness.

 

It is aligned with the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF), managed by the Key Fund, which is offering social investments (mix of grant and loans) to creative and cultural organisations in the north of England who deliver positive social impacts.

 

More information about NCRF can be found on the Key Fund website https://thekeyfund.co.uk/

Additional programme partners are Social Investment Business and Bates Wells Braithwaite.

The one-to-one business advice will be delivered via our network of specialist sector business advisors. Click here to find out more about them.

If you’re not sure if your organisation would fit the cultural heritage description, please get in touch by email, info@creativeunited.org.uk, or call 020 7759 1111.

What are some examples of a cultural heritage organisation?

  • An independent museum
  • A local archive
  • An historic or culturally-important building
  • A venues or theatre with local/regional significance
  • A festival promoting or curating traditional (either locally, regionally nationally) art or performance
  • A community-based or volunteer-led arts or cultural organisation working with diverse participants and audiences.

Heritage can be physical (buildings, archives, exhibits etc.) or non-physical (music, poetry, dance, stories, etc.)

If you’re not sure if your organisation would fit the cultural heritage description, please get in touch by email, info@creativeunited.org.uk, or call 020 7759 1111.

What kind of organisation will be supported on the programme?

Prosper North is designed to provide free support to:

  • Charities
  • Social enterprises
  • Community Interest companies
  • Companies limited by guarantee or share that can clearly demonstrate a positive social impact as a result of their output

If you’re not sure if your organisation would be supported on the programme, please get in touch by email, info@creativeunited.org.uk, or call 020 7759 1111.

What regions does the Prosper North programme cover?

Prosper North is available to organisations which are based in one of the 11 Northern-most Local Enterprise Partnership regions.

 

These are:

1- North East
2- Tees Valley
3- York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
4- Humber
5- Sheffield City Region
6- Leeds City Region
7- Greater Manchester
8- Cheshire and Warrington
9- Liverpool City Region
10- Lancashire
11- Cumbria

You can find a map of these here

My organisation is volunteer-led. Can we apply?

Yes.

How long will Prosper North run for?

The programme will launch on 14 May 2019, and end in February 2021.

How will the Prosper North programme work?

  • There will be an application and enrolment period between May 2019 and Sep 2020
  • In that period there will be 3 enrolment points – Sep 2019, March 2020 and Sep 2020
  • A cohort of 25-30 organisations will be enrolled at each point
  • There will be 3 editions of the programme, each lasting 6 months, accommodating each cohort, each taking place in these periods:
    • Sep 2019 – Feb 2020
    • March 2020 – Aug 2020
    • Sep 2020 – Feb 2021
  • In each edition there will be 5 workshops, webinars or meet up style events, each repeated twice
  • As well as access the free workshops/webinars and meet up events, each organisation enrolled in the programme will be matched with an advisor or business coach for an average of 9/10 hours of one-to-one support

Will my organisation receive a grant + loan deal from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF) at the end of the Prosper North programme?

Maybe. The Prosper North programme will help organisations achieve a position whereby they can access and use funding from diverse sources, not just grants from local authorities, the Arts Council, the Heritage Fund or trusts and foundations.

 

One of these diverse sources of funding could be social finance. Prosper North will actively help organisations interested in applying to NCRF for social finance; and aims to enable 8-10 organisations to successfully secure investment from this fund.

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