Prosper North is a free business support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The programme aims to improve the capabilities of around 80 cultural heritage organisations in the North of England – from music venues and community art groups, to independent museums and literature festivals.
Prosper North’s mix of free, tailored 1:1 business support, workshops, webinars and meetups are designed to enable cultural heritage organisations to increase income and impact, become more resilient businesses and explore social investment. In these challenging times of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme will also help with planning for the rebuilding of businesses post-lock down.
Having started in 2019, the organisations on the programme have already participated in a combined total of over 600 hours of 1:1, workshops and webinars. Members of our cohorts have described the programme as “enlightening”, “supportive” and “transformative”.
Diversifying Funding Streams
The Prosper North programme will also 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 Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund for social finance; and aims to enable 8-10 organisations to successfully secure investment from this fund.
Who provides the business support?
The programme will be delivered by Creative United’s established network of exceptionally qualified business advisors whose expertise span the full breadth and depth of the arts and creative industries.
Workshops are only open to participating Prosper North organisations.
Wednesday 9 December 10.00 to 1.00pm - Focus on the money and Managing risk and change.
Money & data, what financial documents and data you need to make decisions, financial planning basics such as full cost recovery and why breaking even isn’t enough. Understanding of risk and tools to apply and an understanding of current tensions and drivers in company culture and what might need to change to achieve impact goals.
Wednesday 16 December 10.00 to 12.00pm - Business & scenario planning
Looking at different sources of money and which apply to which aspects of your plan. Applying scenario planning to imagine different futures and business models and plan for different outcomes.
Wednesday 13 January 2.oo to 3.00pm - Introduction to Social Investment
As we re-build do we need to diversify our income streams and could social investment help us to do that? This workshop introducing the basics of social investment and how it can help an organisation grow its social or community enterprise.
Meet Edition 3 of Prosper North
Applications are now closed and the final edition of Prosper North has begun.
We are delighted to welcome Edition 3 to the Prosper North community. Edition 3 will run from September 2020 – February 2021. Click through the profiles below to meet the organisations taking part.
Prosper North: Chetham’s Library
Chetham’s Library is the oldest public library in the UK…
Prosper North: Minerva Arts
Minerva Arts is an arts education and development charity based…
Prosper North: The Foundry at Victoria Hall
The Foundry Sheffield promotes the benefits of people of Sheffield…
Prosper North: Norton Priory Museum Trust
Norton Priory Museum Trust Limited is the independent charitable trust…
To see the full range of organisations that have taken part in the programme across the three editions, click the button below.
In the following overview, Sarah Thirtle, Director of Business Support Programme outlines the aims and structure of the programme.
Prosper North was made available to organisations which are based in one of the 11 Northern-most Local Enterprise Partnership regions.
There is no doubt that the past few months have been challenging for the cultural heritage sector across the UK. We thought it would be great to catch up with some former Prosper North participants to see how they have managed to navigate these unusual times.
For more information on Prosper North, click below to read the full press release.
If you have any questions regarding Prosper North or any other Creative United programme, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 020 7759 1111. You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter below.