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  • Writer's pictureClaire Venus

NEW FOR 2023 - Co-working for creatives in Cultural Venues

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

We are delighted to announce that following the successful pilot of co-working at Alnwick Playhouse we are working on monthly dates for two new venues in Northumberland. After The Big Culture Northumberland Co-working Day in June 2022, a few of us got together and organised a space supported by Alnwick Playhouse to meet regularly as freelance colleagues.


Queen's Hall in Hexham and The Maltings Berwick were also keen to support this model and so we have brought in two Cultural Co-working Champions to help expand the network.


If you'd like to hear about the dates in Alnwick (Alnwick Playhouse, Berwick (Malting's Berwick) or Hexham (Queen's Hall) please email me in the first instance; hello@culturenorthumberland.co.uk


Image taken at a workshop led by Trina Dalziel


What is co-working at Cultural Venues?


Co-working is a FREE monthly space for you as a creative/ cultural/ heritage sector freelancer or artist to join with other like minded folk in a day of 'hot desking' at your local cultural venue. Those who are employed in the cultural sector who live close by or want to connect or meet with you are also welcome.


What's the aim?


The aim of the co-working space is to connect rurally based creatives, artists and cultural freelancers in a wide network and give opportunities to those who want to work in Northumberland to come together too. The project was started as I couldn't find anywhere away from home suitable to work consistently other than local cafes. On a personal level, I like the connection to like-minded folk co-working brings and it's also brought me new contracts and contacts too. On a environmental level it is great to save on heating and fuel costs and spend money at cultural venue cafes rather than big chains.


When does it take place?


We will publish the monthly dates very soon. The Alnwick Playhouse dates are all Mondays as they don't need to use their White Room then.


What can I expect?


You can bring something you want to work on, catch up on admin or see what inspiration strikes in a new working environment. In the Alnwick meet-up we have a nice coffee break together and usually update each other as to what we are working on.


There are also break out spaces for focussed work, meetings or zoom conversations.


How are they arranged?


The dates are sent out in advance via hyper local whatsapp group and a reminder a few days before is also sent.


If you have any questions about co-working in cultural venues or would like to join the Alnwick group do let me know. Hello@culturenorthumberland.co.uk


To book a spot for cultural co-working in Hexham click here.


Berwick co-working arrangements will be published very soon!


Thanks to our partner venues for supporting the venture (Alnwick Playhouse, The Maltings Berwick and Queen's Hall Hexham) and for Northumberland County Council and North East Cultural Freelancers for continuing to support the Culture Northumberland project.


***


In January 23, I caught up with academic Gary Bosworth who was commissioned to look at co-working in our region. He shared a recent project on co-working: https://digit-research.org/the-role-of-co-working-spaces-in-digital-rural-futures/


The project is more about office workers and freelancers rather than artists and makers although he's familiar with research in both areas. The team at Northumbria University produced this toolkit and animation as part of the findings too: https://nicre.co.uk/case-studies/rural-coworking-toolkit/


And academic Ian Merrel's research is here - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/02690942221085498




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