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  • Writer's pictureBeth Wardell

Opportunities for growth and networking thanks to the Big Culture Northumberland Co-Working day.

This is a guest blog post from Beth Wardell; a freelance copy and content writer living and working in Northumberland. Beth is also a self published author and blogger: @girlaboutnorthumberland

Beth took part in the Big Culture Northumberland Co-Working Day, attending the in person event at the Alnwick Playhouse and shares how the event has opened the doors of opportunity and growth both for herself as well as other creatives across Northumberland. Read more about her experience of the day and how the Creative UK Challenge Fund grant is helping to create a database of freelancers from Northumberland.

In June 2022, I attended the Big Culture Northumberland Co-Working day, heading along in the sunshine to the Alnwick Playhouse for the in person event.

As a freelance creative living in Northumberland, I was especially keen to take part for the chance to network. Like so many other people, I was missing the chance to meet in person and felt a bit out of the loop. Not knowing where to network or even HOW to network: I was out of practise.

That was initially my sole purpose for attending the event, along with helping with the social media posts for the day. I didn't anticipate coming away feeling quite so inspired. I have now just secured a grant from Creative UK to work on my project which will support freelancers across Northumberland. All thanks to the support and ideas that were shared at the event.

The day itself led itself to motivating talks from Eliot Smith from Eliot Smith Dance and Penny from The Old School Gallery. It is always interesting to hear about other people's journeys isn't it? The challenges they have faced and how they grow their business in a post pandemic era.

I chatted with artist and illustrator Daniel Weatheritt, who's work from the day I will leave below. It felt like everyone was realising their challenges and over nervous giggles of "yes me too!" we bonded over how hard we all seem to be working to stay afloat.

Yet we are doing it because we all feel so passionately about the sector and WANT to see it work.

Because of this very reason, and influenced by conversations I had that day, I started to put together my application for the Creative UK challenge fund. Joining forces with my friend Jess (Northumberland Delights) we have come up with a plan to match businesses looking to work with creatives, and freelancers who are looking for work. We were able to chat through our ideas on the day and I think this has helped enormously with the application process.

Our project recognises the need for collaboration and a space for networking to happen in our niche. We are thrilled to be awarded this grant which is going to benefit those within the cultural sector as well as freelance marketeers. It helped enormously we had the opportunity to talk through ideas at the Big Northumberland Co-Working Day and the support from Creative UK during the process has been phenomenal.

As well as this, I attend the co-working days that take place in Alnwick Playhouse on the first Monday of every month. I find the change of scene and opportunity to ask for help/chat to fellow creatives helps me be so much more productive. I look forward to going each month and can't wait to start using the space more. To find out more about joining in with co-working days, email

To follow the progress of the project Jess and I are working on and to be the first to sign up to the creative directory, follow me on Instagram or send me an email for more information:


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