PEOPLE working in creative businesses with a vision to expand are being encouraged to apply for funding of up to £10,000 as part of an initiative aimed at encouraging young people to work and live in the Dales.

The Great Place:Lakes and Dales lottery and Arts Council funded programme has two separate pots for people to apply to - with applications for the first round closing on Friday, January 25, and the second on March 29.

Although programme managers are unable to say what the total amount of money is available, they say

there is a ‘healthy funding pot’ and are encouraging anyone to apply - whether they fit into the ‘younger’ person category, or not.

The funding aims to support entrepreneurial, creative business to attract and work with talented and young people, and is open to everyone from young start-ups, businesses and organisations, to those working in creative fields and students.

The focus is on exploring training opportunities, ways of working and workspaces, plus raising the profile of rural creativity.

The scheme has two pots of money available, and those managing the grants say they are flexible and open to suggestions, urging anyone interested to get in touch to discuss ideas.

The ‘branching out’ fund is looking for applications of up to £5,000 and is focussed on people, such as ‘cultural practitioners’ - such as artists, and those working in theatres and museums, who wish to expand their knowledge so they can work differently.

Funding could be used to attend training courses, to employ expert mentors, or by travelling to experience different creative practices and ways of working.

Meanwhile, the ‘acorn fund’ welcomes applications of up to £10,000 and is also available to cultural workers, businesses and collaborative projects which want to adapt or change the creative offer in their area in order to appeal to a younger audience.

Karen Merrifield, business consultant with the programme, said: “This might be by enhancing an existing event or activity, by working differently to promote and grow a suitable event or by trying out an innovative experience for the area that makes new collaborations possible.”

Fellow consultant Jael Williams added: “We want to see ideas which test and explore new initiatives. Ideally we are looking for innovative models to build on, projects with actions – not just more conversations and projects which give a greater voice to younger people and encourage collaborative working.”

Project manager, Lindsey Hebden said there was not a specific amount of money available.

“There is a healthy funding pot and GPLD is encouraging as many people as possible to get in touch with ideas, however unusual or unlikely they may appear. The awarding panel will review allocation from the overall budget when they receive submissions with the intention of supporting those that will help to deliver the overall programme objectives and also embrace and support the development of creative skills for younger people in the area.” To find out more, visit: