EXPERT freelancers, business specialists and artists will be among the speakers at a free conference in Austwick this month aimed at young people starting careers in the arts and creative industry.

Play Work Stay is a weekend-long residential for 18 to 25-year-olds with advice and practical tips for working in the arts organised by the lottery funded Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD) programme.

It will take place at the Dalesbridge Centre in Austwick from Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29.

It follows research suggesting that business know-how is high on the list of must-haves for younger people setting up as self-employed or starting careers in the Dales.

GPLD programme manager Lindsey Hebden said: “Our research has shown that younger people in this rural area can be put off jobs in the arts, which can often be freelance, because they are lacking confidence in business skills.

"Play Work Stay offers young people who are, or wish to, work in the creative sector the chance to access inspirational training to boost their confidence for starting a career here.”

The main themes of the event will be creative business skills, collaboration, creativity, enterprise and health and wellbeing.

It will raise awareness of the creative and cultural sectors as viable options for careers and aim to provide delegates with the skills to navigate the current jobs market which is often project-based or freelance.

GPLD business consultant and co-organiser Karen Merrifield said: “It is the balance of workshops that makes this different. It is around creative careers and why creativity is and will be so important to all businesses. Without creativity there is no innovation.

“We have a great mix of workshops on traditional business skills but aimed at creatives, including how to market your business from a rural area led by tourism and network specialist Susan Briggs."

Business growth consultant Michelle Cowan will look at how to manage social media and communications for start-ups and fundraising expert Dana Segal will lead a workshop on how to pitch most effectively.

Other sessions will be around creative freelance models, developing a visual business plan and cross sector collaboration and creative enterprise.

There will also be an opportunity to collaborate on or develop a project.

Other guests involved in workshops and leisure sessions will include internationally renowned scriptwriter and producer, Rob Young, creative entrepreneur Patrick Towell, creative brand consultant Danny Bulmer, Leeds-based illustrator, writer and cartoonist Kristyna Baczynski, creative producer Alex Zawadzki, arts and wellbeing specialist Sarah De Nurtcheylo, illustrative mapper and radiotherapist Sarah Smizz arts consultant Ginny Scholey, head of learning at Lakeland Arts Ian Read, chief executive of LUDUS Dance Anthony Briggs, director of Settle Stories Sita Brand and yoga and pilates teacher Ebru Evrim.

Lindsey added: “We are offering a fantastic opportunity for young people in arts-based careers to pick up advice, be mentored and learn from those who have been there how to make being freelance work for them. The weekend will be exciting and inspirational. There will be time to socialise and network as well as develop ideas and reflect.”

There are still a few places left on the residential weekend. To find out more, go to:

GPLD is a National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England-funded programme which aims to encourage more under 35 year olds to live and work in both the Dales and in the Lakes.