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Funding Finder

Do you need funding to help get a new venture started, or to take your business to the next level? Do you know about the different funding opportunities that are available for creative, craft, cultural, and heritage businesses and organisations?

In this free workshop, Durham University’s research funding team will share tips and advice, take you behind the scenes of funding assessment panels, and showcase good practices and successful pitches.

You will then have the opportunity to follow-up with a writing hack at Ushaw College on 22nd May, where you’ll be mentored as you finalise a proposal for your business.

To attend you should be a broadly creative business (see Eligibility below). The workshop will be ideal for those who have previous experience of applying for funding and want to pick up some fresh tips, and those who have never applied for external funding before but want to know what opportunities (and pitfalls) are out there.

Outline programme

In advance of the workshop, you’ll be sent a list of some current funding opportunities and invited to think of a project and possible sources of support that you might want to apply for.

After the workshop, you will have the opportunity to attend a writing hack on 22nd May, to write and hone your proposal with the guidance of mentors and feedback from other creatives (and fuelled by copious amounts of cake!).

If possible, please bring your own device (laptop, tablet etc.) to the workshop. Free WIFI will be provided.

Who will lead this workshop?

The workshop will be facilitated by Durham University’s Research and Innovation Services team, as well as members of Creative Fuse North East at Durham University. This will include Jennifer Taylor, Economic Development Funding Manager and Rachael Barnwell, Impact & Engagement Officer.

Jenny is an experienced economic development officer having worked in local and national government managing and delivering a broad range of economic development initiatives over the last too many years. Her first sojourn into the fun-filled world of funding was when she worked for what was the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food as a project inspector for EU funding and she hasn’t managed to escape yet. She proceeded to be a programme manager of European Regional Development Funds for over 8 years in Newcastle prior to moving to the other side to manage funds for delivery bodies having to accurately apply all of the rules and regulations. Her experience of having both assessed applications and also bid for substantive funding means she is able to have a unique insight into what funders want and what is deliverable. An approach she now applies to her role as Economic Development Funding Manager at Durham University.

Am I eligible?

This event is open to Creative or Digital businesses and sole traders operating in the County Durham and wider Northeast LEP region (Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland). Places at this event will be confirmed for those who meet these criteria. Get in touch with the team at or if you have any enquiries.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is more information available on transportation, accessibility, and the venue here:

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You are welcome to contact Alistair ( or Ladan ( of the Creative Fuse team at Durham University with any questions about the event.


This programme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Schedule of Event

9.30 Registration and refreshments
9.45 Introduction to the day
10.00 Top ten tips on writing successful grant applications
11.00  Refreshments
11.15 Success stories: hear from those who have managed to get funding
12.00 Lunch
13.00 Support available in our region
13.30 Support available to specific sectors
14.00 Refreshments
14.15 Next steps: facilitated session to decide the funding proposal you will take forward
15.15 Quick pitch

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