The Creative Step Programme

The Creative Step, a practical programme designed to help shape your business for the future.

We want to make the county’s creative sector the fastest growing in the country by supporting the next generation of creative businesses and retaining local talent.

The Creative Step


Now more than ever Creative Lancashire want to provide you with advice and practical support to navigate the current crisis.  These times are challenging but we are working with the Creative Step programme leaders, partners and organisations across the county and beyond to share and develop resources that can translate into effective help. Even small changes can result in major impact. We will share more via this page soon.

Creative Lancashire is on a mission!

We want to make the county’s creative sector the fastest growing in the country by giving the next generation of creative businesses the tools to thrive in the future. Our aim is to build an internationally renowned creative community that is built on local talent.

So, we created The Creative Step, dedicated to the specific needs of the sector and founded on understanding that the unique qualities and requirements of creative enterprises are not currently met by mainstream business development initiatives.

We are currently recruiting for the next Cohort, which will take place in Autumn 2020. Registration details down below.

Dates and Venue to be confirmed. The format is a three day programme spanning 3-4 weeks. NB: It is essential that participants can attend all three days

Programme overview:

The Creative Step is a hands-on, practical, interactive course where you work directly on aspects of your business. Through a deep understanding of the needs of creative entrepreneurs, the programme has been carefully structured to support you and your business, whether you are starting, are planning for your next stage of development or responding to changing market forces. It builds on leading tools and techniques that support creative businesses globally, including aspects of the Creative Enterprise Programme run by Nesta and the British Council.

The pilot programmes were researched, developed and delivered in 2019. Participants on the pilots, diverse groups ranging from start-ups to established agencies, artists to photographers and brand specialists found that the programme helped them focus on the future, clarifying the purpose and activities of their creative enterprise, putting them in control and giving them confidence on what actions are needed to take to support and develop their business. The collaborative nature of the workshops encourages the sharing of peer-to-peer practice over and above the world-class programme content.

Over the three days of the programme, creative enterprise owners get an opportunity to step back from their day-to-day activities in a safe and supportive space to reflect, review and refresh their business. 

It really helped me understand and prioritise what needs to be done in my business. The workshop held up a mirror to my business and I enjoyed the opinions from all the other participants.”

“For anyone feeling like themselves or their business needs more direction, confidence, a stronger story, or even a new and diverse network of business contacts – this is the programme. It makes you think about the important steps your business requires and gives you the time and space to consider and act.

The programme is co-developed and delivered by Catherine Docherty (Journey), who works with Nesta and British Council to deliver creative business support globally, and Jonathan Ball (Designmine) a design associate for both Design Council and V&A Dundee and a lead instructor for LUMA Institute, Pittsburgh.

The Programme in detail:

The programme is delivered over three Days with Day 1 and Day 2 running back to back. As a participant on The Creative Step, you will work alongside a select group of peers, having the opportunity to share and learn from others:

Day 1: Your Aspirations: this day explores what drives you personally, your business values and connects these to your business purpose and future aspirations. This provides a solid foundation for guiding your business and communicating confidently.

Day 2: Your Customers: here you explore stakeholders who can affect the success of your business with a particular focus on customers. You will also be introduced to practical approaches to customer research and create a plan to gather meaningful data to strengthen your business offer.

There is a break between Day 2 and Day 3 to allow time to put into practice some of what has been covered in the first stage of the programme.

Day 3: Your Future: on the final day you have the opportunity to share the learning from the research and delve into the core components of your business. You will then identify actions to take forward, prioritise these and create a high-level action plan to help you make the necessary changes to support your business.

On completion of The Creative Step, you will receive materials used in the workshops to allow you to use them in the future and to share them with your team. 


If you would to apply to be part of the next programme cohort or would like further information please contact:  

Jonathan at Designmine:, or Catherine at Journey:

For an informal conversation or more information about Creative Lancashire and other sector specific programmes contact: Ed:

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