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A Recap of the Glossop Creates Spring Network Meeting

May 14, 2024

Last week, Glossop Creates hosted an inspiring Spring Network meeting at Victoria Hall, bringing together local creatives, artists, artisans and community members to share their projects, ideas and opportunities in Glossop and beyond. The event also signposted our community to funding opportunities and some creative support services during a continually difficult period for the industry and the individuals making and producing within it.

We heard from a lineup of exceptional speakers who shared their insights and experiences and opportunities with the audience, here’s a sample of some of them:

Alison Foote, Senior Economic Development Officer at Derbyshire County Council, kicked off the event, providing valuable perspectives on the intersection of culture, heritage, and tourism. Alison highlighted some support and funding pots for the group’s consideration, which you can find the details of in her presentation here.

What is Create Growth?

Alison described the Create Growth programme, a fully funded £1.2m pot of money from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It provides tailored support, mentoring, access to peer networks, masterclasses for creative companies, investment readiness workshops, as well as workshop to help prepare your business for scale-up.

Alison also presented The Vision Derbyshire Business Start-Up Support Scheme, in which you are given access to a team of expert business advisers who can offer free advice and support, with grant funding of up to £10,000 per applicant (subject to eligibility criteria).

Her presentation also introduced our community to Derbyshire Makes. A project that Local (who run Glossop Creates) has worked hard on in the inception phase. Derbyshire Makes is a major new three-year programme celebrating the past, present and future of making and creativity in Derbyshire. Glossop is a hub for the activity and will receive funding and creative opportunities as a result. Glossop’s very own BenJac designed the lovely branding for the project. Watch this space for more details on that soon.

Alison was keen to connect our network with the Arts Derbyshire Network to create greater scope for regional collaborations. Arts Derbyshire are the partnership organisation for strategic arts development in Derbyshire. They work across the arts bringing expertise and passion to the strategic development programmes that they offer the Creative Community, and to the projects they deliver to Derbyshire audiences. Take a look here!

Joanne Blunt, High Peak Borough Council’s new Arts, Culture & Heritage Officer was unable to attend, but left this message for the Network:



My name is Joanne and I am the Arts, Culture and Heritage Officer for High Peak Borough Council. I’m so sorry to not be able to be with you today to chat about the upcoming development of a Cultural Strategy for the High Peak, but I am sure we will be able to connect at a later date. In addition, my inbox is always open. Please do get in touch if you’d like to meet or ask any questions.


I would love to tell you a bit about the Cultural Strategy. The public launch will be happening in May, with an exact date confirmed soon. At launch, we will be opening a public consultation form, publishing a dedicated page on the council’s website and advertising for members of an advisory group to steer the strategy through its creation. The advisory group is open to everyone to apply, and applicants will be chosen to reflect the diversity of arts and heritage practitioners, and lived experience, across the High Peak. The commitment would be one meeting roughly every month until April next year. If you have any questions about the steering group, please do drop me an email, and do keep an eye on the council’s socials for more information.


After the launch, the process of creating a cultural strategy will begin. It will be a roughly one-year long process to allow time for consultation, data gathering and reflection. We will be gathering data on cultural infrastructure, unengaged audiences and arts education provision. We will then create an open-source data centre where you can access this data, along with census data. We hope that this will help identify strengths and gaps, and will be an invaluable tool in funding bids for artists and community groups. This should be available before the end of 2024.


Alongside data gathering, we will enter a period of consultation, where we will be conducting a series of workshops, drop-ins and 1-2-1 meetings. More information will be available on the council’s website and social media. This is an open process, and we welcome feedback at all stages. This activity will culminate in an open-space event – a self-organised conference to discuss the present future of culture and heritage in the High Peak.


Using the data and consultation, the council and advisory group will draft a list of priorities and suggested action points. We will then begin another open round of consultation to get your feedback, feed in your ideas, and establish partners to achieve our aims.


As a final step, the findings from the second round of consultation and input from the steering group will feed into the publishing of the final strategy and action plan to cover a five year period. The exact publishing date will be dependent on the council’s meeting schedule, but should be between March and May 2025. From there, the action plan begins, as we strive towards the targets set out in the action plan.


So that’s the plan, but I can’t do it alone! This strategy delivery plan is built to be open, inclusive and shaped by the opinions of artists and communities. I am so excited to work on this with you all. If you have any questions at all, or would like to set up a meeting, please drop me an email. Again, I apologise for not being with you today, but I hope to see you in the coming months.


Best Wishes,




We’re thrilled that Joanne is in post and the commitment that it shows to arts and culture in the region. 

Carys Kaiser shared her journey of organising the first-ever Dark Peak Photo Festival. Her passion for photography and commitment to showcasing local talent truly shone through. Her presentation acted as an amazing template for anybody who wants to develop a creative event in Glossop from scratch. Carys’ determination, the group that she put together and the quality of the festival itself should be highly commended and we are so glad to have people like her making wonderful things happen here! 

Evie O'Connor talked about her Train Station Pairings Residency in partnership with Friends of Glossop Station and the amazing research she uncovered along the way. Neil Williamson from FOGS addressed the group to remind you all that you can exhibit your work at the station too! Just get in touch for more details and to plan your exhibition in the space. It’s a small spot but has the footfall of a major gallery site, being right there on the station platform!

Sonja Quirk from Friends of Victoria Hall shared exciting plans for the future of the Hall and reflected on her retirement from Glossop Arts Project. Her dedication to preserving our cultural heritage and fostering community connections has left a big mark on Glossop, and her impact will continue as she steers FOVH towards CIO status and a bright new future for the Hall.

Greg Williamson, aka Sharkman Art told us about his upcoming exhibition Jollity at The Craft Barn in Hadfield, which will be the last in the venue’s history unfortunately. Greg paid tribute to Julia Norton, who created and ran the space for so long, bringing brilliant artists to the space and platforming and kickstarting so many creative careers along the way. What a legacy. We join Greg in congratulating Julia on all her achievements and extending a big thank you on behalf of the creative community.   

Clare Savory told us about the Hadfield Pro Loco Outdoor Paining Event on Saturday 13th July and her curation of a ticketed summer concert series, derived from her Glossop Creates Pairings Project-  Longdendale Tales. Check them out!

We also heard from The Black Circle, not a demonic cult (that we know of) but a group of talented local contemporary music aficionados from bands, venues and promoter backgrounds who basically would like to make cool things happen in our town. And it’s already working a treat. Get to one of their events soon and check out what’s upcoming here!

During the meeting, attendees also shared their ideas for the future of Victoria Hall, highlighting the significance of this historic venue as a hub for creativity and community engagement. We are incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing space in our town, and we are working on plans to help it to achieve its considerable potential!

We encourage everyone to stay connected and continue to support each other in Glossop. Thank you to everyone who attended the Glossop Creates Spring Network meeting and keep a lookout for more meetings soon. If you’d like to present, speak, share or promote something at future events, get in touch!

View Alison's presentation for more info