A new initiative to provide much-needed support to creative freelancers in Coventry and Warwickshire is to be launched next month.
Coventry & Warwickshire Creative Freelancers is a pilot project that aims to support the area’s freelance community following the devastating impact of the pandemic.
A new website to connect freelancers in Coventry and Warwickshire along with freelance communities ranging from television producers to performing artists and game developers to graphic designers is to be unveiled at Warwick District Council’s Spark event – which is being held at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington between 10am and 4pm on Friday, February 11.
Coventry & Warwickshire Creative Freelancers has been driven by the Digital Creative Business Group of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Warwick District Creative Compact which was established to deliver Warwick District’s Creative Framework; a five-year strategy to stimulate growth of the area’s creative sector.
The initiative’s aim is to connect local freelancers and freelancer communities through networks, develop and deliver campaigns to showcase and highlight the area’s creative talent, support businesses to work with freelancers by producing tool kits, and promoting the importance and value of the freelance community within the creative sector and beyond.
Creative freelancers have been urged to get involved by completing a survey hosted on the website at www.CWCreativeFreelancers.org
Sarah Windrum, CWLEP Chair, said freelancers are a hugely important and valuable part of Coventry and Warwickshire’s creative eco-system.
“CWLEP’s Digital Creative Business Group identified ‘freelancer support’ as a priority area for its programme of work during the pandemic because we wanted to assist with the recovery and growth of the creative sector following Covid-19,” she said.
“We highlighted to the government the lack of funding and support that was missing for those who were self-employed, which affected the creative industry specifically.
“Following on from that, we have been working in partnership with Warwick District Creative Compact to launch a new website for freelancers who are the core of our varied creative industries in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“We hope this pilot programme will really connect the sector and that as many people as possible will complete a short questionnaire on the Creative Freelancers website so that we can gather intelligence to provide future support.”
Johnathan Branson, Warwick District Creative Compact Manager, added: “We are delighted to launch this exciting new initiative, which we hope will support our creative freelance community in a useful and meaningful way during these challenging times.
“We have included a questionnaire on the website because the more we know about creative freelancers in the area and the challenges they face, the better the programme of support will be.”
Amy Dalton-Hardy, freelance producer and project manager who is also involved in the initiative, said: “As a freelancer who is based in Warwick District, this initiative is much-needed and timely. The effects on mine and other freelancers’ ability to network or collaborate, find support such as funding or training opportunities, continue with artistic or creative practice as well as the ability to maximise earning potential; has all been severely impacted during the pandemic.
“I want to encourage fellow freelancers to take part in the survey as the collective freelance voice is vital in order to create change.”
The pilot project has also been supported by Fresh Seed, Earthen Lamp, Create Central, University of Warwick, Warwickshire County Council and Chaos Films.
Caption: Creative freelancers discussing work. Photo courtesy of the University of Warwick/photo credit: Rachel Ghent.