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Northern Consortium & NEADN Rural Touring Development Programme

Northern Consortium & NEADN
Rural Touring Development Programme
for artists and companies new to rural touring

The Northern Consortium and North East Artist Development Network (NEADN) are looking for up to six artists and companies to take part in a development programme to create new work suitable for rural touring, which includes training, mentoring and a showcase event.

The programme provides professional support for artists and companies new to rural touring, working in conjunction with the North East Artist Development Network and six rural touring schemes:

• ArtERY Live: East Riding of Yorkshire
• Arts Out West
• Cheshire Rural Touring Arts
• LiveLincs: North Lincolnshire
• Highlights North
• Rural Arts North Yorkshire
• Spot On Lancashire

The programme includes:

• A half day training session on pitching and presenting your work (Mon 8 Apr 2019)
• Presentation of an excerpt of your work at a showcase for rural touring promoters (Mon 29 Apr 2019)
• Opportunity for follow up mentoring from rural touring scheme managers

The aim of the development scheme is to support artists and companies new to rural touring to prepare, pitch and present their work for selection by rural touring scheme managers and promoters, leading to touring opportunities in autumn 2019 and beyond.

Following the showcase, a number of companies will be selected to receive follow up mentoring, which will include advice from scheme managers as well as opportunities to meet experienced rural touring companies and volunteer promoters.

Why rural touring?

Rural touring offers a fantastic platform for artists and companies to reach audiences who, due to their geographical location, may not be able to experience their work in traditional theatre and arts centre settings. The importance of this platform should not be underestimated.

“Bringing art to people in this way makes theatre more accessible and affordable for outlying communities who may otherwise not have the means to travel to theatres further afield, or have the confidence to visit them. It has enhanced our community greatly, improving community engagement whilst also enriching people’s live.” Chris Bridgman, Artistic Director, Kirkgate Arts & Arts Out West

“It’s like I’ve started a new life, I’m doing more and not just sitting at home” Geoffrey, aged 84 who attends both performances and workshops in Thirsk through Rural Arts

Who can apply?

We are looking for companies who:

• have never performed through a rural touring network
• are interested in engaging with rural touring venues and audiences
• have an adventurous, engaging, distinctive piece of work that will be available for booking by rural touring schemes in autumn 2019 and beyond
• believe that their show can be presented in rural venues
• are based in the UK
• are able to attend a training day on Mon 8 Apr 2019, and perform an excerpt of their work as part of the showcase on Mon 29 Apr 2019

Applications can be for new or existing shows of any genre, suitable for adults or children.

As part of our commitment to the Creative Case for Diversity, the selection panel will prioritise artists and companies with protected characteristics including artists of colour and/or who identify as LGBTQ and/or disabled which are currently under-represented in rural touring.

The showcase will take place on Mon 29 Apr 2019, at Theatre Hullabaloo in Darlington. Each company will have the opportunity to:

• Give a 5 minute presentation on themselves and their work
• Perform up to 15 minutes worth of work
• Engage in direct conversations with the rural touring scheme managers and volunteer promoters


Selected companies can claim up to £100 to pay for expenses towards attending the training day and up to £150 towards attending the showcase day.

Companies selected for mentoring will receive a bursary of £375 towards travel costs.

How to apply

Before applying, we strongly recommend you read this guide to rural touring provided by Highlights North:

If you are interested in applying, please download an application form and equality & diversity monitoring form here and return both to by 10am, Mon 25 Feb 2019.

If you need to submit your application in an alternative accessible format please contact us in advance so that we know to expect it.