Why develop creative and cultural leaders in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly now?

Creativity runs through the DNA of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – with a can do, sharing culture and long history of thinking and doing things differently. 

The region is home to a rich ecosystem of creative businesses, freelancers and cultural organisations that interact in a web of informal networks and relationships. 

To realise its ambition to be the UK’s leading rural creative economy, it needs a new generation of leaders who can: 

  • meet the challenges and opportunities of the future – social, economic and environmental 
  • raise the game and work collaboratively, demonstrate the value and promote the creative economy of C&IoS. 

The Creative and Cultural Leadership Development Programme is designed to meet that challenge.  

“Cornwall Council is supporting Cultivator to nurture future Cornish creative leaders and support the further growth of our leading creative rural economy. This leadership programme fits in perfectly with Cornwall’s Creative Manifesto, our new 5 years cultural strategy, and our ambition to develop Cornwall’s creative talent. As the economy emerges from lockdown, this is a great opportunity for people in the creative industries to develop their businesses and skills.”

Glenn Caplin-Grey, service director for economic growth at Cornwall Council

Who is delivering this?

The Creative and Cultural Leadership Development Programme is led by the University of Plymouth and Cultivator and designed and delivered by the innovation unit ofThe Audience AgencywithMandy Berry– is designed to meet that challenge. 

Project Director Patrick Towell and Programme Director Mandy Berry have a wealth of experience in the creative industries and cultural sector and direct knowledge and understanding of the ecosystem in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  

The programme comprises 2 cohorts, totalling 21 creative and cultural practitioners,who have been drawn from a wide variety of backgroundsincluding freelancers, from for-profit companies and not-for-profit organisations, with different types of experiencedesigned to reflect the makeup of the creative and cultural workforce across the region. The first cohort will complete the programme in September 2021 and the second cohort starts in June 2021 and completes in May 2022.

“It’s incredible to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many talented people locally, working together and learning together to build a better future for those we all know in our lives that have felt the effects of the pandemic. This is also a big part of my professional development. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can step out of how I think organisations should be run and think more creatively about the future.”

Hannah Irwin, member of the first cohort

The programme content 

Comprising a range of topics fit for an evolving world, the programme covers understanding different styles of leadership, resilience and risk management, private and public funding, governance and advocacy, R&D and innovation – together with cross-sectors collaboration and strategic planning for agile businesses in times of uncertainty.

The programme is delivered through a series of workshops, mentoring, peer learning opportunities and action research projects. Themes of inclusion, diversity and environmental sustainability, are threaded throughout the modules.

It is also designed to share how best to represent the region’s creative industry – how to tell the story, set the agenda and harness opportunities for Cornwall with the participants becoming ambassadors for the creative and cultural industries in C&IoS, regional, national and international settings.

About Cultivator

Cultivator is a business and skills development programme specifically designed to support and grow the creative industries in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Businesses are offered one-to-one consultations with specialist business advisors and can access the programme’s broad range of business and skills development opportunities. Cultivator can provide connections to the academic and technical experts and cutting-edge resources and facilities at the University of Plymouth.

Mandy Berry

Mandy Berry is a senior executive and entrepreneur with a wide experience of the creative and cultural industries and a track record of initiating, developing and leading innovative companies and projects exploring new thinking and innovation, products and services in both the public and private sectors. She advises a broad range of creative companies, organisations and individuals. 

Follow Mandy on Linked In.

“What we’re looking to do here is assemble the next generation of creative leaders in Cornwall. The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating, but one positive outcome is the reframing of how businesses react to a crisis. Leaders have had to think outside the box, remove themselves from their comfort zone and apply some creativity to the situation. What we’ve seen is that slow-moving multinationals and huge organisations can actually be quite nimble when they’re forced to be. For Cornwall to recover from this, the region needs to apply some of the same thinking. Our programme will scale up that thinking and inspire the most talented creative individuals within industry.”

Jane Sutherland, Director of Cultivator


ERDG logo banner.jpg

UoP Logo_LA_Colour (2).png Golant Innovation - full black w. clear bkgrd.jpg