London Creative Network (LCN) is a development programme for creative practitioners in London.

London Creative Network

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The London Creative Network (LCN) Programme at Cockpit Arts is a professional development programme designed to help medium to established craft makers enhance their ability to advance their business regardless of whether they have a studio at Cockpit Arts. We provide creative business and professional development support to craft makers who have the aspiration and talent to do what they do professionally. We cater for all types of craft practices; from batch producers to artist-makers.

Our fully-funded programme is a bespoke offer of information-led, practical workshops which is complemented by one to one coaching. These are all delivered by the Business Incubation Team at Cockpit Arts sharing our unique craft sector knowledge to build core skills in our maker community.

The London Creative Network Programme has been running since 2016. We are now entering the final stages of the programme which is due to end in September 2021.

About The Programme Eligibility Criteria

Are you looking for professional support to grow your craft business? Whatever stage your stage in business, this programme will help you hone your skills and your plan so that you can grow.

We’ve taken the best of what we know works for our makers at Cockpit Arts and have developed a set of intensive workshops which will give you the confidence and skills needed to take action and implement the changes needed to develop your business and practice.

Through our workshops and coaching we will work with you to build the skills to refine your practice and enhance your awareness of your business and set direction and strategy.


Our Programme

In 2020/21 we will be delivering the LCN programme as an intensive online course over 5 weeks. During these workshops we will work closely with you to build on the core skills you need to develop a more sustainable practice.

We will be running the LCN course four times with start dates in November 2020, February 2021, April 2021 and June 2021. Each course will consist of three themed blocks, with two or three 1.5-hour workshops making up each block. There will also be brief homework tasks between sessions. If you are accepted on to the LCN programme you are expected to join all the sessions in each of the three blocks.

Each course will consist of three themed blocks, with two or three 1.5-hour workshops making up each block. There may also be some brief homework tasks between sessions.

NOTE: During this phase of the programme, we will be delivering our support online. Workshops will take place via Zoom and will run from 11.00 – 12.30 on the dates listed.

If you are accepted on to the LCN programme you are expected to join all the sessions in each of the three blocks.

Block 1: Business Vision, Goal Setting & Planning

This two-part workshop will create the space and guidance to plan and develop your business. You will:

– Review your strengths and successes.
– Create Plan A and Plan B goals for the coming year.
– Consider opportunities for growth.
– Set the context of the bigger picture beyond.

You’ll come away with a realistic draft plan for the year, plus some actions and tools to get you started.

Block 2: Market Research, Customers & Values

It is easy to make assumptions about your competitors, customers, and market. Once you’ve connected with your customers you need to win their hearts and minds. This three-part workshop will:

– Show you how to use market research to inform your decisions – whether that’s evidencing demand, finding more of the same opportunities, or branching out to find new ones.
– Help you find the right words to convey the essence of your brand so you can represent yourself authentically.
– Show you how to use your research and understanding to develop the right strategies and marketing.

Block 3: Finance, Pricing & Business Modelling  

This final block of three workshops looks at your financials and business model from the ground up. These workshops will cover:

– Recording and organising your financial information clearly.
– Using data to inform your decision making and business planning.
– Getting your pricing right. This is not only critical to success but a key element of your marketing and sales strategy.

Lastly, we’ll revisit what you have learnt through the workshop series and show you how to join it all up to move your business forward.

You will also receive two one-hour coaching sessions. These will help you make the most of your time on the programme and help focus how to apply what you learn after completing the course.

In addition to these set workshops we also run events, talks and seminars. Once you are enrolled on the London Creative Network these are open for you to attend and offer another great opportunity to meet those taking part in the programme, as well as industry experts.


Eligibility criteria

To qualify for the London Creative Network programme, you must:

– Be based in London (any one of the 32 London boroughs or the City of London)
– Be registered with HMRC
– Commit to engaging in 12 hours of support (workshops and one-to-one meetings)

Selection Criteria

Beyond the eligibility criteria we would like to you to:

– Have a body of work that demonstrates excellence and quality of craft skill, originality in use of materials.
– Have craft as your full time living, or a substantial part of your income. Or be actively engaged in trying to achieve this.
– Have a broad vision and sense of direction for what you want to do and be able to identify the goals to work on.
– Be committed to growth in your chosen market and to developing your products and services. And an understanding of the processes and commitment required do this.
– Demonstrate a sales track record or evidence of testing the market and an existing customer base.
– Be able to articulate your strengths and weaknesses in achieving your goals, including where your business needs to change to reach the next level.
– Have knowledge of the context that you are working in, for example knowledge of key organisations or relevant role models in craft or your wider market.

How to apply

Our November and February cohorts are now full. We will be accepting applications for the April and June 2021 cohorts early in 2021. To register your interest in the programme and receive a notification when applications open please email Emma Sims, [email protected]

Case studies

Read more about how LCN works and what our makers think of the programme in our series of news posts here >> Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part6

Read more about some of our LCN participants here >> Anne Laure Cano, Bea Larkin, Clarice Serra, David Marques, Forest and Found, Jiyun Lapthorn, Jo Davies, Judith Peterhoff, Rob Brain, Sophie Stamp and Tessa Eastman

Read the LCN Evaluation Report here


The LCN Partners

LCN is delivered by four partner organisations across London (SPACE, Cockpit Arts, Four Corners and Photofusion) and will run from autumn 2016 to autumn 2018. Each LCN partner is running a different version of the LCN programme, tailored to their own industry and each has varying delivery time frames.

Read more about our partners here.


ERDF

The London Creative Network project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme, 2014 to 2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. London Creative Network follows the very successful New Creative Markets (NCM) programme, which supported almost 600 London-based freelancers and small creative companies from 2012 to 2015. Learn more about NCM here.

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