New Writing North, the creative writing and reading agency for the North of England, will launch a Writing and Publishing Skills Hub.  The £600,000 programme part funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) will open this autumn.

The launch is a nationallysignificant intervention into rebalancing the creative industries, and a major boost for the North East, where New Writing North is currently progressing plans to establish a new Centre for Writing. The Writing and Publishing Skills Hub will create a suite of educational and professional development opportunities for schools and teachers, students, young people and adult learners, and writers and literary small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

Taking place across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland as well as supporting a substantial online offer, the Writing and Publishing Skills Hub will empower people across the region with an exciting range of courses, activities and events to open out and build skills and careers in the sector. Over three years, New Writing North will create opportunities from school roadshows for pupils interested in pursuing a career in the creative industries, to networking and business skills training for practitioners and SMEs.

Claire Malcolm, New Writing North’s Chief Executive said: “This significant investment will support New Writing North to establish new areas of work for the long term. With our new MA in Publishing created with Hachette UK and Northumbria University launching this September this region is now leading the way in creating infrastructure for the development of creative people from a range of backgrounds.  My desire has always been that a young person growing up in the North East could imagine a job as a writer or a publisher. Now they will have a clear pathway to pursuing that ambition. As the programme continues to take shape, we look forward to welcoming further industry partners to help us build connections and to enrich the opportunities.”

Professional development opportunities, conferences and courses will all be available to new and emerging writers across the region. New volunteer training programmes will support people with a passion for books to develop their own skills and experience through community reading and festival programmes. The Writing and Publishing Skills Hub also builds on existing work and New Writing North’s current innovative artist investment programmes which support writers with bursaries to support new projects.

Cllr Glen Sanderson NTCA cabinet member for Culture, Creative and Rural said: “Culture is for everybody. It plays a huge part in all our lives and in the economy of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. That’s why we’re investing to allow arts organisations to grow and artists to gain new skills and develop their work. New Writing North’s programme for our writing and publishing sector will benefit thousands of people by providing access to training, learning opportunities and vocational skills development and will support the next generation of creative talent in the North of Tyne. It’s part of a multimillionpound investment in Skills for Growth for the cultural sector through which we are also investing in music, the visuals arts and digital and live event production.”

New Writing North’s awardwinning Young Writers programme will also be extended, including new Young Writers’ Groups and a vocational summer school for aspiring writers and publishers for which participants gain at Arts Award qualification. In total the Writing and Publishing Skills Hub creates or enhances 16 areas of work, developing pathways into the industry and making a unique offer for skills growth in the region. The programme will be managed by a new team of three staff at New Writing North’s Newcastle office.  These vacancies are now open for application.

The funding from NTCA forms part of our investment to stimulate culture and creativity in the North of Tyne.