Creatives in Kirklees are being asked to shape what future support might look like for the districts creative community as part of a new initiative launched by Wilson’s Republic – in conjunction with Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield.

In a bid to explore a fresh approach to business support within the creative sector, community interest company Wilson’s Republic is looking to bring together a wide range of creative specialists, working at all levels, covering everything from design, illustration, art, photography, music, fashion, architecture, digital, and more.

Over 100 of these practitioners are invited to join Wilson’s Republic 8: Resilience on 24 March at the University of Huddersfield. Registration is free, and the event will discuss the theme of ‘resilience’ – to help inform and define what support is needed to enable the sector to thrive and grow, beyond simply financial aid.

“Resilience may seem like an obvious theme for Wilson's Republic #8 – given most people's experience over the last two years – but our community has a real opportunity to reset and build stronger links and foundations.

“Therefore, the question we’re going to be exploring is, ‘what does it take to build a sustainable creative community that can grow, support, and weave itself into the very fabric of the town?’” explained Aidan Nolan, co-founder of Wilson’s Republic, owner of A.N.D. Studio, and associate lecturer at The University of Huddersfield.

Discussion will be led by some of the industry’s most talented practitioners, including Huddersfield-born artist, Ian Berry, as well as graphic designer Jane Bowyer, and Iain Bennett – a consultant at The Fifth Sector, who wrote the regional strategy for Digital & Creative Industries for North West England, to support the £1 billion development of MediaCityUK in Salford and producing an Economic Impact report for the creative sector in Kirklees

“We’re once again set to bring together an eclectic mix of business owners, freelancers, students, and other professionals to share their experiences and discuss what life is like in the creative sector,” added Darren Evans, co-founder of Wilson’s Republic and design director at Mirfield-based strategic brand consultancy, The Engine Room.

“We have a unique opportunity to shape a package of business support which is tailored specifically for creative businesses. Teaming up with the arts and creative development team at Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield, we are going to collectively explore what needs to happen to build a sustainable creative community.”

The evening will also recap on findings from qualitative ‘creative bubbles’ research conducted by Wilson’s – with a report published in tandem, which will help to shape any future support programs.

Back by popular demand following a two-year hiatus, Wilson’s Republic 8 will take place in the Barbara Hepworth Building at the University of Huddersfield from 6pm on 24 March 2022. Entry is free, and previous events have seen tickets ‘sell out’ in a matter of days, therefore pre-registration is essential. Attendees can sign up here.