In this blog, Joe Hall, founder and Director of Creative Stirling discusses the work of the social enterprise to support creative and cultural development of the city and wider region of Stirlingshire. Currently Creative Stirling project manages the Place Partnership for Stirling, funded by Creative Scotland and Stirling Council.

Joe will speak more on this topic at Scotland’s Towns Tea Party in Edinburgh on Wednesday 19 June. Click here to read more!

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Creative Stirling was established in 2012. Key to our success has been creating capacity to evolve and adapt our business approach to delivering on our social aims. Maintaining independence and delivering practical projects that provide local artists and makers opportunity to work, earn and learn, have been key to our survival outside of traditional arts funding models. Creative Stirling works on both practical and strategic levels. Building productive local relationships and connections with national agencies in arts and culture and place making, have helped develop high level cross sector partnerships that are key to our future plans. Creative Stirling’s small team and growing network of support is committed to generating opportunity to grow sustainable creative business locally, balanced equally with social aims for the wider community, by bringing something fresh to the cultural offer of the city. Creative Stirling has adapted and found new ways to work, to bring a new creative, accessible and relevant offer to the city centre. By evolving our model of working in line with Stirling Council’s long term plans for inclusive economic growth, we aim to inform new creative sector development plans for the region.

The founding principle of Creative Stirling’s business plan is sustainability and in 2018 we took on two new projects which moved us closer towards this. Winning the tender to deliver the Stirling Place Partnership was the first, and moving into a new, ideally located city centre venue where we could grow our model was the second. 44 King Street is the sixth and permanent home for our Made In Stirling Store Model and the ideal space to develop a new creative hub space, ensuring that the work of the Place Partnership is visible and accessible. This new hub venue is accelerating the creative clustering effect taking place in the centre of Stirling, taking forward our existing partnership potential to work with those in close proximity, including tech incubator Codebase Stirling, Stirling GoForth BID, The Smith Art Gallery and Museum and HES Engine Shed. 

It is mission critical to Creative Stirling to keep innovating to identify opportunity and forge sustainable ways to enable creative people contribute to the social fabric of our ‘Place’. The key messages I’d like to share would be;

  • nurturing the next generation and the broader social shift within commercial business practice.
  • The importance of a thriving creative sector, collaboration and independent leadership to support place development activity.
  • The lessons learned in finding a balance between relationships with establishment and working around and outside of establishment systems.
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