Posted Apr 21 2023
Event round-up: New arts and cultural developments in the regions


Thank you for joining us on our latest event in our National Development Series, showcasing new arts and cultural developments in the regions.

A huge thank you to our event panel: Miranda Debenham, Producer at Theatre Deli Sheffield; Emma Kane, Prospect Research Lead at Factory International, Manchester; and Lesley Taker, Studio/Lab Manager at FACT, Liverpool, for sharing their insights on bringing to life new ventures in the current landscape.

At Factory International, Emma Kane (Prospect Research Lead) shared the organisation’s expansion plans, developing its Factory Academy as well as a new platform for alternative platforms. Miranda Debenham (Freelance Producer) from Theatre Deli spoke of their upcoming touring productions as well as local conference and youth events. Finally, Lesley Taker from FACT (Studio/Lab Manager) spoke of their plans to platform more digital art. It was great to hear of such diverse and innovative events being planned at each organisation!

All our speakers noted inevitable challenges amidst the cost-of-living crisis, where staff burn-out, increased competition and driving ticket sales were all noted as difficulties.

We send huge thanks to our speakers for there time and insight – we look forward to seeing their upcoming projects come to fruition across the year!

Missed the event? Scroll down to watch the full recording and read some final thoughts from our speakers.

Click here or above to watch the full recording on our YouTube channel

Finally, two of our speakers offered responses to some closing questions. We didn’t have time for questions on the call since there was so much to discuss! Thanks to Lesley and Emma for taking the time to write these responses:

  • What do you think your donors/supporters/audiences are most excited about or looking forward to?

Lesley: The opportunities that Studio/Lab will create not just for artist practice development but also wider talent and industry skills development.

Emma: Definitely the opening of this brand new cultural venue in Manchester – it’s a space with scale and scope like nothing else in the city, so the potential for programming is hugely exciting!

  • What is your favourite thing about working at your organisation?

Lesley: The flexibility and responsiveness – a willingness to learn from what we are doing and change as we go.

Emma: The team – they’re such a brilliant bunch of people.

  • What have you found to be the most challenging thing about opening a new venue?

Lesley: We’ve not yet opened the new space but the biggest challenge has probably been creating capacity within an already very busy team to focus on pushing a new strand which has new KPIs, expectations etc.

Emma: The pace/pressure of the venue opening coinciding with Manchester International Festival 2023 in July!


For more National news…

This event was part of our National Development Spotlight week, celebrating exciting arts and culture activities happening across the regions. Head over to YAF’s Instagram to check it out, as we take a trip around the UK highlighting  events to look out for this year.

We hope this week will be just the start of the conversation. So if you have recommendations of speakers or organisations for future similar events, please do get in touch with the National Development team by emailing – we’d love to hear from you!

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