Creative Business Skills Bootcamp

This June, Aesthetica, York St John University and the new Combined Authority launch the Creative Businesses Skills Bootcamp. The 12-week course runs five hours per week over two evenings. It is designed to support creatives to launch or grow their businesses. It is free to attend and includes a series of workshops and masterclasses aimed at those who are starting out or looking to expand. All attendees will be offered 12 months' free rent at the Enterprise Centre at York St John University. The Creative Businesses Skills Bootcamp will offer start-ups and existing businesses a progression route into the Creative Industries and support entrepreneurial skills. We want to help you to see your business in York thrive.

Creativity Makes Places

The Creative Industries play a fundamental role in placemaking. Globally, the sector contributes towards developing sustainable, inclusive and more dynamic cities. Additionally, the sector can deliver different strategic outcomes beyond its fundamental values, such as economic development, promoting social cohesion, job creation, talent development and driving innovation. York has a unique cultural heritage and a set of conditions that define it, but there is untapped potential, which needs collaboration, ambition and aspiration. We are regional city that needs to think nationally and internationally. The sector must be embedded into the ecosystem of the city through wide-scale visibility and genuine advocacy.

True Economic Potential

Right now, the Creative Industries contributes £109 billion to the UK economy and employs 2.3 million people. However, most Media Arts jobs are based in London and the Southeast with 62% of the sector being located there and less than 5% of jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber. If we zoom in closer to York and North Yorkshire, the statistics are even smaller with just < 1%. One of our barriers is that Creative Industries is not placed under the same umbrella as sectors such as retail, hospitality, transport and services. We are calling for a new focus and a reframing of the sector within those parameters, so Creative Industries, Digital and Tech are seen as real opportunities to drive economic growth in York and North Yorkshire.


We are welcoming both new and existing businesses to join the Creative Business Skills Bootcamp. If you have been in business but wish to expand your company, grow your team and expand your offer, this Bootcamp is also for you, alongside those who might just be starting out. You need to live in York & North Yorkshire, be over 19 years of age and be able to attend our 12 week course in York in person. If you are not registered for self-employment this will also be part of the requirements to gain a place on the course. We are actively seeking applications from those who are in existing businesses wishing to grow alongside those who are just setting up. We will create an amazing cohort of talent in the city and region.