Creative Merton

Mentoring & 1:1 Support

Context

Merton’s Cultural Advisory Group and local borough council is investing in finding effective, innovative and sustainable ways to support and grow the creative & cultural industries (CCI) in Merton.

always possible was commissioned to work closely with individuals and organisations across the borough to connect ideas and to develop an action plan for sustainable network-building and business confidence in the creative sector.

This first report, delivered in February 2020, was a summary of research, exploring the opportunity and challenges around the use of shared and commercial space for both creative industries production and consumption across the London borough of Merton.

Our recommendations drew on key themes of perception, physical/cultural divides, joined-up leadership and some new narratives about brand Merton. We outlined the need to better utilise existing spaces, rather than rush to create new ones, and to better support space-holders so that imaginative and inclusive approaches are sustainable and well-communicated.

The second phase of our work was intended to explore the capacity for a strong, sustainable network for creative and cultural organisations in the borough. But following the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown measures in March 2020, it was agreed that our focus and resource would be better angled towards Post Traumatic Growth – supporting said organisations and individuals through the crisis and reporting on the specific challenges faced by CCI businesses locally.

 

Challenge

The creative industries in Merton have lots to be confident about, but growth, investment and visibility has been slow.

The borough has no one-size-fits-all need, and a set of networking events and business support sessions could support entrepreneurs and makers to grow businesses – with a particular need in the East of the borough. Solutions need to be co-designed from the ground-up, working with local ambassadors and diverse creative business experts to focus on what is most useful.

Intervention

  • Facilitation
  • Event design
  • Resource creation
  • Data analysis
  • Reporting
  • Research and evaluation
  • Consultation
  • 1:1 support and guidance

Outcome

  • Engagement of over 25 businesses ✓
  • 5 events ✓
  • Insights report on use of spaces ✓
  • 1:1s and small group support ✓
  • Presentations to influencers and decision-makers   ✓
  • Data analysis and presentation ✓