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Essex Theatre Re-opens Applications To Support Freelance Creatives

The Mercury Theatre Colchester is excited to announce they are re-opening applications for an additional co-hort on their business development programme, Mercury Creatives. True to the Mercury’s commitment to freelancers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercury Creatives will offer mentoring, training and networking opportunities to creative businesses, freelancers and self-employed artists in Essex, East Sussex, Kent and Suffolk.

Mercury Creatives, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has already provided much needed business support and professional development to over 50 small to medium arts businesses, freelancers and self-employed artists linked to the Performing Arts and located in Essex, East Sussex and Kent. Having launched in February 2020, the creatives have been able to benefit from the support of their own personal mentor as well as upskilling and networking to ensure their survival in the industry during the ever changing performing arts industry.

The programme could not have come at a better time for me in terms of my career and during lockdown. My mentor has been phenomenal in supporting my development and guiding my career and helping me achieve small and big goals. It’s also helping me re-evaluate and refine my practice for the better. The fact that it is such a luxury and privilege to be a part of the Mercury Creatives programme doesn’t escape me for a second.

Scott Hurran, Freelance Director and Mercury Creative

Due to COVID-19, the Mercury Theatre have decided to re-open applications for the programme so that any freelancers struggling on the effects of COVID-19 are able to get support from some of the best mentors in the industry.

Now more than ever, local freelancers and creative businesses need support to weather the storm of Covid and emerge stronger and better prepared for what comes after. The feedback from our first intake of mentees has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to welcoming our new group to help them along their creative journeys too.

Steve Mannix, Executive Director of the Mercury Theatre

Once enrolled on the year-long programme, Mercury Creatives’ beneficiaries will receive 24 hours mentoring support for a year. This support will consist of tailored advice and guidance around business and product/service development, creating recovery plans, and will also act as a gateway to new networks and markets.

With the reopening of the Mercury Theatre’s building fast approaching, following an ongoing £9.9 million capital redevelopment project, all creative businesses taking part in Mercury Creatives will also have access to the new production studio, rehearsals and digital facilities that are vital to the development of their businesses. Additionally, all beneficiaries will have the opportunity to apply for one of 15 workspaces in the theatre’s new open plan office, central to the Mercury’s new building.

Applications re-open for Mercury Creatives on the 3rd August 2020 and close on 30th August 2020. More information can be found at For an informal chat about the programme, please call 01206 577 006 ext 814 or email

Grapevine Editor
Grapevine Magazine was first published in 1991. The small Editorial Team, based in Ipswich, Suffolk collate information about live entertainment across East Anglia for the magazine's well known listings. In addition the team publish reviews and interviews on all forms of entertainment. Send your PRESS RELEASES to

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