Project Bootcamps: Much Achieved

Project Bootcamps: Much Achieved

Last week we held Project Bootcamps in Wisbech and Newmarket to initiate conversations, build networks and creative partnerships in Fenland and Forest Heath to shape projects trying new ways to reach new audiences. We also launched Round 3 of the Development Commissions. John Yarrow, our Projects and Events Officer, attended the day in Newmarket and here is his story:

Starting at 9.30am on a Bank Holiday Saturday no one could have known how much was to be achieved at the Project Bootcamp in the Memorial Hall Council Chambers in Newmarket.


People from many and varied walks of life got together last Saturday to learn more about applying for funding and gaining knowledge and expertise about developing their arts-based projects. There was a huge amount discussed and workshopped all under the able leadership of Joanna Ridout, who had many different approaches to enabling the participants to get as much as they could out of the day.


On the day we heard from The Field Theatre Group in Littleport about how they were able to encourage locals into engaging in their arts and history based project “The Horseman’s Word”. It was inspiring to hear how the locals were able to feel a real sense of pride in their local, intimate and “not-to-be-talked-about” history after being encouraged and persistently contacted! Apparently persistence really pays off!


The participants were encouraged to talk among themselves as well as to the wider group about their ideas to engage the local communities in their arts project ideas. Joanna kept the atmosphere fresh by moving things on in a timely manner, but also by physically moving the participants about from table to table, having them use the room completely instead of just sitting in the same place, meaning the information would more likely be remembered and more of it too! Everyone got the chance to pitch and talk about ideas to the group and get immediate feedback. All came away with a real sense that the day had moved them further towards the goal. — John Yarrow

Here is feedback from other participants of the Bootcamps:

“A very valuable and productive day. Meeting new people and talking about interesting projects. Well facilitated”

“The Bootcamp was GREAT! I learned how to plan projects and connect with audiences!”

“Really good connections and sparks. Amazing, what you achieve when you get people together”

If you are applying for a development commission and are looking for a partner organisation or artist, please let us know – we can put you in touch. And – apply for Development Commission Round 3 even if you did not manage to attend! Deadline is 30 May.

For more information about this project please contact Catherine Mummery at

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