Lancaster researchers invite community to celebrate world of arts

An image of a woman in dungarees sat at a table, weaving a basket

Lancaster academics behind research designed to boost creative, craft and artisan businesses are hosting a community event to mark the close of their project.

On Wednesday 21 June between 10.30am – 3pm, members of the public are invited to a free event at Morecambe Library to celebrate the world of arts and hear more about the importance of craft makers in the development of a more sustainable future.

Several activities and insightful talks are planned to share findings of the CASCADE research project with the local community. In addition to hearing from researchers, attendees can meet with local entrepreneurs and artists, and will be offered the opportunity to take part in free poster-making workshops, workshops in ceramics or get involved in community weaving activities.

This will mark the close of CASCADE, a three-year collaborative research project, led by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) and supported by partners in the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Bulgaria and Poland. The project aimed to inject innovation into the craft, creative and artisan sectors by building the confidence of entrepreneurs- from artists and performers, to chutney makers and brewers from across the UK and Europe – and equip them with the support and digital skills needed to stabilise and grow their business. The project was co-funded by Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union.

Academics used the findings of their research to develop free and accessible ‘toolkits’ for the sector, consisting of interactive learning guides on important topics such as inter-generational learning, digital marketing and how to effectively price products and services.

They also created an innovative toolkit for schools, to inspire students across the UK and Europe to consider careers in these ‘forgotten sectors’. The toolkit is currently being trialled in the UK and partner countries, ahead of being made freely available to schools across Europe.

Dr Carolyn Downs from Lancaster University Management School led the CASCADE project. She said: “Our research project saw us host workshops for entrepreneurs right across Europe which provided rich insights into the barriers facing creative workers.

“What became clear, very quickly, is that the arts, creative and craft sectors have huge potential for economies. They can be valuable contributors to the low carbon economy due to their sustainable production and have great potential for growth and innovation - but there are common barriers businesses face. We found many people suffered with low confidence in terms of truly valuing the potential of their business or pricing their products, for example, which can unfairly limit them.

“With this understanding and entrepreneurs’ support, our research team co-created straightforward toolkits that are free to access and available to all – in many languages. These cover things like pricing and marketing products, how to approach innovation and building sustainability credentials into their business story. These guides should be helpful stepping stones to help them take their products or services to the next level.

“Next week’s event will be a celebration for local businesses and those who have contributed to the research, as well as for the wider community. It will be a celebration of the wonderful sectors along with their people and products, and give community members and businesses the chance to see the fantastic talent on their doorsteps.”

Workshops on the day will be supported by artist & illustrator, Molly Bland; Andy Morris of Ram Ceramic; and local artists from the Good Things Collective, Rosie Tacon Glass, Jennie Wren & Woo O'Hara.

To register for the event , where refreshments and lunch will be provided, please visit

Back to News