creative leadership



The Learning and Development Bursaries are designed to fund your choice of leadership opportunities to support your development journey. 

The Learning and Development Bursaries are now open for applications! 

There is one call out open now (deadline 12 March 2024) and there will be another call out for applications mid April 2024. 


There is £2,500 available for each Learning and Development Bursary call out (so £5,000 in total across two call outs), and we are inviting people to apply for up to £600 to fund their learning/development activity. 

The bursary can fund part or all of the cost of the activity. The bursary can cover costs like workshop & course fees, travel, accommodation, access requirements. 

The bursary cannot fund activities in the past, or activities that take place after 13 October 2024. 

The learning and development activities must support some aspect of your personal development as a creative leader. You might want to explore how to lead change in your organisation; how to work with a team; or improve your public speaking skills. The bursaries are about supporting you to explore your own personal development as a leader. If you’re unsure if your learning/development idea fits the criteria, please do get in touch with Sophie Mellor, the Creative Leadership Programme Coordinator, for a quick chat:

Examples of what the bursaries might fund are:

  • Specific Creative Leadership training (for example Clore Leadership
  • Go and See trips to meet other creative leaders in your field
  • Talks and events
  • Residencies 
  • Workshops and courses 

If you have an idea for how to use the bursary for learning/development around creative leadership, that is not listed above, please do get in touch with Sophie Mellor, Creative Leadership Programme Coordinator on to discuss your idea before you apply. 

How will the bursary be paid?

Plymouth Culture will pay for the proposed activity directly. If the bursary is used as part funding for the activity, then Plymouth Culture will liaise with the bursary awardee to arrange the best way to make payment. 


The Learning and Development bursaries must be spent between the end of March 2024 and the end of September 2024. The bursaries cannot fund activities in the past. Don’t book your activity until you have confirmation of a successful application!


We will contact all successful applicants to discuss how we might best support any access needs so participants can fully engage with the programme.


1. Applicants must live in the Plymouth ‘Travel to Work’ area which includes Plymouth, Torbay, Exeter, Tiverton, Launceston, Bude, Liskeard, and places in between.

>> Click here to see a map of the Plymouth ‘Travel to Work’ area.

2. The mentoring is aimed at people who are leading a one-off project, an organisation, a team witnin an organisation, in arts and culture:

– Visual Art
– Theatre
– Dance
– Music
– Writing (poetry, plays, novels, non fiction etc)
– Performance
– Film making
– Craft
– Design (including graphic design and illustration)
– Animation
– Libraries
– Museums
– Cultural education
– Cultural Development / Cultural Management
– Heritage

You can be working voluntarily, freelance or in a salaried role.

If you’re unsure if you can apply, please contact Sophie Mellor for a friendly chat –

can you apply for mentoring, action learning and the bursaries?

You can apply for both the Mentoring and Action Learning opportunities, which are being advertised at the same time.

But you cannot be awarded a place for Mentoring AND Action Learning. So have a think about which opportunity would suit you best. If you’re not sure, email Sophie Mellor for a friendly chat before the application deadline.

Mentoring applicants/participants and Action Learning applicants/participants can also apply for the Learning and Development Bursaries. The call out for the Bursaries will be in mid February and mid April 2024.

And of course you can just apply for the Learning and Development Bursaries.

what else is included in the bursary offer?

  • 2 x in person facilitated meet ups with other participants in the Creative Leadership programme (travel costs available for those traveling from outside Plymouth). These will happen between April and July 2024, dates and times to be decided with the programme participants. 
  • Invitation to be involved (as a participant and/or co-organiser) in two Creative Leadership Programme public events.
  • Regular email updates on other creative leadership training and learning opportunities
  • Social media highlight of yourself and your work

applications in other formats

You can also send your application as a video file or an audio file. If you record a video, don’t worry about what it looks like! Just a head and shoulders shot, filmed on your phone, is fine. The production values of the video will not be judged! If you need any technical advice on how to record and upload your video, please email before 5 March 2024 (ie well BEFORE the application deadline as Sophie works part time) 

>> CLICK HERE TO APPLY WITH VIDEO/AUDIO (application form plus details on how to send video/audio)


The deadline for applications for the bursaries is Tuesday 12 March 2024, 5pm

selection panel

The selection panel for the Bursaries will be Kevin Dixon (Board member, Torbay Culture), Dan Baker (Programme Manager, Exeter Northcott) and Sabrina Candido (Sector Development Officer, Plymouth Culture). Kevin and Dan are part of the Focus Group for the Creative Leadership Programme and you can read more about them by clicking here. 


Sophie Mellor, the Creative Leadership Programme Coordinator, will be running two online informations sessions about the Creative Leadership Programme and how to apply. These sessions will be on:
– Thursday 15 February 2024, 6pm to 7pm
– Thursday 29 February 2024, 1pm-2pm

If you would like to come along to one of the sessions, and ask questions etc, please email and she will send you the zoom link

You can also book a one-to-one session with Sophie for support on writing your application. This can be on zoom or by phone.

This may include reading through your application; help turning your notes into an application; chatting more about what you’d like to use the bursary to fund. 

She will be running a set number of these one to one sessions, between 13 February and 5 March 2024. Get in touch as soon as you can to book your support session before they get booked up! One session per applicant.
Contact Sophie on
(Sophie will not be on the selection panel).