Putting creative enterprise at the heart of our strategy

 2 May 2016

As a Creative & Cultural Skills Leadership College, we continue to push new boundaries in curriculum delivery through a focus on entrepreneurship. We position enterprise and success at the very heart of our strategy. Here's how.

NWRC students getting workplace experience through the National Skills Academy. Image (c) Simon Mills
NWRC students getting workplace experience through the National Skills Academy. Image (c) Simon Mills

Albert Einstein famously once said that "creativity is intelligence having fun". Just like you, perhaps, I believe that creativity is only ever fun if we have the intelligence to lead it to an outcome. This is our approach at North West Regional College (NWRC).

Take for example our recent ‘Enterprise Week’, which ran in partnership with our local City and District Council. This featured five days of entrepreneurial best practice events,covering areas such as:

  • A Passion for Fashion
  • How to Succeed in the Music Business
  • Digital Enterprise Masterclass

We scheduled these events directly for our students, staff, and invited guests, and they resulted in more than 900 attendees, 50 guest speakers, and over 200,000 impressions on Twitter.

It was a marvellous festival that followed hot on the heels of our 2015 College Enterprise event ‘Watify’, which featured guest speaking from established industry leaders, including our good friend Pauline Tambling CBE.

Our focus on creative enterprise

But it’s not only what we are doing for people. It’s what we are doing because of people that energises our entrepreneurial focus. 

These are exciting times for us in terms of creative enterprise, and I take great pride in acknowledging this. 

It’s because of our learners that we have recently opened our enLAB zone at Strand Road campus (next to our Foyle Theatre), a bespoke advice area for local and regional entrepreneurs to use as a platform to share their expertise and experiences to our aspiring industry creators and leaders.

It’s because of our staff that we are afforded opportunities at leadership level to highlight the importance of the promotion of enterprise within the creative industries, just as my colleague Tony Talbot did when he spoke passionately on this to delegates at the Creative & Cultural Skills National Conference recently.

As a college, we are fortunate in some respects to be able to integrate this entrepreneurial spirit into our way of life. On the other hand, it’s probably as a result of the endeavours and achievements of our learners and staff that leaves us with no other choice. For it is them, and their future employers, who wish to benefit from their time with us – they create the opening and we create the path. That’s how we believe it should work.

Excellence in enterprise across the board

This curriculum excellence at NWRC can be highlighted across a number of our creative areas such as art, design, fashion, media, music and performing arts. 

We are proud to be a Leadership College and we want to share this status with you and your peers. 

At national level, students from our Art & Design section have consecutively won the Royal Opera House Costume Design challenge for the last three years. While last November, our pop music band ‘Zippy Gnat’ won Gold at the UK WorldSkills Finals in Birmingham. 

At inter-college level, we are big in demand. We have played host to recent Northern Ireland inter-college competitions, including the Ulster Media Show, Off the Cuff (Arts & Fashion), NI Music Skills Finals and NI Performing Arts Finals – a testament to the standard of learning and event resource we have. 

Away from campus, our learners continue to collect honours at regional level, such as our Art & Design successes at the NI inter-college painting and drawing competitions, and not forgetting their Fashion Design friends who have just won a design competition organised by Creative & Cultural Skills in partnership with the Department for Regional Development Cycle Unit, and the NI Design Alliance regarding innovative cycle-wear. 

Individual creative excellence is also part of our diet. Most recently, Una Morrison – a learner from our Performing Arts section – was selected to star in a Broadway musical 'Daddy Long Legs' in New York.

Continuing our enterprise ethos

These are exciting times for us in terms of creative enterprise, and I take great pride in acknowledging this. But like any effective leader of enterprise, I am mindful of the need to make good of these achievements in order to motivate and invigorate others so that we can continue to promote our enterprise ethos. 

We are proud to be a Leadership College and we want to share this status with you and your peers. And with your help, we look forward to creating the next chapter for the betterment of our learners. As I alluded to earlier, let us all continue to have the intelligence to make creativity fun and rewarding, but most of all, central to the spirit of entrepreneurship. 

North West Regional College is our Leadership College of the Month for May 2016. Find out more about the role of our Leadership Colleges


Stay updated

Sign up for our fortnightly campaign newsletter

View our privacy policy.

Latest training opportunities