Winter School is a 3-day series of workshops and masterclasses, that are free to attend for participants of Islington Mill’s WEAVE programme. New participants are welcome to sign up at the event for free to enjoy our full programme across the week. Winter School is open to all creatives who are based in Greater Manchester and registered as self employed/sole trader or a business with HMRC.

The modules have been chosen and developed through conversations with the Islington Mill community and are designed to support creative individuals and organisations. Whether you are a freelance performer yet to fill in your first tax return, a mid-career artist, or maker with an established business, we have classes to support your development and help you grow in confidence.

Book onto the WEAVE Winter School by clicking here.

Winter School Programme

Day 1: Tuesday 13 December

Room 1: Creative Spaces

Led by Erika Rushton and designed for artists and creatives interested in space. Including finding it, managing it and mechanisms for making space cost effective. The day will be split into workshops with the opportunity for discussion throughout the day.

Room 2: Creative Business Support and Wellbeing Workshops

These workshops will look at how you can support your mental health and wellbeing whilst working and explore how to co-create and maintain a wonderful working climate.


Day 2: Wednesday 14 December

Artist Development and Support

Panel and round table discussions hosted by Rachel Goodyear with representatives from organisations, galleries and producers. There will be conversation around development programmes, working relationships between organisations and artists and what is missing locally.


Day 3: Thursday 15 December

Business Journeys

This day will be based at Islington Mill. In the morning we will be hearing from artists and makers about their journey and how they’ve managed to grow sustainable creative businesses. In the afternoon creative producer, writer and curator, Greg Thorpe will host informal networking and collaboration sessions where creative people can get together and share ideas, dilemmas and questions in a relaxed, open and inquisitive setting. Greg will invite participants to share current or future projects and ideas and facilitate on-the-spot networking, potential collabs and creative trouble-shooting. You will have the opportunity to meet other people with aspirations and anxieties just like yours and get to know your community!

As part of the afternoon we also hope to give tours around the Islington Mill site and to see some of the spaces across our site, including New Islington Mill (NIM) and the 5th floor of Islington Mill which is being renovated into residency space.
See below for info on booking in, access and more. If you have any questions about Winter School or WEAVE please contact 

Book onto the WEAVE Winter School by clicking here.

Booking In

Spaces are limited and priority will be given to those who are registered as a sole trader or business with HMRC, but have not yet reached 12 hours on the WEAVE programme.

The minimum commitment for attending Winter School is the equivalent of two days in attendance, or a minimum of 12 hours in total across the 3 days. This can include workshops, panel discussions, 1–1 support and socials. Please let us know which days you would like to attend and which workshops you are interested in when you register.



WEAVE is our free business support programme for Greater Manchester based artists, creatives and SMEs who are based in Greater Manchester and registered as self employed/sole trader or a business with HMRC. We will help you sign up to WEAVE at the beginning of Winter School.


About the venues

On Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 December the Winter School will take place in person at The Royal Exchange Theatre, in their Exchange Suite and Front Room. These spaces are wheelchair accessible.

To enter the building there is an accessible lift in St Ann’s Square. There are also steps to the Royal Exchange Theatre at both the Cross Street entrance and St. Ann’s Square entrance; these steps have railings on both sides. Doors at the entrance to the theatre are automatic to enable easy opening.

For further information about access to the venue please see

On Thursday 15 December the Winter School will take place at Islington Mill, James Street, Salford M3 5HW. The day will take place on the ground floor of the Islington Mill building which is step free and wheelchair accessible, with an accessible toilet located on the ground floor. Access is via the main door on James Street.

If we are able to go ahead with tours around the Islington Mill site, there will not be step free access to these spaces as building works are still ongoing and the lifts have not yet been installed. We will provide full access information for the tours of the site closer to the time.

At both venues members of the team will be able to assist you with accessing a quiet space should you need it.

We ask our speakers to send any presentations and materials to us in advance, and can share these with you upon request.

Both of the venues have WIFI access.


Other info

Winter School has been produced with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Islington Mill is committed to providing equality of access to all its services and data collected on the Winter School Registration form is a contractual requirement to enable support to be provided by the ERDF funded project. We ask all participants to complete the following information so that we can check that we are reaching people from all backgrounds and cultures.

Islington Mill is compliant with current Data Protection Legislation. This information will only be shared with other organisations, such as our funders for statistical and research purposes, or other businesses that you may have a legitimate interest in. It will never be sold or traded with other businesses for marketing purposes. You have the right to view and amend this information at any time by emailing

In addition, Islington Mill will use the information you provide in the form when you sign up to attend Winter School to contact you regarding Winter School and further information about the WEAVE Programme, which Winter School is a part of. As part of this, your email address may be shared with the workshop facilitators so that they can send you any necessary or relevant information relating to this workshop. Your information will be used by them only to contact you regarding this workshop and will not be used by them for any other purposes.

Some of the workshops and sessions at Winter School may be recorded.

If you have any questions about Winter School or WEAVE please contact

Book onto the WEAVE Winter School by clicking here.