Northampton exhibition seeks to inspire creative opportunities

3D face models covered mainly in brown clayOllie Conopo/BBC

An exhibition is being held to show people they can find creative opportunities in Northamptonshire.

The Creative Industries Expo 2023, organised by Northants Film Festival, is on at the University of Northampton.

The opportunities on show range from designing shoes to illustrating children’s books.


Organisers of the event, which finishes later, said they wanted it to help people “galvanise their career aspirations locally”.

Man with short hair and beard sits in front of a TV screen

Ollie Conopo/BBC

Paul Mills, from the TV production company Screen Northants, said: “Our industry is quite elitist so you tend to only be able to get your first step on the ladder if you come from an area where you have access or finances to be able to fund your first step.

“What we’ve done is set up in Northampton to provide opportunity for young people who don’t have access.”

Among Screen Northants’ alumni is a woman who is now an electrician on Netflix, working on some of the biggest productions currently under way in the UK.

Woman with red hair and green t-shirt poses in exhibition hall with Doc Martens Shoe

Ollie Conopo/BBC

One of the most famous names at the event was Doc Martens, whose trademark shoes have been made in Northamptonshire since 1959.

Krystal Tredwell, from Dr Martens, said: “We do a 15-month apprenticeship, where you get to learn manufacturing from start to finish and you also get to make your own pair of shoes at the end of it.”

Man wearing glasses and cap holds two books. One has a giant pea on the cover.

Ollie Conopo/BBC

Alex Willmore, an illustrator of children’s books, also attended.

He said: “I started out working in greetings cards, and really wanted to be doing picture books, so I got myself an agent and got set up and I’ve been loving it for the last seven years.”

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Related Topics

  • Apprenticeships
  • Television
  • Northampton

Related Internet Links

  • Northampton Film Festival

  • University of Northampton

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