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15th May 2017

I’ve lived and worked in Suffolk for over 20 years I can honestly say I love living in East Anglia. We’ve got a rich cultural offer across Suffolk and Norfolk of Theatre, Dance, Circus, Performance Art, Literature and Live music (I could go on!) We’ve got the sea, a hugely diverse community, incredible landscapes, loads of great Arts and Cultural Festivals from Pulse to Spill to Out There Festival of International Street Arts in Great Yarmouth and some pretty decent coffee.

Having been a Theatre Practitioner, Director and Producer for years, a while back I set up my own theatre company with my partner specialising in multi-sensory work for young people with additional needs. We really were navigating in the darkness in terms of how you start a business. We had little to no support in terms of how you actually set up a business and I spent a small fortune on an accountant, made loads of mistakes and drank a lot of tea. All we knew is that we wanted to make a difference on our community. We certainly weren’t looking to make loads of money we just wanted to make a reasonable living doing what we love with some degree of social impact. Had StartEast been around then things would have been much easier. Having the support and nurture of a business support scheme with experts would have meant we wouldn’t have made the mistakes we did, we would have got to where we are now so much quicker and we would have been part of a network of support with like minded people.

StartEast really could make a big difference to the cultural sector in Suffolk and Norfolk. I’m confident that we have the right team who get it, who get the creative and cultural sector and who understand the needs of pre-start ups, sole traders and SME’s. We want to take people on a real journey of growth and development at their own speed and completely tailored to their individual needs. Let’s work together, let’s build a vibrant cultural economy. Let’s change the world!

Laura Norman
Project Director, StartEast