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Public Projects Ongoing

STEAMhouse Create Programme

2020 – 2023

The STEAMhouse Create programme is open to self-employed sole traders and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with a focus on four sectors:

  • Creative & Digital – including artists
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Low Carbon

We support people to develop new products and services – which for artists means artworks and projects. Each month we select up to 20 applicants to become STEAMhouse Create members. Becoming a member currently gives you access to exclusive online events, bespoke technical and business support, remote making facilities, and a wide network of members, academics and business support, at no cost to you. From Spring 2022 you will be able to access well-equipped workshops in the new Belmont Works site.

Eastside Projects manages the Open Strand which focuses on providing a holistic programme of production, practice, and business support for artists and creative makers. All support, including access to online workshops, 1-2-1 mentoring, and technical advice is free. Membership lasts 12 months and can be renewed. Workshops to date have included sessions on Applying for Funding, Working Commercially, Working with Digital Fabricators and Writing for Artists alongside regular ‘In Conversations’ with curators and commissioners.

Membership lasts for 12 months and though our focus is on the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Region, we accept applications from anyone based in England who is registered as self-employed, or has a business.

You will find full details of the CREATE programme, the different strands, eligibility and an info pack HERE.

How to Join

We strongly recommend you come along to a Pre-Application workshop before applying. Dates and booking information can be found on the STEAMhouse EVENTS PAGE.

To join STEAMhouse you need to complete an ONLINE APPLICATION FORM which asks for information about your business, and a short proposal describing what you want to develop at STEAMhouse, what support you are looking for, and how membership will help you move your business forward.

The application deadline is 3pm on the last day of every month. We review applications in the first week of the month and aim to contact all applicants within three weeks with a decision.


Our selection panel meets each month to assess applications and includes Ruth Claxton, Artist maker at Eastside Projects.

We are interested in ideas at all stages of development from concept onwards and understand that some proposals will be highly speculative at the application stage. When reviewing applications, we assess them against the following criteria. The strongest applications directly address most, or all, of these areas :

  • Creative Potential: How creative is the idea? Is it underpinned by research? Is there evidence of track record and/or prior creative development?
  • Innovation Potential: How innovative is the proposal? How likely is it that new thinking, knowledge, or products will emerge?
  • Concept Validity: Is there evidence that users, customers, or clients want the proposed product or service? Is there any market knowledge or analysis?
  • Digital Development: What could the use of digital technologies enable? Has the business identified how digital processes could support development?
  • Business Development: Is there a business vision? Has the applicant identified their business development needs?
  • Impact: What is the potential impact of STEAMhouse’s support on the business? Could the project impact more widely – on the sector or society? Will the business contribute to STEAMhouse and its community?

Where possible we want to help, but we receive more proposals than we can support. If your application is not successful, we will offer advice on how to develop it ready for resubmission, suggest one of our other workshops or signpost you to other support available locally.