The Collaborative Touring Network, which Heads Up has been a part of since 2013, is currently on the lookout to find the next artists to show their work across the country.

The Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) is a national network of producers working in areas of cultural deprivation who are dedicated to providing greater access to the arts. Established in 2013, the network is made up of a collective of eight organisations from across the country, including Heads Up in Hull, who work with artists and communities to make and tour life-affirming and perspective-changing shows as well as providing paid for opportunities for artists to show their work on a national scale.

The Collaborative Touring Network also includes Battersea Arts Centre (Wandsworth), The Old Courts (Wigan), Doorstep Arts (Torbay), Jumped Up Theatre (Peterborough), Looping the Loop (Thanet), Lyrici Arts (Medway) and Strike a Light (Gloucester).

The network, previously led by Battersea Arts Centre, is now led by The Old Courts in Wigan. Since its conception, the Collaborative Touring Network has toured the work of more than forty exceptional artists and companies to over a hundred thousand people nationally.

CTN is a national project supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Between 2020 and 2023, £799,000 of funding from Arts Council England will support the CTN partners to build resilience and operate as a national, outward-facing network that empowers communities and revolutionises how touring work is developed with artists. Working on micro and macro levels; CTN seeks to create cultural change locally whilst working together nationally to diversify the way performance is made, seen and toured.

Pete Massey, Director Yorkshire & The Humber, Arts Council England said: “As we emerge from the pandemic it is even more important than ever that everyone in our communities, regardless of where they live or their circumstances, has the chance to get involved with and experience great quality arts and culture on their doorstep. The Collaborative Touring Network will enable artists and communities to produce work together that will tour across the country and I’m delighted that we have been able to support it through our National Lottery funded Project Grants programme.”
Over the next year, the Collaborative Touring Network is looking to work with an artist, a group of artists or a company to make and tour a live show. Through an open call out for expressions of interest, CTN want to work with artists interested in connecting with communities and in making a piece of live work that resonates with people and which moves them; to laughter, to tears, to dance, to action. The work will be developed and toured nationally between September 2021 and September 2022.

Visit for information on how to apply. The deadline is Monday 5 July, 2021.

Collaborating across our 8 towns and cities from the very start of a creative process; CTN is interested in how work developed in this way can better relate to its audiences and provide an alternative model of making and touring that shifts more power and resource into the hands of artists and communities

Jonny Davenport, Artistic Director at The Old Courts said: “CTN is a particularly strong network of partners from around The UK. A lot of thought and experience has gone into shaping the project to what it is now, so I genuinely feel the call out presents a brilliant opportunity all round. The network is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the work is nationally significant and impactful for artists, audiences and communities.”

Rosie Scudder, project director, said: “We believe touring live performance is most impactful when it is invited into places where community is already happening. We create local partnerships and put on shows in unlikely spaces: from car parks, to nightclubs, rooftops to community centres. Over the next 3 years, we want to support artists in both the making and touring of their work. Working with our communities, and as a network, we want to create and tour shows that resonate with the people of our places. For artists wanting to find out more or to apply for the call out, please visit the website and or contact me direct via email”

Dave Windass, Heads Up producer, said: “We are delighted to remain a part of CTN and look forward to building on six years and 12 festivals as we look ahead to the next three years of activity. It is very important that artists continue to be presented with exceptional opportunities such as this. We look forward to working with artists on this particular opportunity and to supporting more artists to create artistic work of national significance that also resonates with audiences in our own community and the communities of our CTN partners.”

For more information and opportunities visit

Header photo credit: Juggling Inferno by Thomas Byron Photography

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