Cafe culture aims to get communities creative

The Creative Place, in Station Road, Seaham, offers sessions of all ages. Owner Michelle Harland, standing at the back, runs the venture.
The Creative Place, in Station Road, Seaham, offers sessions of all ages. Owner Michelle Harland, standing at the back, runs the venture.

A craft cafe has community at the art of its future as it also helps train up the next generation.

The Creative Place has launched in Seaham, running a host of classes for all ages and workshops from its base in Station Road.

Michelle Harland launched the venue after holding workshops across East Durham.

Michelle Harland launched the venue after holding workshops across East Durham.

It was founded as a not-for-profit community interest company in 2014 by Michelle Harland and has run events across East Durham.

It now employs 11 people, who all live in the Easington district, with a focus on employing and training young people.

Three of its team aged are under 21 and the organisation runs apprenticeships.

Its creative academy also supports the Art Awards Qualifications, which help young people achieve a qualification and can count towards their UCAS application.

The idea is to make art as accessible and affordable as possible.

Michelle Harland

Sessions it offers include felting, clay work, silver smithing, jewellery making and textiles, with guest arts drafted in to help pass on their expertise.

It has a resident artist and offers gallery space, with illustrator Laura Joy Robertson taking up the position with its launch.

Its cafe runs a barista school and supports staff through their food and hygiene training.

Michelle, who is from Blackhall and now lives in Seaham with husband Ron and 23-month-old daughter Martha, said: “There’s lots happening around the community of Seaham, but rather than set up on the seafront or somewhere in the town centre and Station Road offered a good opportunity.

The Creative Place, Station Road, Seaham, brings together people of all ages.

The Creative Place, Station Road, Seaham, brings together people of all ages.

“It has a good space for a cafe and has the advantage of being easy to each from Seaham, elsewhere in East Durham and Sunderland.

“The idea is to make art as accessible and affordable as possible.”

Details of its events and sessions can be found via its Facebook page.

Youngsters can discover a host of arts and crafts at The Creative Place.

Youngsters can discover a host of arts and crafts at The Creative Place.

Children can try their hand at arts at the cafe.

Children can try their hand at arts at the cafe.