CIT (Creative Industries Trafford) is the artist development strand at Waterside Arts and was established at the venue in 2004. The project provides talks, masterclasses, opportunities and mentoring for artists working in animation, literature, theatre and visual arts.

We run the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference, with keynote speakers including Will Self, Sarah Dunant, Joanne Harris, Louise Doughty and AL Kennedy. For 2019, Northern Lights becomes a year-round writers’ programme featuring courses and workshops focused on short fiction, scriptwriting and digital literature.

CIT also presents the Meet The Puppet Masters animation conference which has featured leading animators such as Peter Firmin (co-creator, The Clangers), Brian Cosgrove (Cosgrove Hall Films), Barry Purves (Lord of the Rings), Peter Saunders (Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! and Corpse Bride), Sarah Ann Kennedy (voice artist, Peppa Pig) and Nina Gantz (BAFTA winner for Edmond). CIT develops Puppet Masters with the Animation Network from April 2019.

Our theatre commissions have supported a number of developing theatre-makers – including Square Peg Theatre, Mighty Heart Theatre, Thick Richard & Nathaniel Hall – at Waterside. In 2017, CIT acted as creative producers for five new theatre commissions for the National Trust on the Live At Lyme project and in 2018, developed To Stop Her Mouth, by Filament Theatre with sound design by Joel Clements, also at Lyme Hall.

Together with Castlefield Gallery, we deliver portfolio surgeries giving critical feedback to visual artists. CIT’s Curator Incubator, a development project offering placements for emerging curators with exhibition opportunities on Waterside’s visual arts programme, ran in 2017 & 2018 and will return soon.

Since 2013, in partnership with Business Bolton, CIT has delivered a range of professional development activities for Bolton-based artists, including talks, workshops and short courses.

To contact us, email

CIT supports fair fees and copyright retention for artists. CIT is supported by Waterside, Trafford Council and Arts Council England.