A graduate from Wrexham Glyndwr University is gaining valuable experience at one of North Wales’ most renowned theatres thanks to a programme linking the arts and business.

Megan Stokes, from Monmouth, graduated from Wrexham Glyndwr University with a degree in Illustration, Graphic Novels and Children’s Publishing in November.

By the time of her graduation ceremony, she had already begun working at Theatr Clwyd in Mold, with the support of Arts and Business Cymru, an organisation which links businesses and the arts – and which works closely alongside universities such as Glyndwr.

Megan discovered the placement, and the work of Arts and Business Cymru, at Glyndwr’s Creative Futures event – a week-long conference which brings together leading creative industry practioners and students to promote careers in the creative arts.

She is now set to return to Glyndwr this week alongside staff from Arts and Business Cymru to talk about the benefits of the scheme and how it has boosted her confidence and developed her skills.

She said: “I would definitely encourage others to look into applying – it’s all about learning new things and being in a new environment – and those skills you learn are very transferable too.

“I did an illustration degree – but the reason I was interested in this job was that I was working in the arts, but in a different area to my degree. It has those links, but the work is so different. However, it was very important to me that I was still working in the creative arts.”

Thanks to the Arts and Business placement, Megan is hoping to extend her work in the theatre world – though the skills she learnt as a designer at Glyndwr have also picked up wider interest.

A spokesman for Arts and Business Cymru said: “Our Creative Internships Programme is in its sixth year and focuses on developing the next generation of arts fundraisers. Wales has, for some time, suffered from a lack of skilled professionals in this crucial field. The need to ensure a funding mix is crucial to survival and arts organisations across the country now recognise that investing resources into this area is the only way to ensure sustainability. However, the number of professional fundraisers in Wales cannot begin to keep up with the demand for such services.

“The only way to increase this vital pool of professionals is to find a way to attract new graduates into a career in fundraising and this is where the programme comes in."

Daniel Porter-Jones, Director of Development at Theatr Clwyd and Megan’s Manager and Arts Mentor, added: “Theatr Clwyd has been a first time beneficiary of the programme in 2018/19. We have already enjoyed significant benefit from the additional resource but more importantly we have a wonderful, energised and talented new member of the Theatr Clwyd team.

“These internships not only offer graduates a full-time position which is challenging enough in these times, but they offer a unique insight in to the professional world of arts, culture and fundraising which is invaluable to a young person just starting out on their career.”