About this resource


Create Your Future highlights some of the hidden career models at work in the Lakes and Dales. Young people, business owners, those working in creative, cultural and rural settings share their inspirational stories. Each story illustrates a different way of working and comes with information, advice and guidance for young people starting out on their career path or looking for a change.

The Lakes and Dales need diverse, dynamic young people with new ideas loving and living in these protected landscapes. With the help of creative, committed young people the culture, economy and character of the area will thrive.

There are challenges to living in such beautiful landscapes but there are also great opportunities. The economy is interesting. There are big businesses and public sector organisations, but the majority of people here work for small or micro businesses, with many being self-employed. This resource uncovers some of the careers that are often hidden from conventional careers advice offers.

Matthew filming
Rachel in her studio
Emily walking in the Dales
Young dancers rehearsing


We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to this resource including young creatives who have shared their stories, staff from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Great Place Lakes and Dales team.

We are also grateful to Helen Beardmore and The Edge Foundation for the teaching resource which provides great advice for young people interested in working with Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority or in the rural economy.

This resource was written and produced by Karen Merrifield at Innovate Educate Ltd in the role of Business Consultant to Great Place Lakes and Dales.

Great Places Lakes and Dales

Great Place Lakes and Dales (GPLD) is an Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage funded programme managed via a consortium of additional funding partners including Craven District Council; South Lakeland District Council; Lake District National Park Authority and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Ten other local cultural partners contribute to the programme’s Creative Board.

The big challenge for the Lakes and Dales is the migration of young people from the area. Nationally the average population of young people is 26%. In the Lakes and Dales it is 17%.

GPLD is exploring the role of arts and culture in supporting diverse, dynamic young people aged 18-35 with ideas to live, love, work and play in these protected landscapes.

Placing arts, heritage and culture at the heart of our future.