TransPennine Express launch ‘Where Next Project’ mentorship scheme

Tuesday 10th May 2016
TransPennine Express’ ‘Where Next Project’ mentorship scheme to showcase Northern and Scottish talent as part of three-year vision.
  • Television Chef Tony Singh, breakfast show host on BBC 6Music Shaun Keaveny and neon artist Julia Bickerstaff to select and nurture the North and Scotland’s hottest talent
  • The Where Next Project is a four month mentorship scheme culminating in a showcase event on the TPE route in September

  • Those wishing to enter the food, music and art categories are invited to apply at Where Next Project

  • TransPennine Express (TPE) has won the rights to be the train intercity operator of the North and Scotland and will transform customer’s travel experiences over the next four years

  • TransPennine Express has today launched the Where Next Project – a four-month mentorship scheme in which the North and Scotland’s success stories nurture the current crop of talent.

Scottish television chef, Tony Singh, Leeds-born neon artist Julia Bickerstaff and Lancashire-raised radio DJ Shaun Keaveny head up the food, art and music categories respectively, are inviting applications from 9th May through to the closing date 9th June.

The trio were selected as Where Next Project mentors by TPE due to their intrinsic pride in their roots and commitment to furthering the North and Scotland, and the people within it. They will select the ‘Future Stars’ based on their talent and ability to help contribute to the cultural vibrancy and economic growth of the region TPE serves.

To enter, applicants can apply here for their chance to become a Where Next Project ‘Future Star.’ After drawing up a shortlist of twelve, the WNP mentors will then help choose the six final Future Stars who will complete the mentorship scheme, and launch their showcase event in September. One of the key components of the application process will be where potential Future Stars can post a link to any previous work – be it an online portfolio, signature recipe or weekly podcast.

What does a Future Star get?

  • 3x face to face meetings with their mentor

  • Constant dialogue via phone and email throughout the mentorship

  • Help making their current project commercially successful through contacts, advice and logistical help

  • The chance to work with the mentor on a showcase event on a TPE platform in September

The scheme will culminate in a showcase event in September, where the fruits of each Future Star’s Where Next Project mentorship will be showcased on one of the TPE route on either a platform or one of the iconic locations on the TPE route. The mentor and their respective Future Star will combine to ensure all comes to a spectacular close in the form of food markets and pop up restaurants, live platform-side broadcasts and even al-fresco exhibitions - all of which will provide a platform for the Future Star to progress.

The success of the Future Star won’t be wholly dependent on the mentor however, TPE’s vast and influential network of partners will be pivotal in driving forward the ‘Where Next Project’.

Once Future Stars are chosen, TPE will look to engage partners who can give them further insight and experience, whilst also building connections within the region for our Future Star to kick start their dreams.

Sue Whaley, HR Director, TransPennine Express: 

“Having won the rights to be the intercity operator of the North and Scotland, we are determined to provide an outstanding service the North can be proud of but also be a company that helps champion, showcase and nurture the region’s talent.

“We know there is a deep rooted intrinsic pride amongst the regions TPE serves and we want to tap into this. We want to celebrate the diversity and differences, and ultimately grow the region and help develop the people within it – something which the Where Next Project delivers.

“We are proud to have mentors of the calibre of Tony, Shaun and Julia involved. They share our vision for the north, and commitment to championing those within it.”

TV chef and Where Next Project food mentor, Tony Singh, said: 

“I have always heralded the brilliant local produce and innovative restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh in particular. This said, if I can inspire someone to contribute further to what is already an incredibly vibrant scene across the whole of the North and Scotland, I will be a proud man. The Where Next Project is the ideal opportunity for a driven, food-obsessed entrepreneur to have their vision showcased in such an exciting way.”

Shaun Keaveny, Radio DJ and Where Next Project music mentor said: 

“As a proud Northerner, music enthusiast and BBC 6Music music presenter I feel I am in a strong position to help those wanting a career in the world of music. I’ve built my career based on forming a relationship, and engaging with, my listeners. I’m hoping that this serves me well in my role as a Where Next Project mentor.”

Julia Bickerstaff, neon artist and Where Next Project art mentor said: 

“The North is an artistic hotbed, but for every professional artist there is a less experienced burgeoning equivalent in need of guidance – both artistically and commercially. My future stars could come from any area of art and I believe the Where Next Project is an opportunity to impart general skills for anyone looking to forge a career in in the region’s culturally backbone.”

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