The Garage launches NEW Introduction to the Creative Industries programme

The Garage is excited to announce the launch of a new training programme for 18-25 year olds which will introduce learners to the wide variety of work and roles that exist within the creative Industries and support them to take their next steps into training or work.

Over the course of 12 weeks, learners will take part in training sessions which explore the range of skills needed in different areas of the sector. Throughout the programme there will be “industry expert” talks where leaners will listen to and meet local professionals who have creative careers, gaining an insight into the path they have taken and the skills needed for the work that they do.

During the programme learners will visit creative organisations to get a feel for the workplace and the jobs people do within the local sector. Each learner will also be allocated a mentor for the duration of the programme, who they will meet weekly for individual, bespoke advice and guidance.

Carrie Mansfield, The Garage’s Executive Producer, said:

“We are incredibly pleased to receive this grant from the European Social Fund and Norfolk County Council to deliver this programme for young adults. Now more than ever it is vital we train and encourage people to develop their creativity, confidence and entrepreneurial skills.

“This programme will help learners to understand how they can make something happen, how they can plan and deliver projects and what skills they need to help them succeed. It will also help learners identify interesting creative careers paths that are accessible and achievable.

“Like most sectors the creative industries have been affected by Covid-19, but in many ways it is thriving – people are still making music, designing, writing, dancing, playing, singing, sewing, filming, recording, painting, sculpting, drawing, creating. There is a huge appetite for games and entertainment. We need to help people to become really good at creative thinking and use creative approaches not only in this sector, but also to overcome the challenges we face.”

The programme starts in January 2021. The commitment is approximately 10 hours per week. There are no fees for leaners to take part, if needed support with travel costs can be arranged.

Adam Yaxley, The Garage’s Inclusion Manager, said:

“This programme is about helping people make the next step on their journey, to help them identify the training they need to move forward or to give them the confidence to enter the creative workforce. Sometimes we lack the knowledge of what is out there and if we do not know it’s there, we don’t know how to get to it. Sometimes all it takes is that one bit of advice or guidance to set us on the next path.”

The programme is funded by The European Social Fund and granted by Norfolk County Council. It is for people aged 18-25 years old who are not currently in education/training and who are unemployed or economically inactive and live in Norfolk or Suffolk. They must also have permission to live in the UK and to work in an EU Country.

If you or someone you know is interested in taking part in this programme please email or call The Garage on 01603 283382, leaving your name and number so an interview can be arranged. Please quote Introduction to Creative Industries programme.

For more information about the programme please visit

Who Are Norwich Nights LTD?

Norwich Nights Ltd is the company that runs Norwich nights Magazine which started in Norwich in February 2020 focusing on theatre, food, and gaming the magazine is designed to be a celebration of those industries within Norwich and now South Wales too.

The Magazine is run by Melissa Compton, the director at Norwich Nights and includes features from local writers, while Melissa is a new name to Norwich (or was in February 2020) she has more of a connection within Wales.

Melissa moved to Wales in 2011 to Risca in County Caerphilly before moving to Swansea 2 years later to settle. In 2017 she began studying English and Media at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2017 and the following year began writing entertainment reviews for Cardiff Times Magazine, and working in the office on the blog and social media posts. After completing over 30 reviews for Cardiff Times she started Cardiff Let’s Talk Theatre before relocating to Norwich to start running the magazine.

In July 2020 Melissa returned to Swansea, and the idea for the South Wales connection was born and began taking shape, after meeting many travellers and business owners in Norwich who had settled from Wales only to visit regularly, the connections between Norwich and Wales became clear, one conversation struck a cord with Melissa it was the one that revealed a person visiting Wales had no idea what was open, what there was to do, it became obvious there was a need to share information. Also with Businesses like Norfolk Gin distributing to both Norwich and Cardiff, the connections are many. The new section will celebrate food, theatre, and gaming within Wales and the magazine will be available in both locations.

Melissa hopes that you enjoy the new section and come along with the magazine as it gives South Wales the coverage it deserves and continues to serve the Norwich community including its Welsh residents.

Norwich Nights Magazine Future Outline!

Norwich Nights Magazine – Future outline.

Since I launched the crowdfunding campaign to save the print version I thought it would be a good time to write the outline of where I would like the magazine to go what are the plans for the future of the magazine. Firstly it was never my intention to produce a magazine where I did the majority of the work, the plan was and still is to build a team, the money would need to be there to fund this, but my ideal team would be the following:

Editor – to oversee the components of the magazine and responsible for formatting/layout and proofreading the final copy.

Copywriter – would write the editorial for adverts (unless I took personal responsibility for the advert), writing sections like the 4 things to do this month (diary pages) etc – basically our standard pages.

I want four columnists: a food columnist, Gaming columnist, Sport – boxing or football columnist maybe both if budget ever allows, Theatre columnist.

2 additional writers in any of the following areas – football, boxing, gaming, food, or theatre.

They would have control of invites but also the direction of the content columnists are not required to pitch ideas in the same way a writer would need too, they are allocated a section of the magazine usually up to 0-6 pages, I like to give columnists free reign so they are free to create and have flexibility. The writers are required to pitch and contribute articles to the magazine to be approved by the editor.

PayScale’s: I have decided that instead of offering wages I will move to a payment scale per piece of work to be decided when the magazine has a budget to pay for such work, right now we are just surviving so this is a little way down the line.

All our writers will be freelancers, and I plan to support them in anyway, I can, I plan to develop a benefit package eventually.

Social Media and digital content manager: honestly for this role I would love to hire a student looking for their first role, basically they would manage digital content on the website and the various social media channels.

Advertising Manager – the person that everything else centres around, to pay for Norwich Nights Magazine, we need advertising sales and subscriptions, I am still developing the sales process.

That would be the team, I would want, and to outsource to an accountant and distribution services when needed.

All members of the team would be required to learn our mission statement which is simply: Great writing – Reduced Advertising – Accessible to all

Norwich Nights Magazine is currently 48 pages long I would like to increase that to 92 pages – we only started with 20 a few months ago, my plan is to keep the design service which designs adverts and office stationery there are no plans to expand it at this point. I would like to offer a monthly box subscription service, to be themed sport/food/film/theatre/gaming, also would like to host an annual party/picnic. The charity advertising rates will remain 10% of our regular rates, also I want to nominate a charity each year and donate 2% of our profits to them, as well as increasing video content. The final plan is to host an annual award ceremony with a focus on start-up businesses in Norfolk I also want to extent the magazine out to Norfolk and Suffolk with our circulation and advertising.

As you can see lots of plans nothing earth shattering but there are a lot of variables in the process none of this will be possible without the support of the local community and it all takes money and time. The dream is there now it’s just about working hard to make it happen.

I hope you will continue to support us in whatever way you can as we move into new times ahead. There is some brilliant talent in Norwich both in the business community and in terms of undiscovered writers and with your help I hope to be celebrating them all and this fine city for a long time to come.

 Melissa xx

Artisan Chocolate by Saffire – A Review.

Artisan Chocolate by Saffire is based in Taverham Garden Centre, Norwich. Saffire started out in 2005 as a hobby by Angela within six months of selling at farmer’s markets, she had put down a deposit on a shop. The company has moved premises a few times due to expansion before settling in their current location in 2009, Angela had been joined by her son Gary and his Wife Sharleen, as well as daughters Annabella and Kathrin (Annabella joined the family business when she was 14 and left to pursue university four years ago). Kathrin manages the company’s Social Media and marketing, while Angela and Gary are the head chocolatiers and Sharleen is the Manager.
Artisan Chocolate by Saffire have an extensive range of products and services including workshops all year round, these fill up quickly so early booking is essential.

One of the flagship pieces on offer at Saffire is ‘The World most expensive chocolate shoe: The Saffire slipper is designed from one of the UK’s designer shoes and made from an exclusive mould, taking 40+ hours to make and are hand-delivered within a 150-mile radius of the shop. A deposit of £250.00 is required upon ordering with prices starting from £599.00. 

The Shoes were not one of the items sampled but the review would not be complete without mentioning them. So moving on to a bespoke item that was sampled, Saffire have teamed up with local businesses including ‘Give it some beans’ and ‘Heavens Hemp’ but this bespoke item is the result of a team up with Reynard City Chronicles: a local comic led by Will Turner to create the wonderfully name Warp King Mystery Flavor Bar: usually this bar is only available via Reynard City Chronicles as part of a box set, but a preview bar was provided. The first thing that hits you when you unwrap this bar is a strong scent of bubble gum scent which could be why in taste challenges people often wrongly guess bubble gum. This chocolate is extremely creamy, you can feel it melting away to reveal the banana flavor with all the sweetness of white chocolate (the pink bar was sampled), this is chocolate heaven (well for me anyway, maybe not if you are not keen on bananas). It is confusing chocolate though, as you never really get the scent of bubble gum out of your mind and you’re waiting to taste that flavor.

All of this is perfect as, it is based on a comic character the warp king who is the gatekeeper of time and space and likes to mess things up a little. You can contact Will Turner at to find out how to get this bar as it is not available to order via Saffire.

The next item sampled was Saffire’s Hot Mocha Chocolate Shot,

You simply unwrap and stir into your drink till melted, well that is the theory!  It would be useful to make a drink in a large mug, as it is a lot of chocolate, rich, creamy with a belgian chocolate taste to it, there is an irresistible urge to eat some of the chocolate whilst it’s melting. This was the best indulgent treat, perfect for melting away the cares of the day. The best thing is that because there’s so much chocolate, it makes a large treat, so you feel completely pampered by the time you have finished.

I strongly recommend only one treat from Saffire at a time because it is luxury chocolate at its finest. the next item sampled is:

The strawberry and Cream bar priced at £2.25

One of the things that is most striking about this bar is the chunkiness, it is quite deep, it’s not quite as creamy as the Warp King bar, but the flavor more than makes up for that, Saffire claim to use the best available ingredients in their chocolate and this bar is a perfect example of that. The strawberry pips inside were a surprise and make the bar a little crunchier, the flavor is strong and perfectly balanced. This bar is the one product sampled that I could consume more than one of due to its lighter texture.

When you have to save the best for last then the best would be 8 luxury handmade chocolates priced at £8.90. This is the ultimate gift option.

These truffles come in different size boxes of 8,16 or 24, with the option to choose your flavours. There are too many to list, but Flavours tried are listed below. Flavours were not specified for the box we sampled but there is a fold out card included in the box detailing the flavours, these truffles are beautifully packaged in a sturdy card box, each truffle was a unique tasting experience. The truffles are where all those best ingredients are truly put on display, The Passion Fruit and Mango truffle has a red, yellow and orange glaze over white chocolate, and it is an explosion of flavour. While the centre of each truffle varied in texture in the centre, they all had this in common, the use of alcohol beverages in these truffles is great, and unlike some chocolates you can taste the full flavour. The box sampled contained the following:

Smirnoff Vodka & Orange

Passion Fruit & Mango

Madagascan Vanilla

Orange Blossom Honey & Grapefruit

Dark Mint

Mulled Spice


Marc De Champagne

As good as they taste these truffles also look amazing and there is a wide range of flavours. It is stated that the truffles should be eaten within 6 weeks as the flavours start to weaken after this, but to be fair it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving this chocolate around the house for long.

Artisan Chocolate by Saffire have a website for you to order online if you are unable to get to the shop, it’s worth bearing in mind that these are handmade chocolates so probably best to order early especially for special occasions.

For more information on products from Saffire please see: