Sympathise with you about being self-employed. I am not specifically linked to any industry sector, but work has been significantly down over the past two years and I find myself accepting all sorts of jobs I wouldn't normally care to do, just because that is what is available. You couldn't use some of your unemployment buffer fund on a trip to Paris - the one we self-employed folk have to keep - or is that an irresponible question?!
Re a gig local to you, have seen pics of the Brewery Arts Centre and it looks very craggy and nice. I am very partial to the Lake District, being half way "oop North" already, and apart from the nice scenery, would commend its gingerbread, pencil museum and fine selection of wool shops.