National grass-roots culture campaign Fun Palaces arrives in borough

Leigh Fun Palace has been set up by a team of culture enthusiasts who help out at The Turnpike in the town.
Some of the volunteers who have set up Leigh Fun PalaceSome of the volunteers who have set up Leigh Fun Palace
Some of the volunteers who have set up Leigh Fun Palace

Fun Palaces are events set up by communities across the country to share skills such as arts, cultural activities and crafts.

The national event takes place on the first weekend in October this year and Leigh is joining in thanks to the group of volunteers from the Civic Square arts hub.

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With Covid-19 large public events will not be possible, so instead organisers are being asked to put on Tiny Fun Palaces which abide by social distancing and gathering restrictions and are aimed at getting to know small numbers of neighbours or people living nearby.

Jennifer Lowe, one of the group behind Leigh Fun Palace, said: “Fun Palaces have been running for several years, trying to encourage communities to organise events over one weekend.

“We heard about this and decided we wanted to do something in Leigh.

“We want to encourage people in the town to come forward and join in.

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“With Covid this year is going to be about connections with neighbours.

“It could be sharing a craft idea or some sort of digital sharing.

“Fun Palaces can be everything from sharing skills, arts and crafts to gardening.

“I’ve seen examples of a bricklayer showing how he does his job. It’s about having those conversations and meeting people through the activity.”

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Jennifer says details of the activities, which will take place on October 3 and 4, are still being worked on due to the new ‘rule of six’ laws being brought in which will dramatically restrict the size of permitted gatherings.

The team is determined the Leigh Fun Palace will go ahead in some format, although this may involve more online events such as workshops over social media or platforms such as Zoom or craft activities uploaded for families to then take part in together at home.

All the activities in Leigh, it is hoped, will be plotted onto a map so residents wanting to get involved during the weekend will be able to see what is going on.

Jennifer said it was the idea of giving something back to the Leigh community which inspired them to bring the concept of Fun Palaces to the borough.

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She said: “As a group of volunteers we wanted to do more events together and put on something for the community, not just do our shifts at the art gallery.

“We’re all very passionate about our hometown. We’ve been meeting regularly through lockdown and I think there has been a lot that has positively brought the community together through this, as hard as it has been.

“It’s something people can look forward to, doing something in a safe environment.”

The Fun Palaces weekend is on October 3 and 4.

For more information visit or follow the team on Twitter @FunLeigh

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