Funding for culture projects in Heritage Action Zones
Two borough schemes have received cash from Historic England.
The Old Courts, in partnership with nine borough-based organisations including Wigan Council, has secured £120,000 to launch three-year project Streets Apart to revive King Street
And For Tyldesley has secured £70,000 from the same funding pot to deliver activities in its community over the same time period.
The Old Courts and Wigan Council have both promised additional investment to bolster the King Street scheme further.
The programmes support the wider Historic Action Zone work taking place across the borough to encourage economic and social recovery.
Dave Jenkins, managing director of The Old Courts, said: “A key aim for the Streets Apart project is to explore the way people feel about King Street now, to develop greater understanding about its past and to create a feeling of positivity about its future.
“Some of the key objectives of this new project include, encouraging young people, underrepresented groups and the wider community to play an active role in cultural heritage; to develop an enhanced sense of place and cultural identity on King Street; and to encourage new and sustainable cultural activity in the long term.”
Led by The Old Courts, the Streets Apart consortium will consist of nine other organisations including the council, Wigan Little Theatre, Stolen Thread, SL Leisure, Wigan Building Preservation Trust, Wigan Youth Zone, Wigan Local History and Heritage Society and Healthy Arts, who will work together to bring cultural experiences to King Street.
Streets Apart will commission artists, local creative partners and community groups to co-create art projects on the street, which has been known as the town centre’s nightlife hub.
Projects will include visual art, podcasts and street theatre. The cultural events will begin this summer culminate with a community festival in 2023.
The King Street Heritage Action Zone website will launch next week and a large installation outside the Royal Court Theatre will also be unveiled.
The website will provide people with an overview of the King Street project, including Streets Apart, as well as giving residents the opportunity to submit comments on the plans.
Wiganers will also be encouraged to provide their stories, memories and photographs of King Street in order to showcase a comprehensive journey of the area from over the years.
Rosie Scudder, Streets Apart producer, said: “The cultural programme will unearth stories that bring King Street’s diverse histories to life and celebrate the rich assortment of past, present and future users of the high street.
“The programme, designed by the consortium, will include seven commissions offered to artists based both nationally and within the borough.
“We will also be working with 14-to-19 year olds from the borough in the design and delivery of this programme, with a plan to introduce a young member to the consortium within year one of the programme.”
For Tyldesley will work in partnership with the public and The Pelican Centre to deliver its programme of activity and has ambitions to create a community forum to ensure local voices can shape the events.
Suggestions already put forward include a digital heritage trail, kite festival and photography competitions .
Ian Tomlinson, community engagement manager for Tyldesley Heritage Action Zone, said: “The programme of events has been developed from ideas suggested by local residents and volunteers who are highly invested in the success of this initiative and will be supported by The Pelican Centre as our heritage and culture lead partner organisation.
“We are also proud to announce that we have secured local artist, Vicky Tyrell, as our cultural programme producer to engage with the community about our plans.”
Around £3.5m will be invested across the two areas thanks to funding received from Historic England.
The money will be used to refurbish a number of buildings on King Street, including The Royal Court Theatre, as well as reviving shop fronts in Tyldesley to encourage start-up businesses to take up new space.
Coun Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and culture at Wigan Council, said: “These are brilliant examples of how we’re continuing to reach the ambitions of our cultural manifesto, The Fire Within, which is all about making arts and culture accessible to the masses.
“The projects will also support our wider Heritage Action Zone initiatives, which aim to retain the character of our town centre, conserve buildings and put them at the heart of our regeneration and growth plans.
“This really is brilliant news for our borough.”
Anyone wanting to find out more about the Streets Apart project can visit www.theoldcourts.com/streetsapart
For information about the For Tyldesley scheme, visit www.fortyldesley.co.uk
The King Street Heritage Action Zone website will be launched on Wednesday May 26.
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