Mid Pennine Arts Launches Project Pride

North West Arts Charity playing pivotal role in renewal of Pennine Lancs heritage sites!

MID Pennine Arts has announced the launch of a ground-breaking major new scheme that will focus on the heritage of Burnley, Accrington and Nelson.

The focus of “Project Pride” will be to look at how trade and industry has shaped the towns over the last 200 years. The project will research and interpret the industrial heritage of three key places within the towns – each of which is facing major change in coming months and years, and each of which has played a pivotal role in shaping the identity of the towns.

Project Pride locations include Burnley’s Weavers’ Triangle, which is set to be the focal point of a major regeneration programme; the recently refurbished Victorian Market Hall in Accrington; and the junction of Leeds Road and Manchester Road in Nelson, which is currently in the process of being re-developed. The Nelson site includes the ‘Lord Nelson’ public house, from which the town took its name.

Mid Pennine Arts has been working with local Councils to help reignite local pride of place relating to town centres, particularly amongst younger people. Through Project Pride the arts charity will be working with groups of people aged 13-15 from local schools to develop ideas for the project to uncover and celebrate their heritage. The project will work alongside libraries, museums, North West Sound Archive and Lancashire Record Office.

Organisers hope that the project will enable young people to learn about their heritage and understand how trade and industry enabled the towns to grow into the places we know today. The project came about after Mid Pennine Arts successfully applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Young Roots’ programme to fund the project that will continue until summer 2011.

Lucy Green, Mid Pennine Arts’ project coordinator for Project Pride, said: ”We did some initial work last summer – a consultation with young people from the area, from which grew the idea for the project. That has seen us win £25,000 worth of funding, which is a real coup for the area in this tough economic climate. We are now looking for the right artists to work with, who can help to bring the young people’s ideas to life!”

“We want the project to bring about the re-telling of stories that have defined our identities and shaped our communities. Our ultimate objective is to inspire everyone involved in the project to think differently and in a more positive way about the place in which they live. We want Project Pride to inspire people and to demonstrate some of the many good reasons to be proud of where we live!”

More details about the project and the opportunities for artists to get involved are on the Mid Pennine Arts website: www.midpenninearts.org.uk/opportunities

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