Category Archives: MPA News

MPA Welcomes New Trustees

At the end of last year our existing trustees decided that, in order to best equip MPA to meet the demands of coming out of the pandemic, we needed to reinforce our governance.

Using an open call for new trustees, we conducted a recruitment process in early 2022. We were delighted with the response. From 14 submissions, we interviewed a shortlist of six.

Having set a target of up to three new members, our panel decided to recommend four immediate additions, who have all now been appointed to the MPA Board. Together, they complement the existing trustees and add immeasurably to the collective capabilities of the Board.

Lesley Giddins is based in Rossendale and has worked in the public and private sectors, specialising in community engagement, equality and diversity and employability. She has managed her own company for 12 years, working with major corporates across the UK. She is an experienced trustee, leading on governance and safeguarding, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Lesley has worked with major corporate clients to develop community public arts projects concentrating on community engagement, is an advocate for the arts and a very enthusiastic football supporter.

Chris Moss is a writer and editor. He writes for national newspapers and regional publications, and has held several editing roles including books editor at Time Out, London. He spent the Nineties in Buenos Aires, working for a local daily and teaching English literature and drama. In 1999, he co-founded an Argentine street paper in collaboration with Big Issue. He has also taught in Nelson and at Morley College. He was born in South Lancashire and lives just north of Pendle Hill.

Kelda Savage is based in South Manchester and works for the National Trust across the Lancashire portfolio of properties including Gawthorpe, Rufford Old Hall and Formby. She was the first Cultural Programme Coordinator for the Trust from 2016-2021 supporting all of the NW properties with their visitor programming and external partnerships. Kelda has an MA in Critical Histories of the Visual Image and a BA(Hons) in Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern. She has been a Curator, Producer and Project Manager of creative and cultural programmes for most of her career. She has worked with Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Waterside Arts, Manchester International Festival and Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. She was previously a Board Trustee for Hot Bed Press in Salford.

Faye Wetherall brings us our first under 30 trustee. A recent graduate from the University of Leeds in Art and Design, Faye has previous experience of working for MPA having supported many of our current projects during her Year in Industry. During this time Faye worked alongside and supported partners, volunteers and project leaders developing an understanding for MPA’s body of work and a passion for making arts accessible. Being a keen traveller with a desire to immerse, Faye has a lot of energy to bring to the team and a vast visual perspective.

They join our existing Board, chaired by Dr Stephanie Hawke. Steph’s doctorate in interpretation of heritage has been influential in honing MPA’s approach to placemaking and spirit of place, issues which are fundamental to our creative programme. Her own work as a senior manager for the bridge organisation Curious Minds also benefits us through access to a regional overview of issues around cultural education. Creative placemaking specialist Claire Tymon brings a wealth of invaluable experience of culture-led urban renewal, and is currently engaged on programme design for the shortlisted County Durham City of Culture bid. Independent curator Fareda Khan FRSA brings an exceptional CV of promoting and supporting south Asian artists and partnership links to the sub-continent. Rossendale councillor Andy Macnae, through his borough work and his own consultancy, is a specialist in outdoor pursuits, destination development and recreation management. Amber Corns brings much experience of the private sector, business networking and marketing. Peter Kenyon, former council cabinet member and constituency election agent, brings vast experience of local democracy and council finance.

You can read more about them on our website.

Mid Pennine Arts Relocates to Burnley’s Weavers’ Triangle

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1 Neptune Street is the white building

MID PENNINE Arts, the regional arts charity has this week completed a move to new offices in the heart of Burnley’s historic Weavers’ Triangle. The organisation’s arrival coincides with fresh moves to kickstart the long-awaited rebirth of the unique heritage area.

Mid Pennine Arts has built a reputation for innovative art projects that have attracted international attention to Pennine Lancashire – most notably the Panopticons including Burnley’s Singing Ringing Tree, Pendle’s Atom, Rossendale’s Halo and Blackburn’s Colourfields. The organisation is especially committed to celebrating the unique heritage of the area, and sees the canalside Weaver’s Triangle as a prime location for doing this.

Mid Pennine Arts aims to break out of the traditional gallery setting, and to take creative projects directly to a wider audience. The new office base is shared with green energy providers the Low Carbon Energy Company in a new partnership for both parties. The base will also provide a platform for creative work with partner organisations, schools and community groups, to start to breathe life back into a townscape that has long lain dormant.

Nick Hunt, Creative Director for Mid Pennine Arts, said: “The Weavers’ Triangle is hugely important for the future of Burnley and Pennine Lancashire. It celebrates our industrial past, and points to a brighter future. This move reinforces our commitment to highlighting our heritage with bold, contemporary art. Already this autumn we have launched the Contemporary Heritage programme in partnership with Towneley Hall, and this new series of big, cutting edge art commissions will soon provide a fresh view of other key heritage venues across Pennine Lancashire. Alongside those projects, moving into the Weavers’ Triangle makes perfect sense for Mid Pennine Arts and we are very excited about the future, as we reach out to new audiences and aim to put art at the heart of Burnley’s renaissance.”

“Mid Pennine Arts has been based at Burnley Mechanics since the opening of the building. This has been a long and happy association and we are very grateful to our partners at Burnley Borough Council for all their support. Now we want to work with the Council in breathing new life into the Weavers’ Triangle. We also look forward to a ground-breaking new partnership with the Low Carbon Energy Company.”

Mike Cook, Burnley Council’s Director of Regeneration and Housing, said: ‘This is good news for Mid Pennine Arts, for the Weavers’ Triangle, and for Burnley. It’s an important statement of confidence in the area’s future and in the aspirations we and our partners have for genuine transformation of the town’s historic industrial heart. On behalf of the Council, I’d like to wish them the very best in their new home.’

The arrival of Mid Pennine Arts coincides with moves by Burnley Borough Council to attract private sector developers to take on key sites clustered around the Sandygate development area. The canalside open space opposite Slater Terrace has been agreed as a future new public space, with an exciting new design selected through the recent Pennine Lancashire Squared design competition. This month the Council is ‘greening’ the area that will become Sandygate Square with an attractive temporary treatment to provide a glimpse of this brighter future.

In spite of economic gloom, these initiatives show the future starting to take shape for the Weavers’ Triangle. Mid Pennine Arts, working alongside partners like the Borough Council and the Prince’s Charities, is aiming to lead the way.