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Creative People and Places Success for Knowsley and St Helens

‘Telling Stories That Matter’

by Lisa Bennett

Knowsley Council in partnership with St Helens Council and Heart of Glass have secured Arts Council funding to engage local communities in cultural activities.

Creative People and Places (CPP) is an Arts Council England Funded programme which aims to encourage all people across the community to get involved with and enjoy the benefits of arts and cultural activities.

Heart of Glass, who led the application and who manage the St Helens CPP programme, successfully applied to expand their work to include Knowsley and this phase of investment will run from 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2025.

Following community consultation, the project is called ‘Telling Stories That Matter’ which links strongly into Knowsley’s Borough of Culture theme of storytelling. Working with a range of partners, including Knowsley Safari, One Knowsley and others, the project will use different ways to engage local communities and artists across Knowsley and St Helens, to understand what is important to them and how arts and culture can play a role in them expressing themselves, telling their stories and creating a sense of community around those stories.

The project will include a range of small and large scale activities and events in both boroughs with opportunities for communities to work together across Knowsley and St Helens.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Neighbourhoods said:

“We are delighted to be part of the new Creative People and Places programme which is led by Heart of Glass and will work across Knowsley and St Helens. This comes at a fantastic time as Knowsley is set to become the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture in 2022 with a theme of storytelling. The Creative People and Places funding is for a new, accessible and engaging project ‘Telling Stories That Matter’ which will reach out into communities across Knowsley with new arts and cultural activities and opportunities.

“It will also link in with the borough’s artists and create new ways for them to grow and develop. The application to Arts Council England was created following creative conversations and consultations with communities and it is fantastic that success has been achieved to bring these community ideas and aspirations to life. We can’t wait to get this started in 2022 as part of Borough of Culture and grow it over the next three years.”

Patrick Fox, CEO, Heart of Glass commented:

“We’re thrilled to receive the news that we will be continuing our Creative People and Places journey. We’re particularly excited to welcome partners in neighbouring Knowsley into the CPP family and to continue to support work made with and by communities across St Helens and now Knowsley. We’ve been on an amazing journey since 2014 and are continuously astounded by the creativity and passion of our community and artist collaborators and we look forward to growing new things together and telling stories that matter with the support of this Arts Council investment.”

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said:

“The arts has true social value for the borough, enriching lives through improving physical and mental health and wellbeing – so I’m delighted that we will benefit from this programme which will be delivered by a local organisation in the Heart of Glass.

“You’ve only got to look at the quality of their work – particularly the murals they created in Parr earlier this year to commemorate the borough’s proud mining past – to know how much of an impact art can have in our communities. If this project is anywhere near as effective, it will have a positive impact on the people of our borough and will set us up nicely for our year as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture in 2023.”