£70,000 art project will tell the story of Burnley’s Stoops estate

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THE story of the Stoops is being told in a £70,000 arts project.

People living in South West Burnley will be guided by three professional artists to record the changes the area has seen over the years, but, it is not clear what the form the “art” will take. The project has been called “ground UP” because all decisions will be made from the ground up.

Two of the three lead creative leaders, artist Iain Broadley and ethnographer Dr Stephanie Hawke come from Burnley. Along with artist Cath Ford they will work with residents to find out what local people say is unique and individual about the area. Pieces of work will then be commissioned.

Part of the money to pay for the scheme, £20,000, came from a deal made with Burnley Council when Keepmoat Homes was given planning permission for houses in Fielden Street.

Staff on the council’s cultural development team persuaded the Arts Council of England and Lancashire County Council contribute a further £50,000. The money will be used to pay for the artistic residencies and commissions.

The arts project is expected to reflect changes the area has seen, and the current regeneration which is transforming the area with homes and new businesses, most notably Moorhouses Brewery which has built a £3.5m brewery and visitor centre.

Even though many original residents have moved away, stories and local anecdotes are expected to make up a large part of the project because they need to be captured and documented before any more change happens. Council cultural regeneration officer, James Moran-Ziętek, said: “There are no pre-determined outcomes so we don’t know what form the ‘art’ will take.

“Other similar projects have created social enterprise photography projects, online community TV channels and high quality publications. The outcome could take the form of a movie, an online archive of recordings, radio programmes; there are a variety of ways they could chose to tell the story. It’s exciting wondering what way the community will chose to tell the story of South West Burnley and I’m looking forward to their chosen interpretation.”