Super Slow Way, a major arts commissioning programme in Lancashire has been awarded a £1 million grant from the Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme.
Taking its inspiration from the 200 year-old Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Super Slow Way is a flagship project for our Arts on the Waterways programme, which pioneers new arts commissions that connect people to their local canals and rivers.
Taking place in 21 places across England with low levels of arts and cultural engagement, Creative People and Places projects are developed and delivered by consortia of local partners, empowering communities to take the lead in shaping local arts provision, to ensure more people create and experience great arts and culture in the places where they live.
The second phase of Super Slow Way 2018-21 is supported by the Canal & River Trust, local authorities of Pendle Borough Council, Burnley Borough Council, Hyndburn Borough Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council, Arts Partnership Pennine Lancashire (APPL) and UClan as academic partner.
The new grant will enable the multi-partnership project to continue to establish the Leeds & Liverpool Canal corridor flowing through Pennine Lancashire as a place where local communities from Blackburn to Pendle can participate in and enjoy an ambitious, high quality arts programme.
A new series of socially engaged arts projects will be commissioned, to reflect the cultural diversity and creativity of the communities that grew up along the historic waterway during the last 200 years. The project hopes to increase the numbers of local people participating in, and inspired by, arts and culture as audiences, makers and producers, particularly those who might not have previously had access to such activity.
Taking its cue from the Slow Movement, Super Slow Way asks how can we use our time more creatively; bringing art and artists to a space where time slows down, to look afresh at how people live their fast-paced lives and how they relate to their environment, neighbourhoods and to each other.
Tim Eastop, Producer for the Canal & River Trust’s Arts on the Waterways programme said: "We’re thrilled that Super Slow Way has secured funding for a further three years. This truly unique cultural project is a wonderful example of how our canals can celebrate, unite and excite communities about art and heritage, as well as being ‘green corridors’ on our doorstep that contribute to our sense of wellbeing."
He added: "Thanks to support from Arts Council England, we’re able to realise the tremendous potential for our waterways to become a network of cultural capillaries that can carry new works of art to places where the arts traditionally haven’t been able to reach, such as the post-industrial communities of Pennine Lancashire."
The total population of the Super Slow Way catchment area is some 320,000, living in 56 neighbourhood wards, with most people living or working in comfortable walking, cycling and driving distance from the canal. Recent research from the Canal & River Trust confirms that 70% of Burnley’s population lives just 1km from the canal.
For more information about Super Slow Way visit: www.superslowway.org.uk