At LeftCoast, we co-commission and co-produce work that is congruent with the identity of Blackpool and we play with those fair / unfair perceptions of this ‘place’ from different perspectives (e.g. residents, partners, visitors).
We love bringing people together to make socially-engaged artworks and we don’t take ourselves too seriously in that process. However, we are serious about what we are funded to do, and we appreciate the sustained level of commitment and resource that has been awarded to us by partners and funders since 2013.
Tina Redford, LeftCoast Artistic Director
To co-create artworks and projects that elevate local people’s voices, explore, play, and make a difference on both a personal and community level.
To be socially engaged, socially useful, and artistically ambitious.
What we do
LeftCoast delivers highly-engaging and socially-useful arts and cultural projects in Blackpool. We discover and celebrate the everyday wisdom found in the lived experience of the town’s residents and sensitively elevate the collective skills and ideas of the people that live here through creative and purposeful endeavours.
Established in 2013, we are one of 31 Creative People and Places (CPP) programmes funded by Arts Council England. We are steered by Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Council, local cultural partners, participant volunteers and community grass roots organisations. Additionally, alongside both national and international artists, we collaborate with local creatives with intrinsic knowledge of the neighbourhoods we work in.
In the next 10 years, we will continue to work with Blackpool residents at the cultural intersections between art and social justice, health and wellbeing, and skills development. We will use creativity to pro-actively contribute to the climate action plan for the town. And we will grow our expertise in art forms and technologies we don’t know exist yet: to engage more participants, make more art, and add more value.
We are consistently curious. Over time, we have honed different ways to enable communities to shape the provision of our artistic programme. Generally, this is through longitudinal projects with an on-the-ground team – we go into neighbourhoods, talk to residents, and build activity from there. Our evolving approach is well-documented (and interrogated) by outside evaluators.
Phase 4 (2022-25) starts with new conversations to build a fresh picture. The communities we work in are interested in a programme of creative action, which is focused on addressing Blackpool’s cost-of-living crisis by improving community resilience, inspiring positive changes in consumer behaviour, and supporting climate action for the town.
Activity will be rooted in a grow, make, mend, re-use and recycle approach. The collective intention is to turn a deficit conversation about the cost-of-living crisis into a narrative of smart thrifting, circular economy and urban farming.
Residents will work with socially-engaged artists to develop a series of test interventions on their patch. The success stories will be shared and developed with other people/partners in the town, then communicated to a wider audience.
Partners & Funders
We are core-funded to deliver an action-research programme. In April 2022, LeftCoast became one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations (NPO). This is the source of our core funding with additional support from the National Lottery Community Fund, Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Council, and a number of regional/local strategic partners.
creative delivery partners
We have worked collaboratively with many organisations and individual artists to deliver creative community engagement activities and professional development opportunities across Blackpool and Wyre. You can find a list of artists and creative organisations who we have made work with here.