Year | 2018
Location | Glossop, Derbyshire

Clients |  Victoria Arts Centre, High Peak Borough Council

Glossop is a market town on the edge of the Peak District with a rich cultural history and home to a large range of creative professionals. The Glossop:Connect Live Project was conceived as a joint endeavour between Victoria Arts Centre, High Peak Borough Council and various local organisations who want to kick start a creative vision strategy for Glossop. The initial brief called for the connection of cultural/heritage assets and creative groups, as well as to gather public support and build momentum through creative public engagement.

We began by talking to local creatives in order to truly understand the context within which we were working. From these discussions, it became apparent that there were many pockets of creative activity in Glossop, but there was little interaction between them. We therefore needed to bring these creative groups together and push for the evolution of the Glossop creative industry. We did this by developing a community owned brand, under which the creative community could be collectively identified, whilst acting as a platform for collaboration. The brand emphasises physical and social connections through collaboration and engagement, celebrating local talent and heritage.

We felt that this creative network could benefit from physical representation, allowing people to position themselves within this network and provide a visual reference demonstrating the breadth of creative talent within Glossop. Our cultural map evolved as a rich tapestry of memory and experiences, providing a tool for engagement. Alongside this, we created the Urban Room, a physical space which can foster these discussions, a place where people can go to understand and get involved in the future of their town. This mobile space, formed of a series of modular frames, can be easily constructed within any public space or cultural venue, acting as a catalyst for future restoration by demonstrating the requirement for this type of public facility in Glossop.

Lastly, we compiled our findings and experiences into a series of booklets, proposing how the groundwork established during Live Projects can be built upon by the client in the future. These five booklets included research, an urban room manual, public engagement methods, as well as strategies for the future of Glossop:Connect, forming a framework to assist in the future development of Glossop’s creative vision. Alongside this, we considered potential uses and meanwhile visions for Glossop’s heritage assets, which are currently underutilised. These visions were developed throughout the duration of the project as an iterative exercise, through a collaborative co-designed process which saw us combining and developing our ideas with those of the public.


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