Year | 2022
Location | Stalybridge Greater Manchester
Clients | Tameside Council

Stalybridge is Greater Manchester’s town of culture for 2022 and requires advocating as a destination. A High Street Heritage Action Zone programme is underway to regenerate Stalybridge with a series of long-term architectural interventions.  

Working with the Tameside council the ‘Discovering Stalybridge’ team has challenged the brief and taken a more sustainable approach. Our project uses culturally appropriate art interventions to encourage a shift in social perceptions and stimulate footfall in the town centre.

Our 3 step framework identified places of promise which could be connected, explored the possibility of using creativity as a tool and evaluated how best to make change.

Engagement with stakeholders was pivotal to the process. Conversations with the public, professional artists and curators informed the design of a nudge wayfinding route and community shutter art project. Short term feasible projects seek to enrich a connection between places of promise, the train station, Market Street and Civic Hall. Stimulating urban activity can create a sense of place and result in social, physical and economic benefits.

A cohesive urban aesthetic for Stalybridge could be realised with community led art projects.

Nudges are small changes in an environment which can guide behaviour in the urban realm. Our first proposal suggests inclusive locations for the depiction of historically informed artwork to be placed throughout Stalybridge. The River Tame led to Stalybridge’s development as a textile manufacturing hub but after the industrial revolution it was hidden in parts, now covered it is a highlight of the town again. Our nudge design draws on the history of Stalybridge and is an abstraction of river water. 

Once a clear route has been defined, the appearance of Market street can be enhanced. Around half of its shops are evening venues meaning its shutters provide a perfect canvas for art to be represented throughout the day. Our second proposal sets up the framework for a shutter scheme to help unify the street whilst allowing for personalisation and expression of the town’s culture.

Feasibility studies explaining how to realise our short term interventions have been gifted to the client. 

To inspire pride and cultural identity in locals we also created an engagement exhibition. The project outputs will be displayed in the Civic Hall to disseminate the client’s ambitions, invite community feedback and promote a new way of envisioning Stalybridge.


Mentor: Kam Fai Tai
Client: Tameside Council
Location: Stalybridge, Greater Manchester
Students: Ayorinde Abidogun, Charlotte Ward, Chenqi Dong, En Huey Low, India Wilkinson, Jasmine Howarth, Long Yin Leung, Marybeth Anches, Peiyu Cheng, Tom Price, Zhenzhen Jing, Ziyao Wu, Yirou Yang.