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LeftCoast is Blackpool and Wyre's Creative People and Places Programme funded by Arts Council England. We're dedicated to developing the very best arts and cultural activity right here on your doorstep.

High Quality Things to Do

  Supported using Public Funding by Arts Council England
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LeftCoast's Pioneering Arts Programme Awarded Three More Years

LeftCoast is delighted to have secured continued investment from Arts Council England as part of their Creative People and Places scheme.

The decision gives LeftCoast a further three years working across both Blackpool and Wyre from October 2016 when the programme was originally due to end.

The investment is a massive vote of confidence in the programme which has, since 2013, delivered a wide variety of projects from meaningful creative experiences in communities to show stopping events and festivals attracting large audiences.

Underpinning the programme is a swathe of talent and professional development opportunities for the local arts sector alongside a series of events, talks and innovative art commissioning projects aimed at inspiring and empowering communities to take the lead.

During the past two years LeftCoast has developed partnerships between communities and artists including ‘SpareParts’ - a first of its kind co-created transport and arts themed festival in conjunction with Fleetwood Festival of Transport. It has also pioneered arts engagement projects on larger housing estates with creative approaches to play, food and growing activity with Blackpool Coastal Housing tenants.  Communities have also been encouraged to take the lead with over twenty small commissioning awards being offered and two large scale commissions taking place with Rossall Beach and Claremont residents.  Spectacle and international quality work has been a big part of the programme wowing audiences across the Fylde Coast with Wired Aerial Theatre’s As The World Tipped presented at Blackpool Cricket Club for two special free performances in September of 2014, alongside Colombian circus company Circolombia selling out to audiences as part of the annual Showzam! circus festival.

LeftCoast has also been integral to helping local organisations secure investment for other creative projects. Earlier in the year LeftCoast invested in Blackpool Council’s Illuminations bid to help secure the £2million Coastal Communities Fund for the Lightpool project to creatively rejuvenate the 103 year old lights. Grassroots organisations Must Die Records and Jobs, Friends and Houses have also benefitted from the support of the team, both securing their first ‘Grants for the Arts’ awards from Arts Council England to create a new experimental music festival and develop photography skills with people in recovery from addiction.

The success allows LeftCoast to further develop its initiatives with communities, with an emphasis on involvement in decision making and empowering them to create and deliver their own projects. LeftCoast will also continue to work with its partners – Blackpool Coastal Housing, Wyre Council, Blackpool Council, Merlin and Blackpool Grand Theatre – to sustain and increase the arts and cultural offer across Blackpool and Wyre as part of a new cultural vision for the area.

Julia Turpin, Executive Director of LeftCoast, said “We’re incredibly pleased that Arts Council England have decided to continue their investment in the area. This is a huge vote of confidence not just in LeftCoast but in Blackpool and Wyre as a place where great art can be developed and engaged with. This support will ensure that we are able to continue the work we have been doing to build demand for high quality creative product and to use the arts as a catalyst for change.”

For more information about LeftCoast visit www.leftcoast.org.uk, call 01253 477973 or email info@leftcoast.org.uk (Please mention this website, thanks!)


Arts Council Support for Abingdon Studios

Abingdon Studios, Blackpool’s newest contemporary artists’ studio space, has secured vital support from Arts Council England to develop its investment in artists and creativity in its key town centre location (above the famous market place). 

Abingdon Street Market and Studios

The investment will strengthen the activities of the fledgling arts organisation and help secure its long term future as part of Blackpool’s growing arts economy.

The investment will provide a ‘residency’ programme bringing eight artists for short periods to create new work in the town. The artists will be selected through a national call out in order to attract the most talented and innovative from across the UK. The Grundy Art Gallery is a key partner and it is envisaged that some of the residencies could lead to exhibitions or performances there, as well as at the Studios.

The aim is to further develop learning and professional practice with residency artists sharing their knowledge with aspiring creatives in Blackpool. Through its existing relationship with Blackpool and the Fylde College, Abingdon Studios will also invite over one hundred art students into the space to take advantage of these professional development opportunities.

Five Blackpool-based artists who currently have studios at Abingdon will also visit other similar studios across the region to explore new ways to develop their own artistic programme in the space. Through the visits, the Abingdon Studios hopes to place itself within the wider arts scene at a regional level and to develop into a sustainable model for contemporary art production in the heart of Blackpool.

Garth Gratrix, Places for Art Project Manager, said “Securing the funding from Arts Council England is a huge vote of confidence in the model we’re developing at Abingdon Studios. It will enable us to grow the skills and knowledge of the artists who are currently in the space and offer learning opportunities to local students that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

“It's an investment in the future of art production in the town – retaining and developing talent is key to a brighter and more creative future in Blackpool. We have a highly respected and nationally recognised gallery in the Grundy and now we have the some seed investment to ensure that an equally high standard of production can take place just a stone’s throw from its door.”

For more information about Abingdon Studios visit www.abingdonstudios.org.uk. You can also like Abingdon Studios on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abingdonstudios or follow them on Twitter @AbingdonStudios.


Communities and Artists - Get Creative and Think Big!

LeftCoast has announced round four of its mini commission schemes for artists and communities to help them realise their artistic ambitions.

Artist Adrian Pritchard - previous recipient of Future Popular commission
Artist Adrian Pritchard - previous recipient of Future Popular commission

The LeftCoast Express bursary gives artists the opportunity to refine their own skills while Future Popular allows artists or community groups the opportunity to deliver an arts project.

LeftCoast Express is a  fast track learning programme with the aim of enabling artists or arts organisations to develop the gaps in their knowledge by going to see and shadow arts professionals in other areas of the country and bring that knowledge back to progress their own work. The programme offers up to £1,500 over a six month period which can be spent on travel, accommodation or other costs incurred while taking part.

In this round there is also the opportunity for artists to apply for the Trans-Euro Express giving artists an additional £750 on top of their standard bursary to allow visits to European organisations and bring that knowledge back to the Fylde Coast.

Future Popular commissions of up to £5,000 over six months are also available to either community groups or artists who want to realise an artistic project they’ve always wanted to do. Projects have to be brand new and explore the crossover between entertainment and art with the aim of getting people engaged in arts for the first time. A selection panel made up of members of the LeftCoast team, artists and local citizens will decide on successful applications and competition is tough so ambitious and high quality ideas are encouraged.

Julia Turpin, Executive Director of LeftCoast, said:

“We want to grow our arts and creative ambitions in Blackpool and we see these opportunities as a way to do just that. We’ve seen some real successes over the past two years with many of our LeftCoast Express and Future Popular recipients going on to receive further investment from directly from Arts Council England.”

“This time round for Future Popular we’re especially keen to hear from communities and organisations who want to run arts projects but maybe haven’t had the support available to do so before. People are encouraged to get creative and think big in terms of what is possible and we can help facilitate relationships with artists to help it happen.”

The deadline for applications for LeftCoast Express and Future Popular is midnight on Monday 5 October. For more information or to download an application pack visit www.leftcoast.org.uk or call 01253 477973 and speak to Kerenza.


'Future Popular' Mini Commissions

LeftCoast has lent its support to three exciting new arts projects as part of its ‘Future Popular’ mini commissions programme with the aim of inspiring communities through creative activities. The programme, which seeks to explore the cross over between entertainment, popular culture and art, will see friendly artists work with communities to enable them to be creative and try out new ways of expressing themselves.

Future Popular, Whippersnappers Project

Blackpool based photographers Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy have been commissioned to run workshops in four children’s centres with their Whippersnappers project. The workshops will teach children about some of the key skills and techniques needed to take a good photograph. The project will culminate with an exhibition of some of the images where friends and family can come along and see what has been produced. Throughout their project Claire and Jill will be telling their story through a specially created blog at whippersnappersphotographyworkshops.wordpress.com

Artist Linzi Cason has teamed up with sisters Helen and Elizabeth Wewiora (WewioraProjects) to create Blackpool Art Carbooty, a touring version of Northern Art Carbooty - a one day event supported by Arts Council England. Alongside the event LeftCoast have supported a performance by Blackpool based Harry Clayton-Wright and Manchester based Richard Sheilds who will recreate themes of the Royal Variety Show which took place at the Winter Gardens in 2009 and give members of the audience the chance to appear in it via green screen technology. Linzi will also be working with young people from Blackpool Boys & Girls Club to use screen printing to create the publicity materials over the summer and the public will be able to see the performance in and around the Winter Gardens on Halloween - Saturday 31 October 12-4pm.

Ladies acapella chorus, the Soundwaves, will be exploring how singing can benefit people living with dementia after one of their members was diagnosed with the condition. The group will be working alongside a musical director to create a series of medleys of songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s which will be performed in residential homes to explore the therapeutic benefits of music to dementia sufferers.

Michael Trainor, artistic director of LeftCoast, said “The diversity of ideas coming from artists and creative groups across Blackpool and Wyre is really exciting and inspiring and it’s great to see them thinking about how they can involve communities with their work – sharing great creative ideas and inspiring others is what it is all about.”

“We see ‘Future Popular’ as a way of helping artists and communities to experiment with new project ideas together. These commissions are a vital way of resourcing and making projects like this happen in difficult times.”


So What is LeftCoast?

LeftCoast is an ambitious new programme of arts and cultural activity across Blackpool and Wyre to enrich the lives of those who live, work and visit here.

Created by an innovative public/private partnership, LeftCoast is a one of 21 Creative People and Places programmes supported by Arts Council England.

This pioneering initiative is designed to get more people involved in arts activities in areas of low engagement.

Over the coming years LeftCoast will be developing extraordinary ideas in extraordinary places with extraordinary people.

We are currently working with a wide range of partners and supporters including Fleetwood Festival of Transport, Pride, Without Walls, The Grand Theatre, Blackpool Arts Service, Wyre Council, Promenart, Creative and Cultural Skills, Blackpool Coastal Housing and Merlin Entertainments.

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, partner, sponsor or funder - please get in touch by contacting Julia.turpin@leftcoast.org.uk.

The rules change by the coast. You can experiment and be free to express yourself. The coast does not hem you in – it connects you to the rest of the world. There is a creative license here you just don’t get in other places. Blackpool and Wyre are not the same as anywhere else.

Michael Trainor, LeftCoast Artistic Director

Whether you are a first time audience member or would like to participate in the creation of inspirational art, events and performances, LeftCoast invites you to be part of it.

Here is what we are all about:

  • Engaging more people with arts and culture.
  • Developing the arts and cultural sector in Blackpool and the Wyre.
  • Creating, generating, importing and exporting great art.
  • Changing internal and external perceptions of Blackpool and Wyre
  • LeftCoast is a Creative People and Places project*

Creative People and Places is a new initiative supported by Arts Council England. It aims for more people to experience and be inspired by the arts, irrespective of where they live or their social, educational or financial circumstances.

LeftCoast is pleased to have the support of our partners and funders Arts Council England, Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Council, Wyre Council, Merlin Entertainments, Grand Theatre Blackpool, Without Walls Associated Touring Network and Creative & Cultural Skills.

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Do you want to be a star of stage, screen or…street?

A new show which takes audiences through the streets of Blackpool is looking for a community cast.

Rear View by IOU - from LeftCoast

LeftCoast are looking for Fylde coast groups and clubs to volunteer to play a part in an unusual theatre show that takes place on the streets of Blackpool.

The show starts at the Grundy Art Gallery and the audience set off on a double decker bus which has been especially converted into a mobile theatre.

Sports, activity and social clubs are invited to be part of the ‘street scene’ by undertaking their group activity in unusual locations along the route – it could be a dance group in a back street, chess on the prom, martial arts in the car park, keep fit in the cake shop or a brass band in a parked car – almost anything goes – the more unusual the better. The idea is that the passing audience won’t know whether this is what normally happens in Blackpool or part of the show and LeftCoast can help you be part of it.

The show – which is called ‘Rear View’ by IOU theatre company – starts off in a life drawing class but the audience are soon taken outside wearing special headphones and are transported backwards thorough the story of a woman’s life on a journey through the streets of Blackpool.

The theatre bus, which has the audience facing backwards, has been specially created for the show which is being presented in the build up to The Spare Parts/Tram Sunday Festival in Fleetwood this summer.

The audience members will be among the first to experience new 3D immersive sound system through the headphones that they wear throughout the show - with a soundtrack that blends poetry, music and sonic recordings that relate to the location you are seeing.

The show runs five times a day (afternoon and early evening) on Thurs 14, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July and clubs/groups would need to be available for more than one but not necessarily all of the performances.

Volunteer for Rear View

This is very much the streets becoming the stage and we would welcome any group who would like to enliven it through doing what they already do but built in to an outdoor theatre show.

Contact Kay Trayford at LeftCoast if you would like to discuss it, hear more about it, or just blindly sign up out of sheer excitement.

Contact Kay at Kay.trayford@leftcoast.org.uk or on 01253 477973

Find out more information about the show and the community cast opportunity from LeftCoast’s website www.leftcoast.org.uk ‘things to do’ section.

If you are interested in other volunteering opportunities with the show as an individual we would also love to hear from you.

Buy Tickets

To register interest in tickets for the show before they go on sale
- contact Helen Clay helen.clay@leftcoast.org.uk 
- fill in the form at https://www.leftcoast.org.uk/showstoppers/iou-rear-view/

For more information about LeftCoast visit www.leftcoast.org.uk, call 01253 477973 or email info@leftcoast.org.uk - please mention that you saw it here!


Artists Commission - Mereside / New West Division Police Headquarters

A brief has been put out to commission an artist to develop a new piece of work, in partnership with the communities of Mereside, Blackpool for the new police headquarters.

Mereside artists brief

We would like to commission a permanent piece of work that further develops the relationship between the police and the surrounding community, both in the development of the work and the finished piece.

The police station is in the process of being built and as such we have the opportunity to embed work into the fabric of the building.

The work will be sited in the main entrance of the police station, the first area that visitors to the station will see, and so need to be appropriate to people with a variety of different needs, varying from police personnel visiting the site to those reporting a crime.

Closing date for proposals Mon 29 May at 5pm
Interviews are to be held in early July
Work to commence mid July

Download the full brief here

Any further questions can be sent to Laura Jamieson, Creative Engagement Manager laura.jamieson@leftcoast.org.uk 


Circa - Depart

Coming to Stanley Park, Blackpool, from 1 - 4 June 2017

Circa-Depart - coming to Blackpool June 2017

DEPART is a spectacular spellbinding show from internationally acclaimed Australian circus artists, Circa.

Inspired by the ancient Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, DEPART will transform Stanley Park, Blackpool between 1st-4th June 2017. Blackpool is the final destination in this sell-out tour and is an opportunity to experience circus mixed with dance like you have never seen before.

Here for just 4 days, circus artists will dance above your head, surprising you with extraordinary feats of physicality as they guide you through the space between life and death in this astonishing visual feast.

Transforming Stanley Park into the underworld...

Inspired by the ancient Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, DEPART will take you on a path through the vast spaces, iconic features and intimate wooded areas of Stanley Park, transforming one of Blackpool’s most beautiful public spaces into the underworld.

Taking over the Park for just four days, circus artists will dance above your head, surprising you with extraordinary feats of physicality as they guide you through the space between life and death in this astonishing visual feast.

Led by Yaron Lifschitz, creator of some of the most highly innovative and genre-defying circus in the world, with a creative team including the electronic music legend Lapalux, DEPART brings together acrobats, aerialists, video artists and Fylde Coast community choirs and dancers for an experience like no other.


Depart by Circa

Ticket Information

- Tickets are on sale now, priced at £10-12.50 (including booking fees).

- Available online from www.leftcoast.org.uk/buytickets 

- From The Blackpool Grand Theatre’s box office or by calling SHOWSEATS on 01253 74 33 44 (please mention you saw it here!)

All performances start at 9.15pm to allow the show to be experienced at dusk.

The show is suitable for ages 11+ and children must be accompanied by adults. The show duration is 75 minutes and will be performed outside, it will involve periods of walking and standing for the duration of the show with limited seating available at the finale. For a list of frequently asked questions please visit www.leftcoast.org.uk/buytickets


Some of the LeftCoast Makers will be leading our audience by lantern light, through the haunting pathways of DEPART. Here they are during their site visit and performance guide rehearsal at Stanley Park with Associate Director Alice and Producer Mykey. 

Rehearsals for Circa, Depart

Depart is co-commissioned by LeftCoast,  London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), the National Centre for Circus Arts, Spitalfields Music, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and Brighton Festival. Supported by Arts Council England.


Do you want to be a LeftCoast Maker?

LeftCoast Maker is the new volunteering scheme, offering creative, making, and welcome team opportunities across our programme of arts events, festivals & exhibitions taking place all over Blackpool & Wyre.

LeftCoast Maker

LeftCoast Makers are the people we couldn’t do it without, the people who offer their time, skills and enthusiasm to help us bring the best arts offer with a big Blackpool welcome, right to your doorstep.

Whether it’s being part of our welcome team, helping visitors and audiences to have the best time at our events and festivals, or taking a more hands on back stage role, building sets and making costumes, or even performing within one of the shows! We need you!

Find out More

We've already hosted the first LeftCoast Makers Meeting, but if you’re still interested in continuing on your LeftCoast journey and becoming a LeftCoast Maker get in touch to find out more about our exciting summer programme of events and the opportunities to get involved.

This summer we'll be running big projects - there's Spare Parts, Circa, IOU and our big home grown production, Kong Live!

Email Kay at kay.trayford@leftcoast.org.uk (and please mention you saw it here!) 

If you sign up we’ll keep you posted about all the ongoing opportunities within our events programme but also as part of our more regular activities including our new and very exciting Art B&B venue opening in 2018! And of course we’ll be happy to reward your efforts with a range of treats and perks only available to our LeftCoast Maker team.


LeftCoast Surgery

LeftCoast Surgery is for artists and creatives looking for professional development support or if you just want to talk about your creative ideas and how to put them into action.

LeftCoast Surgery

LeftCoast Surgery is a chance for you to speak one to one with a member of the team. Whether you’ve got questions or ideas that you’d like to discuss this is the perfect chance for you to do just that. We can offer advice on how to apply for funding and build the right network of contacts to get your projects underway.

Sessions will be 45 minutes long & usually with our Creative Development Manager Jenny Rutter.

Slots are available on a first come first served basis at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm. Book your time slot and come along.

22 May
19 June
17 July
18 September
16 October
20 November
11 December

FYCreatives, 154-158 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 3PS

Entry cost: FREE

Book here 


LeftCoast Studio - Artist Development Programme

LeftCoast Studio is our new artist development programme.

LeftCoast Studio Artist Development Programme

To progress in any career in any industry you'll need a mixture of learning and practical experience, and LeftCoast Studio aims to provide both!

LeftCoast Studio will create connections between local creative talent and LeftCoast’s commissioned arts organisations, production teams and all the creative professionals that will be delivering our major, ambitious projects over the coming years.

It will will offer shadowing, mentoring and practical work experience opportunities to make sure that up and coming locally based creative people are given the chance to learn and develop their skills alongside world renowned artists and creative practitioners.

We want to open up the world of exciting opportunities working within the Creative Industries both in Blackpool, Wyre, the Fylde Coast and further afield.

LeftCoast Studio is open to anyone who wants to learn, develop their skills and progress their career in the arts - that could be creative students, recent graduates, people in the early stages of their creative careers, or if you're thinking about developing a creative career and are keen to take on work experience opportunities and voluntary activities.

We also want to hear from developing artists & creative practitioners who are keen to expand their skills & knowledge to build their cv’s and portfolios within small scale paid opportunities.

Find out more about LeftCoast Studio, the opportunities that are available and how you can get involved here

There are lots of exciting things coming up on the Fylde Coast - make sure you're part of it!


AB&B - Arts Bed & Breakfast 

LeftCoast and Blackpool Council have acquired the former Ocean Hotel near to the Metropole Hotel and North Pier on Blackpool Promenade.

It's going to be redeveloped into an innovative Art Bed and Breakfast - supporting the arts from the heart of Blackpool.

AB&B - LeftCoast Arts Bed & Breakfast - Coming Soon

AB&B will be a traditional Blackpool Bed and Breakfast re-imagined by artists as a small-scale space for exhibiting, developing and staging artists’ work whilst still functioning as a small hotel for paying guests.

Local, regional and international artists will soon be visiting the hotel to see the space and begin to work up proposals for how they could transform the hotel.

Keep your eyes on the AB&B website and social media channels for updates and news of when you can visit the hotel for our open events.

A B&B is set up as Community Interest Company with support from LeftCoast, Arts Council England, Clore Duffield, Blackpool Council. 

Support the arts while you sleep!


#wearehere Ghost Soldiers

LeftCoast took part in 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide work by Jeremy Deller to commemorate the centenary of the Somme

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

LeftCoast are proud to be part of a project that involved hundreds of volunteers in the North West.

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

Led by the ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE, partner organisations LeftCoast (Blackpool), Bolton Octagon, Oldham Coliseum and Storyhouse (Chester) were part of a UK-wide event that took place on 1 July 2016, as a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the work was conceived and created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre.

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

The specially commissioned event saw around 1500 voluntary participants dressed in First World War uniform appear unexpectedly in locations across the UK. The Royal Exchange was one of 27 organisations which collaborated on the work, called ‘we’re here because we’re here’.

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

It was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, working in close collaboration with partners including: Lyric Theatre Belfast, National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre Wales, Northern Stage, Playhouse Derry-Londonderry, Salisbury Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The project breaks new ground in terms of its scale, breadth, reach and the number of partners and participants involved. This is the first time three national theatres have worked together on a joint project, and the first time so many theatres have worked together on a UK-wide participation project.

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

The participants who walked the streets on 1 July were a reminder of the 19,240 men who were killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  Each participant represented an individual soldier who was killed that day. The work is partly inspired by tales of sightings during and after the First World War by people who believed they had seen a dead loved one.

#wearehere ghost soldiers commemorate Battle of the Somme
Photo: CJ Griffiths

The participants wore historically accurate uniforms, representing 15 of the regiments that suffered losses in the first day of the Battle. The soldiers did not speak, but at points throughout the day would sing the song ‘we’re here because we’re here’, which was sung in the trenches during the First World War. They handed out cards to members of the public with the name and regiment of the soldier they represented, and, where known, the age of the soldier when he died on 1 July 1916.

The daylong work ran from 7am to 7pm and covered the width and breadth of the UK, from Shetland to Penzance.  Sites they visited included shopping centres, train stations, beaches, car parks and high streets – taking the memorial to contemporary Britain and bringing an intervention into people’s daily lives where it was least expected.

The volunteers were men aged between 16-52, reflecting the men who would have fought in the Somme. They were not trained actors but come from a range of professions, including a sheep farmer, flight attendant, doctor, lawyer, social worker, shop assistant, portrait artist and GCSE student. They came together to rehearse in theatres across the UK over a month-long period in the run-up to the performance.  ‘we’re here because we’re here’ is one of the largest arts participation projects ever staged in the UK, with hundreds of additional volunteers working behind the scenes.

Jeremy Deller said: "I wanted to make a contemporary memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one that moved around the UK with an unpredictability in which the participants took the work directly to the public.”

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, said: “This work by Jeremy Deller is a truly national piece of theatre and is a powerful way to remember the men who went off to fight 100 years ago. I also hope it will serve as a catalyst to strengthen ties with theatres and communities across the UK.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: "1 July 1916 saw 57,470 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, of whom nearly 20,000 died: it was the bloodiest day in British military history. Taking part in 'we're here because we're here' has given hundreds of young people across the UK the chance to find out more about the Somme, and in some cases discover the stories of family members who fought in the war.  Working alongside brilliant artists, directors and theatres on this astonishing project will be an experience they will never forget."

Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director Royal Exchange Theatre, said: “When I was asked if the Exchange wanted to be involved in this project the answer was easy – Yes. Jeremy Deller has created a powerful and provocative performance which the whole of the UK can experience together in a single day. It has been an incredible opportunity for our participants and an extraordinary way for them to find out more about the Somme and to share it with people across the whole of the North West. It has also been a great way to cement relationships with arts organisations across the country.”

Julia Turpin, Executive Director at LeftCoast said: “LeftCoast is delighted to have been a part of 'we're here because we're here' working with Jeremy Deller and some of the country’s leading arts organisations.  It has been a totally unique opportunity for men in Blackpool to have been involved in this living memorial – their generosity and commitment to this project has been outstanding”

The project was supported by: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, The Belgrade Theatre, Bolton Octagon, Bristol Old Vic, Storyhouse, Left Coast, Leicester Curve, Nuffield Theatre, Oldham Coliseum, Pontio, Shetland Arts, Sutton Coldfield College BMet, The Artrix Bromsgrove, The Garrick Lichfield and Volcano.

Media partner: BBC ‘we’re here because we’re here’ was made possible by an Ambition for Excellence Award from Arts Council England, with additional support from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Creative Scotland and Art Fund. 14-18 NOW is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport



Did you experience a show like no other?

ABSENT was a journey through the hidden spaces of Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens, exploring the bygone splendour of its glorious past before it's redeveloped by a modern property development company.

Absent at Blackpool Winter Gardens

In 1958 Maggie Morgan wins the jackpot on the Premium Bonds and celebrates by checking into the exclusive Pavilion Suite at the fashionable Winter Gardens Hotel.

Travelling in small groups at your own pace, ABSENT took you on a theatrical journey along a maze of rooms and corridors that are inexplicably transforming before your very eyes. Mixing film, architecture and vast model-making installations with a haunting soundtrack, you entered a kaleidoscopic world, shifting between Blackpool’s past, present and future in a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

You'll never look at the Winter Gardens in the same way again; you'll never look at Blackpool in the same way again.

"Beautiful and unbearably heart rendering" The Telegraph
"A singular experience" The New York Times

ABSENT took place in Blackpool in August 2016. Originally commissioned by Shoreditch Town Hall, LIFT and LeftCoast, Absent was part of the Grand Theatre's Ambition for Excellence Award.


SpareParts at Fleetwood Festival of Transport

LeftCoast will once again support SpareParts at the popular Fleetwood Festival of Transport in 2017, or Tram Sunday as we all know it.

Lots of photos and video from Tram Sunday 2015 here

Spare Parts Art Parade

Schools and the community joined in to make floats for the parade including the ‘SCENE~O~SONIC SOUND SYSTEM’ for the SpareParts Art Parade (below)

Build a float to appear in the Tram Sunday parade

Artist John Large created an exciting and original new float to take part in the SpareParts arts parade during the afternoon on Tram Sunday.

Based on an early 20th century fairground organ using its traditional shape, with a Fleetwood inspired contemporary twist, to create the ‘Scene-O-Sonic Sound System’ towed behind 'Tonefloat' - a musical milk float also taking part in the parade along with all the other transport inspired creations.


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23rd May 2017
LeftCoast shared a link


Great opportunity here in Blackpool.


Blackpool Heritage Service are looking for a Project Support Officer to help deliver an exciting new project called Marvels and Mayhem, a project based around The Tower Circus historic collection. More information on the job opportunity in the link. This is a really interesting project which will feed into the Museum. You will work closely with our team, so that is reason enough to apply!


23rd May 2017
LeftCoast uploaded a photo


Tonight some of us will be heading down to the tower headlands to light a candle and pay our respects to those we lost in Manchester last night. We ask anyone who would like to, to please join us, we will be there from 10pm. Thank you to all at Blackpool Tower for making this small but kind gesture. Together we are stronger.


💔 #westandtogether


23rd May 2017
LeftCoast updated their status


Our hearts are going out to Manchester. Together we are stronger.

21st May 2017
LeftCoast uploaded a photo


WIN tickets to the opening night of DEPART on 1 June 2017. Simply like and comment what you think the show might be like in one word - this wont be judged we just want to know ;) Competition opens Sunday 21 May and closes at 23.59 on Sunday 28 May. Winners will be drawn on Monday 29 May. See our Twitter and Instagram pages for more chances to win! #departblackpool #departcircus T&Cs - http://ow.ly/kr3P30bTUyf This competition is not endorsed, run in conjunction with or associated with Facebook.


19th May 2017
LeftCoast uploaded a photo


LOCAL PRODUCER OPPORTUNITY We are looking for a local producer to work on Kong Live! build up activity during summer 2017. Details of Kong Live! are strictly confidential, if you are interested please contact helen.clay@leftcoast.org.uk with details of your production credentials for a copy of this confidential brief. Duration: Mid-June for approximately 40 days to be worked 2-3 days per week Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 2 June 2017 Interview Date: 7 June 2017 (Blackpool)


19th May 2017
LeftCoast shared a link


DEADLINE EXTENDED TO WEDS 24 MAY: Are you a professional or emerging dancer or performer? Do you want to take part in a professional development masterclass hosted by world class performers? Apply now and you could be working with CIRCA's artistic team in a workshop on 3 June 2017. https://www.leftcoast.org.uk/all/crca-professional-development-masterclass-apply-now/


As you will know we will be welcoming internationally acclaimed Circa Contemporary Circus to Blackpool at the beginning of June to perform their new show DEPART in Stanley Park.  As part of this LeftCoast Studio, is offering a rare opportunity for a small group of emerging and established performers...


19th May 2017
LeftCoast uploaded a photo


LOCAL PRODUCER OPPORTUNITY We are looking for a local producer to work on Kong Live! build up activity during summer 2017. Details of Kong Live! are strictly confidential, if you are interested please contact helen.clay@leftcoast.org.uk with details of your production credentials for a copy of this confidential brief. Duration: Mid-June for approximately 40 days to be worked 2-3 days per week Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 2 June 2017 Interview Date: 7 June 2017 (Blackpool)


19th May 2017
LeftCoast shared a link


DEPART opened to rave reviews in Hull last night - don't miss out on the Blackpool shows - grab your tickets NOW!! https://www.leftcoast.org.uk/buytickets/


Amazing show by #departcircus for #hullcityofculture2017 with @ollybrown24. Great atmosphere and incredible acrobatics! #departcircus was just amazing. Even in the pouring rain, it was mesmerising. #hullcityofculture2017 Still utterly blown away by #DEPARTcircus, wonderfully enhanced by the rain, and that can't have helped the wonderful performers. Brilliant. Well, that was mind blowing. Bravo #DEPARTcircus! #Hull2017 Wonderful response from audiences at last night's opening performance of Circa Contemporary Circus' #DEPARTcircus at Hull UK City of Culture 2017, huge congratulations to all performers & team. National Centre for Circus Arts Spitalfields Music Northern School of Contemporary Dance Hull Freedom Chorus Brighton Festival LeftCoast


18th May 2017
LeftCoast uploaded a photo


Coming in June from the University center theatre


18th May 2017
LeftCoast uploaded a photo


Coming in July from Tramshed Theatre!



20th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


RT to WIN tickets to opening night of DEPART 1.06.17 / Stanley Park. A show not to be missed! #DEPARTblackpool t&cs… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

20th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


The show is sold out in @2017Hull - if you missed out head on over to #blackpool! #DEPARTcircus twitter.com/tcspr/status/8…

20th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


Who is joining @pauljebb1 at this amazing show? The Hull reviews are great! twitter.com/pauljebb1/stat…

19th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


Inspire the next generation. Show how the #North shapes innovation, design & art. Apply for a commission by 22 May… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

18th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


Best of luck to all performing in DEPART @2017Hull we can't wait to see the show with our awesome #Blackpool team a… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

18th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


Some great shows coming up from @tramshedtheatre and #universitycentertheatre in June and July 2017. See posters fo… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

14th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


Are you a dancer? Apply now to be part of a Circa masterclass on 3 June 2017. bit.ly/2qaDYPg #departcircus pic.twitter.com/8nzQbOVT3F

14th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


We have an under 26 offer on #departcircus - £10 all in coming to Stanley Park 1-4 June. Not to be missed!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

14th May 2017
LeftCoast LeftCoastUK


Fabulous competition! twitter.com/grand_theatre/…