The Mechanics at Home project was based at Burnley Mechanics with activities and events also taking place out and about in the neighbourhoods of Trinity and Bank Hall.  We wanted to give people the opportunity to work with professional artists to create and make things, and to put on events where people could get to know each other and have an enjoyable time!  One of our aims was to encourage new and different things to happen at Burnley Mechanics.

Burnley Mechanics was one of the original Mechanics Institutes set up to foster learning and creativity for local workers.  The project was inspired by Burnley Mechanics’ history – we wanted to see what new opportunities the Mechanics could offer for today’s local communities in Burnley.

Three arts organisations worked together to deliver Mechanics At Home. They were:

Burnley Youth Theatre is 41 years old and was established in a variety of venues across the town of Burnley in 1973.  The enthusiasm of parents, and their supporters enabled a growth that has continued to be exponential.  Until 1996, when we became a charity, BYT was run by volunteers. Since 1996 there has been considerable successes, including the raising of funds for a purpose built youth theatre that opened in 2005.  The demolition of the original youth theatre building, was followed by the building of a second, additional purpose built space in 2014. In March, this second building was launched and the buildings collectively re-named as Burnley Arts Centre, home of Burnley Youth Theatre.

Ground UP is a community led arts group in Burnley with strong links to SW Burnley. We hold regular craft and making sessions at Burnley Mechanics and are passionate about developing opportunities for people to be creative and actively involved in the cultural life of the town. We believe that coming together to make and create contributes positively to physical and mental wellbeing. At the moment, our free weekly craft and making sessions at Burnley Mechanics take place in the Basement Studio every Thursday from 1-3pm. They are open to adults of all ages and abilities.
We would like to thank East Lancs Clinical Commissioning Group Prescription for Wellbeing Grants for funding our current programme. Thanks also to Burnley Leisure for their support.

Guild is comprised of Lou Hargreaves (producer and project manager) and Dan Russell (artist and designer). We operate alongside a whole host of other people. Guild was started to work on long-term people-based art projects. Dan and Lou act as the continuous presence and bring in other artists (art here covers a wide range of things!) to add new ideas to projects. We are based in Salford, and this is our first time working in Burnley. During this project we’ll be mainly focussing on Bank Hall and the revitalised community space at the Mechanics Institute. We are always keen to hear from people interested in finding out more or getting involved in the future, and learning about other similar projects.