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Local people urged to have a say for Nelson’s future

Published: Thursday, 16th February 2023

Photo of Owen Griffiths who'll be leading a workshop for This is Nelson

Owen Griffiths who will be leading a This is Nelson workshop to reimagine Nelson for the future.

People who live, work or study in Nelson are invited to share their views on the town’s future on Wednesday February 22nd at the Building Bridges Office, 20 Scotland Road BB9 7UU from 6.30pm – 8pm.

Nelson Reimagined is the second of three artist-led sessions funded by Government Levelling Up investment.

Part of the £730k arts and culture programme This is Nelson, it’s one of seven Government funded projects in the £25 million Nelson Town Deal to create a brighter future for the town and for Pendle people.

The project is being spearheaded by In-Situ, a Pendle organisation involved in the arts, community engagement and ecology, working closely with community partners Building Bridges and Super Slow Way.

“We want to encourage conversations about how to celebrate the creative and cultural life of Nelson and look to the future,” explained Paul Hartley, one of the founding members of In-Situ.

“This is Nelson has the potential to improve health and wellbeing through activities in open space including Nelson parks and will reinforce the town’s role as a centre to meet the needs of the community,” he said. 

Artist and workshop leader Owen Griffiths will be sharing his own experience in reimagining spaces at the event.
“Owen will invite his audience to share their ideas for the future of Nelson and we’re encouraging residents of all ages to come along and join the discussion,” added Paul.

With Owen will be local resident Arif Khan, a director of The Friendship Café at Victoria Park in Nelson.

To book a free ticket for Nelson Re-imagined – Interdisciplinary Conversations – find the Eventbrite link on In-Situ’s Facebook and Twitter: @this_is_nelson   or on Instagram @t_is_nelson 

To get in touch with In-Situ email:

“This year four commissioned artist researchers will be spending time in the community getting to know the town and uncovering exciting opportunities for future projects,” added Paul Hartley.

Councillor Nadeem Ahmed, Leader of Pendle Borough Council, said: “These sessions are a fantastic opportunity for people to have their say.

“The artists leading the sessions have a wealth of experience and it will be exciting to learn about the possibilities we might explore here in Nelson.”

Stephen Barnes, Chair of the Nelson Town Deal Board, echoed Cllr Nadeem Ahmed’s words, adding:

“This is Nelson could have a major impact on Nelson town centre and our local community, so it is important that the people who live and work here get to have their say.

“It is a vital building block as one of the seven projects of the Nelson Town Deal which will transform Nelson and have a positive impact on Pendle.

“Nelson Town Deal is all about improving the quality of life and prospects for local people and our economy,” he stated.

Owen Griffiths is a social practice artist with a focus on food systems, land use and collaboration. This takes many forms, including events, rituals, dialogues, gardens, feasts and workshops.  

In 2020, Griffiths developed Ways of Working, a community participation platform and company in order to work in ways he feels are urgent; speaking to climate crisis, localism and radical collaborative projects. His work is rooted in post-industrial landscapes and explores social justice and place.

Griffiths graduated from the School of Walls and Space at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He is a visiting lecturer at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth.