LeftCoast

The grassroots art project making sure Blackpool always rocks
Residents and visitors light up their dogs for LumiDogs Fashion Show on Blackpool promenade
Residents and visitors light up their dogs for LumiDogs Fashion Show on Blackpool promenade
Photo: Jill Reidy
Motionhouse’s Traction perform at Fleetwood Festival of Transport
Motionhouse’s Traction perform at Fleetwood Festival of Transport
Photo: Jill Reidy
Growing People on the Mereside housing estate
Growing People on the Mereside housing estate
Photo: Jack Boniface
The Sauruses invade Blackpool's streets for Showzam! 2015
The Sauruses invade Blackpool's streets for Showzam! 2015
Photo: Claire Griffiths
Bivouac
Bivouac
Photo: Dan Martino, Blackpool Gazette
Depart by Circa in Stanley Park
Depart by Circa in Stanley Park
Photo: Claire Griffiths
Rear View by IOU
Rear View by IOU
Photo: Claire Griffiths
SpareParts Festival
SpareParts Festival
Photo: Jill Reidy

Where: Blackpool and Wyre
With: Blackpool Coastal Housing Ltd, Regenda Housing, Grand Theatre Blackpool, Blackpool Council, Wyre Borough Council, Better Start, Blackpool & The Fylde College, Blackpool Museum Project

LeftCoast’s mission is to bring people together (audience, participants, artists and partners) through our work as creative disrupters and joy makers who place art, and making, at the centre of all our activity. 

The LeftCoast programme serves the legendary resort of Blackpool as well as the lesser-known area of Wyre, which includes the fishing town of Fleetwood and the coastal town of Cleveleys. Our vision is that Blackpool and Wyre is strengthened by communities that work alongside artists to share their talents, feel connected to each other and ‘have a say’ in the matters that affect their daily lives.

LeftCoast commissions and produces ambitious arts activities/events to facilitate an ongoing ’tilt of perspective’ among participants/audience, artists and partners; this artistic mischief aims to re-shape unhelpful perceptions and assumptions about our people and place such as being branded as a town “ the Economy Forgot” (Financial Times, November 2017).

Creative engagement is at the core of LeftCoast’s programme. Residents and community groups generate the programme ideas, influence local activities and take part in change conversations about the place where they work and live. 

LeftCoast’s long term live/work artist residency programme, Real Estates, is an example of this. Two artists live on two social housing estates, one based in Blackpool and the other in Fleetwood. By living and working in the micro-locality of each residency house, the artists develop a deeper understanding and connection to their area.

Through the residencies, LeftCoast are continuing to test the idea of what happens when artists become part of a neighbourhood, rather than visiting a place, and whether this shapes practice to enable the outcome to become more socially useful.. because who says a fashion label can’t be inspired and run from the upstairs of the local pub? Or that tenants can’t co-create their local spaces and through this process develop the creative thinking and practical skills to apply newfound talents to their own streets and homes?

Participation is also at the heart of LeftCoast’s activities and many projects offer opportunities for volunteering through the LeftCoast Maker programme. Makers have worked on large-scale outdoor arts festivals such as SpareParts (its festival tour across the North West) and Lightpool, as well as performing in high quality international productions such as DEPART by Circa and the phenomenal RUSH by Southpaw Dance Company which had a community cast of over 100 residents.

Agencies partnering with LeftCoast represent a range of sectors and disciplines, from small community groups through to major organisations from its consortium. Over the past six years, LeftCoast has worked with a number of delivery partners including the Without Walls Touring Network, Sea Change Arts, London International Festival of Theatre, Fleetwood Festival of Transport, Activate productions, Light Up the North and UCLAN.

LeftCoast have also teamed up with Johnstone’s paints to deliver “Painting the Town” which is both a commercial paint range and a Blackpool place-making strategy that came from an original “Left Behind” commission by Laura Shevaun Green. This ambitious project is a way for LeftCoast to engage with new stakeholders who use colour to contribute to the civic appearance of the town e.g. architects, contractors, specifiers. Each tin of paint sold carries a rebate to be invested in future arts and cultural activities in Blackpool and Wyre.

November 2019 will see the doors open to the much awaited ‘Art B and B’. Although this is a LeftCoast legacy project from our first phase (2013-16) the Art B and B is now an independent CIC ready to accept guests into its 19 specially-commissioned bedrooms created by a range of visual and performance artists, sculptors and photographers.

LeftCoast puts arts and culture at the centre of seaside regeneration by providing opportunities to experience high quality arts and culture that is accessible to all. From jaw-dropping spectacle to intimate neighbourhood experiences LeftCoast make exciting art happen!

Watch LeftCoast's film about RUSH: