Made in Corby (& Wellingborough)

Inspiring local people to take the lead in creating new arts experiences
Grow Festival 2018
Grow Festival 2018
Photo: Adam Balcomb
Music of the Spheres by Eye Music. Grow Festival
Music of the Spheres by Eye Music. Grow Festival
Photo:AB Digital UK
No Way Back with Frantic Assembly and community cast
No Way Back with Frantic Assembly and community cast
Photo: Scott Graham
Grow Festival 2018
Grow Festival 2018
Photo: Adam Balcomb
Grow Festival 2018
Grow Festival 2018
Photo: Adam Balcomb
Field Day Festival.
Field Day Festival.
Photo: Adam Balcom
Corby Mardi Gras 2017
Corby Mardi Gras 2017
Photo: Adam Balcomb

Where: Corby & Wellingborough
With: Groundwork Northamptonshire, Corby Community Arts, Greatwell Homes, KHL Big Local Partnership, Teamwork Trust and The Core at Corby Cube

“I have listened to music I never would have chosen, tried activities I never would have done and found a love for poetry.” Festival Goer

“Made in Corby has offered those communities a chance to take a snapshot of where Corby is now – full of complexity and contradiction.” Stakeholder Consultation

Made In Corby is a community-led arts programme which produces events and activities designed to surprise, delight and inspire local people. The programme aims to inspire more local people than ever before to take the lead in experiencing, creating and taking part in high quality arts and cultural activities. Through conversations with local people and community decision-making panels, Made In Corby puts local people at the heart of commissioning artists and producing new and exciting events.

Made in Corby has been delivering in Corby since 2014, and thanks to new investment from Arts Council England, is currently planning to expand delivery to cover nearby Wellingborough. After a period of consultation with the local community, the Wellingborough programme will launch with a family festival in July 2020, under a new name to cover both locations. 

From our beginnings in 2014 to the end of September 2019, Made in Corby has held 1159 activities and events, including workshops, performances, festivals and consultations. These have been enabled over 118,000 engagements with the arts.

We are creating new audiences for art in Corby – according to postcode analysis from The Audience Agency, 60% of our people that engaged with the programme in 2018 were from the places of lowest engagement with the arts (up from 37% in 2014 and 49% in 2015). For all three of our signature commissions, over a third of bookers had not previously attended an event at the local theatre. For our final signature commission in 2016, new musical Danny Hero, audience survey data shows that 52% of the respondents had not attended arts activity in the previous 12 months. At our second Grow Festival in summer 2019, 65% of surveyed audiences were from the areas of lowest engagement and since 2014, 33% of audiences have a long-term disability or illness.

We are leading the way in enabling local communities to engage with art, make decisions about what activities take place and the artists that create them. 9156 people have been consulted through our community conversations and around 1218 local people have been actively involved in making decisions about our programme, from deciding the repertoire performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and choosing our new musical, to joining community panels that choose which local projects to support and producing extraordinary arts projects.

Our programme consists of the following types of activities:

FLAGSHIP PROJECTS Led by consultation, and overseen by a community panel, these are large events, such as outdoor festivals and significant artist commissions, that are developed with multiple partners. 

WORKSHOPS Regular sessions delivered by professional artists, offering an accessible, regular opportunity to participate.

COMMISSIONS Small-scale commissions for artists, selected by our community panels, to co-create work with local people.

INSPIRATION EVENTS Allowing us to take advantage of opportunities to bring exciting new work to our area,  we programme cultural activities into community settings.

BIG DAYS OUT Go See trips to inspire people with great art that is happening elsewhere.

CULTIVATE Our programme of support, advice and small-scale commissioning for anyone (community groups and artists) planning to deliver arts activities that engage the local community.

Watch a short film of highlights from our first three years: