Kirkham residents are being asked to get creative this Easter and celebrate their historic town’s wonderful heritage as part of a £3.5m regeneration project.
A series of special events and workshops are being launched as part of Kirkham Treasures – an interactive heritage programme designed to commemorate the Fylde coast market town’s proud history through the art, words and stories of local people.
The first of these events is the creation of a special Heritage Treasure Trail which will see scenes from Kirkham’s past recreated in the windows of homes and shops.
The trail – staged between April 5th and 11th – will be made up of home-made silhouettes telling the story of Kirkham from its origins as a major Roman Fortress, through its time as a thriving textile mill town to its vital role in both World Wars and beyond.
And the great thing is this imaginative and striking project is open to everyone with prizes on offer for the best window displays!
Kirkham Treasures has been created by the town’s Cultural Consortium, which was launched to deliver engaging community projects as part of Kirkham’s successful bid for High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) status.
Funded by Historic England, Fylde Borough Council and Kirkham Town Council, the £3.5m four-year HS HAZ programme is designed to revive the high street, restore local historic character, revitalise disused buildings, improve health and well-being and develop a new cultural vision for the town.
Working with renowned artist Alex Blakey, Kirkham Cultural Consortium has planned an exciting activity programme for all ages which includes opportunities for aspiring artists, budding writers and anyone interested in local history.
Full details of all the projects, together with hints and tips on how to create your silhouette window art for the Heritage Treasure Trail, are available at www.kirkhamtreasures.co.uk
Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer, said: “Kirkham has a wonderful history and we want to celebrate and preserve that story.
“There are a number of exciting projects that form Kirkham Treasures and the first of these is the creation of a treasure trail of heritage silhouettes. The window art could feature the Roman Fort, medieval Kirkham, the old markets, the flax mills, Kirkham at War, Club Days – any era or event you can think of.
“To create an exciting Heritage Trail, we need as many local people, schools, and businesses as possible to take part and I’m delighted many local shops have agreed to display artwork. Kirkham will become a real treasure trove of art, showcasing what makes the town unique.”
The display judged the best will win a luxury hamper courtesy of Morrison’s supermarket and the first 200 people to submit images of their artwork on display to the Kirkham Treasures website will receive a free Easter egg, again courtesy of Morrison’s. Free material packs to enable people to create their window art are available from Morrison’s store in Kirkham.
All the artwork, research and stories gathered throughout the Kirkham Treasures project will form the basis of a final piece of art created by Alex that the Consortium hopes will “illuminate Kirkham Town centre.”
Alex said: “I’m really excited by the launch of the Kirkham Heritage Treasure Trail. This event aims to bring new life to the streets of Kirkham and provide a fun Easter activity for everyone to enjoy.
“The pieces will also inspire a larger project in the centre of Kirkham celebrating the history of the town. I can’t wait to see the streets lit up with everyone’s beautiful artwork.”
Heidi Hopkinson, co-owner of Serendipity House gift shop on Poulton Street and Chair of Kirkham Business Group, said: “There are a number of major projects happening over the next few years as part of the HS HAZ programme that are so important for the regeneration and future of Kirkham town centre.
“Kirkham Treasures is a fantastic opportunity for local people to not only learn more about the town’s heritage but showcase their own creative talents. There really is something for every age to enjoy and it would be brilliant if as many people as possible got involved.”
Historic England’s Tamsin Cooke said: “We can’t wait to see the window designs popping up on Kirkham’s high street. This is an ingenious way of harnessing the creativity of local people to celebrate the town’s rich history, drawing footfall back to local businesses as we recover from the Covid 19 pandemic.”
For more information on all the opportunities and how to get involved in the Kirkham Window Heritage Treasure Trail visit www.kirkhamtreasures.co.uk
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