The Turnpike CIC was a bold, independent not-for-profit arts project with community at its heart, based in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

This web archive, titled Could this be paradise? reflects on our 5 years in Leigh, highlighting the community voices and artists who have worked with us to shape our organisation.

We want to say a huge thank you to our Turnpike family; the team members, volunteers, artists, community members, peer organisations, funders and supporters who have invested their energy, creativity and ingenuity with us over the years.

Chapter Three

Our 5 years as a CIC developed and evolved through our collaborations with many talented artists. Driven by the belief that artists enact positive change, our mission was to connect artists with our communities and create spaces for us to learn from each other. We invited artists to share new perspectives and ideas which in turn shaped our organisation in unexpected ways.

A key part of our approach was giving artists space and time to develop work that was truly grounded in the town of Leigh. Projects such as The Turnpike Pottery created an environment that nurtured artistic innovation through deep engagement with local collaborators. An emphasis on process over outcome shifted the focus to artists’ practice and allowed for responsive and participatory ways of working.

We worked hard to support the artist workforce, both through paid opportunities and professional development projects. Making of Us was our most ambitious strand of this work, supporting 15 mid-career socially engaged artists working in Greater Manchester through a programme of training, mentoring, and live collaborative projects with partners.