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.

Fun Palaces

Fun Palaces is a national campaign and annual week of community-led creative activity, with the aim of empowering communities to share skills, meet new people and create connections. In 2020 our volunteer team created the first ever Fun Palace for Leigh, embracing the challenge and opening up The Turnpike's building for the first time post-lockdown. They hosted 10 activities including soup, film screenings and creative activities for the community, creating tiny moments of connection, starting conversations and getting to know our neighbours. Following this success, Leigh Fun Palace became an annual event and was reincarnated in 2021 with even more imaginative activities in-house, online and at our neighbours at Wigan and Leigh Archives. Hosting Leigh Fun Palace has become a highlight of the Turnpike calendar and a moment for volunteers to come together.

“We are a small team of community volunteers who heard about fun palaces and decided to come together to create our own weekend of fun and explore how we could bring people together through arts, culture and skill sharing. Something that felt particularly relevant at this time. Now we are on the fun palaces map, we are looking forward to next year”
Sophie Strain, Volunteer