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.

Learning & Young People

In partnership with Westleigh Methodist Primary School, the Turnpike was awarded the MaxLiteracy Award 2021 for the Concrete Poems creative writing project. Working with poet Elmi Ali and pupils from Year 5 and 6, the project unlocked confidence in writing through playful explorations of The Turnpike Centre brutalist building and William Mitchell's Concrete Frieze.

The MaxLiteracy Award provided a timely opportunity to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Turnpike Centre building, drawing on its artistic features and the original architectural vision as a dedicated community space for art, learning and wellbeing. The children also used creative writing to imagine the building’s future post-pandemic and beyond.

The Concrete Poems project built on the recent excellent work Westleigh Methodist Primary School have been doing to improve the reading and writing attainment of their pupils, by implementing an approach which draws on the arts as a key driver for learning. We are delighted to share outcomes from this project here, along with a Resource for Teachers which will be available through Max Literacy in 2022.

Funded by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, MaxLiteracy offers funding for museums and galleries in England to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work within learning settings through the visual arts. The Awards are run in partnership with Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and the National Association for Writers in Education (NAWE).

Animation created by Luca Shaw in response to the Max Literacy Award 2021 outcomes with poet Elmi Ali, Westleigh Methodist Primary School and The Turnpike CIC. The project responded the anniversary of the Turnpike Centre - an iconic brutalist building in Leigh, and William Mitchells