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

Soapbox was a weekly artist-led session for children aged 6-14 who met at The Turnpike to explore the arts, build confidence and find their voices. Led by theatre practitioner and dramatist Verity Dow, the sessions evolved to incorporate a broad variety of art forms through engagement with professional artists. Summer schools and holiday activities incorporated poetry, performance, music and making led by artists from across the North West.

The Soapbox team also became our young art critics, presenting their own artistic responses to exhibitions and commissions at The Turnpike.

In 2020, the group merged with Creative Club, providing opportunity for artist-led summer schools including working with artist Megan Holland to develop a collaborative story inspired by nature. The results became a new co-created audio experience presented in collaboration with Lancashire Wildlife Trust.