Thanks to funding support from GMCVO's Ambition for Ageing, The Turnpike launched 'Cultural Routes' in 2019 - a programme designed to champion and support artists and creative practitioners who are over 50 years of age.

The initial funded phase included a commission for an older contemporary artist, and funded professional development for 3 early career creative practitioners 50yrs+. The programme was designed in collaboration with Touchstones Rochdale.


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    Call for participants - celebrating 50 years of the William Mitchell Frieze, 2019 -2021

    Are you aged 50 years or older and interested in developing your creative work? Join us in a collaborative project which celebrates the work of sculptor William Mitchell, creator of the Turnpike Centre's concrete frieze entrance. In 2020 our Cultural Routes Creative Practitioners designed a series of participatory art activities inspired by this bold, patterned artwork which you can take part in from home. Final designs can be submitted to The Turnpike to become part of a large collaborative artwork which celebrates the 50 years since the Mitchell's artwork was installed in Leigh. 


    Anyone aged 50 years and over in the Wigan borough is invited to take part in the activities using the downloadable worksheets, and accessing video tutorials and support through a dedicated facebook group: 



    Selected through an open call, Nadia Peters was selected as the Cultural Routes Lead Artist. This paid commission opportunity was exclusively for individuals 50yrs+ who considered themselves to be practicing contemporary participatory artists, but who may have found themselves excluded from the mainstream arts sector due to their age. Nadia Peters has been tasked with designing the conceptual themes for the Cultural Routes project and will take the lead on the artform/mediums explored, ensuring that Cultural Routes remains by and for older people, whilst challenging preconceptions on what art by/about older people might look like. 

    The Lead Artist also had a mentoring role, engaging 3 local early-career creative practitioners 50yrs+ who undertook a period of intensive professional development.


    Cultural Routes was been designed to promote the creativity and ambition of people returning to creative practice later in life. Creative Practitioners Linda Heavon, Angie Ryan and Tina Finch were selected to receive Cultural Routes mentoring and support from the Lead Artist, whilst working collaboratively to design a participatory arts programme.

    This was a professional development programme without a fee, but thanks to support from GMCVO we are able to offer each practitioner a fund of £500 to support their practice development, and to cover time and expenses whilst taking part on the programme.

    Watch an introduction from Nadia, Linda, Angie and Tina: