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

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


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    In 2020 our Cultural Routes Creative Practitioners will deliver opportunities for residents aged 50 years and older who are interested in working with artists to create new artwork together. Artwork created in these sessions will form an exhibition which will be shared across the borough.  

    Online activity: During the Coronavirus Pandemic, our creative project has moved online. Anyone aged 50 years and over in the Wigan borough is invited to take part in the activities through a new facebook group: 

    Anyone unable to access social media content can get in touch to receive project materials via the postal service. Simply email 

     “To rewrite the story of old age (from a narrative of loss or deficit to one of aspiration and growth) is a bold aspiration but Greater Manchester is, and always has been, a progressive and ambitious place…there is an opportunity to develop a new campaign and narrative that draws upon both the lived experience of older people and some of the most creative and imaginative writers, artists and performers living and working today.” – Esme Ward, Manchester Museum (Strategic Lead for Culture, Age Friendly Manchester)


    Selected through an open call, Nadia Peters is our first 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 has also taken on a mentoring role, engaging 3 local early-career creative practitioners 50yrs+ who are undertaking a period of intensive professional development, identifying their CPD needs and creating personal development plans.


    Cultural Routes has 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 have been selected as the first cohort to receive Cultural Routes mentoring and support from the Lead Artist, whilst working collaboratively to design a participatory arts programme engaging older residents.

    This is 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.

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    © 2020 The Turnpike

    The Turnpike, Civic Square, Leigh, WN7 1EB