The North West Market Town paving the way for Digital Placemaking
The small market town of Glossop, on the border of Greater Manchester, has secured Arts Council funding to launch a new Digital Placemaking project, aimed at boosting the local economy by harnessing and mobilising its creative community.
The funding has been used to launch a new Glossop Creates website, which brings together local, independent creative businesses and individuals - including talented artists, writers, designers and musicians, artisan makers, stunning restaurants, cosy cafes, specialist shops and more - to profile their businesses, products and crafts, support their services and give the local independent economy a boost after a tumultuous year.
The initiative will also share, amplify and promote the creative and innovative businesses in Glossop, and towns and villages within a five-mile radius (including Broadbottom and Mottram in Greater Manchester), via its social media platforms.
Digital Placemaking uses technology to engage local people and local businesses, harness a sense of community and amplify a sense of place. It aims to deepen the community’s connection with their town, their surroundings and with each other. GlossopCreates aims to do this by mobilising the town’s vibrant creative people and businesses to lead the change they want to see.
Building on the digital aspect of placemaking, the initiative has wider post-Covid plans to use art to bring joy and focus to the town’s central outdoor spaces with a series of artist commissions, and also plans to host a series of events throughout 2021 to further celebrate, support and bring together the local independent business community.
GlossopCreates - part of the Glossop Creative Trust - has been made possible with funding from the Arts Council of England, which has allocated resources to support smaller towns and creative placemaking initiatives as part of their new strategy, Lets Create.
The digital placemaking initiative is part of a wider growth strategy for the town and the region, which aims to build on Glossop’s distinctive heritage and reaffirm the identity of the High Peak and make it a better place to live, work, play and visit. It also aims to help the area forge stronger links with the neighbouring areas of Greater Manchester, the city of Manchester itself and the wider High Peak.
Claire Tymon, Project Lead for Glossop Creates and Director of Placeshakers, said: “We are really proud to announce the launch of Glossop Creates, which has been designed to empower the local creative community to come together as a force for economic success and drive the change it wants to see.
“In the summer, consultation with local businesses told us that there was a clear need to support the local creative and independent business community by raising awareness of the talent and skills in our town, boosting business, raising the profile of Glossop as a destination for creativity, and sustaining local employment.
“Following the results of the survey, and a series of workshops mapping shared values and learnings, we co-designed a programme of support which has attracted funding from the Arts Council of England to match funds already committed from High Peak Borough Council. The investment provided Glossop Creative Trust with the opportunity to create this new business-focussed website for the town with a small team of local creatives, and it will also help us to provide new commissioning opportunities for local artists and creative entrepreneurs in 2021.
“We are committed to working with our strategic partners who will support and advocate for our work in the long term. These include High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, D2N2, and Tameside Council. We would also welcome new partnerships with local organisations directly serving the needs of the community.
“Our long term aim is to strengthen Glossop's cultural ecosystem in order for the community to have increased access to the arts and culture. Our work aims to be inclusive and consider the wider demographics of the town.
“Glossop is a stunning example of a post-industrial mill town with a highly talented creative community. We believe that this community can pave the way for wider regeneration plans for the town, including co-working spaces, artisan food markets and more. It is a town steeped in heritage, but bursting with future-thinking individuals who want to deepen their connection with their beautiful town and help it to grow and evolve to suit their needs.”
Duncan Wright, Chair of Glossop Creative Trust, said: “Supporting and encouraging the creative and hospitality sector in the town is central to our vision to make Glossop a haven and inspiration for creative businesses. Our aim is that glossopcreates.com will become the go-to resource for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the area.”
The Glossop Creates site is live now and features a wide range of local independent businesses, artists, freelancers and more.