Work programme



PROGRAMMES 2011 - 2015

Main focus for Littoral's work - 2011 - 1015
Over the next four years, 2011 to 2015, the Trust proposes to focus it work around the development of two areas of strategic partnerships, and related arts development and research.

The Rural Biennale: promoting the Creative Rural Economy
Proposed programme of arts research and development towards the programming and staging of the first International Rural Biennale for Art, Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability, possibly for 2014/15. This includes ongoing development of the Rural Cultural Forum and consolidation of its role as a cultural advocacy and arts development agency for farming and rural communities in England; and also delivery of some elements of the Creative Rural Communities - Rural Cultural Strategy report. The aims of the Rural Cultural Strategy and the Rural Biennale proposal are further detailed in the Rural Shift and New Fields projects

The Merz Barn - Kurt Schwitters in England project.
Three year arts research, development and fundraising programme aimed at promoting wider engagement through artists’ projects and new research focused on expanding the creative legacy of the German anti-Nazi refugee artist Kurt Schwitters, and documenting his immense contribution to Modern art. Plans include proposals to develop a major Heritage Lottery Fund bid to fund the restoration the Merz Barn, and create a Kurt Schwitters Gallery and Merzbau Museum on site at Cylinders; and for the establishment of a new Kurt Schwitters in England Foundation/Trust with a supporting endowment fund to carry the project through and coordinate future arts, community and educational projects, and an international residential programme for artists, architects and art students at the site of the Merz Barn, at Cylinders, in the Langdale Valley, Cumbria.

Arts research, arts consultancy and public art development

Littoral also undertakes arts consultancy, public art research, and arts development as part of a strategy for generating independent revenue and sustainable income. The Trust was for several years the public art consultants to Manchester International Airport, helping it to deliver a programme of public art commissions with associated community art and environmental art programmes. Littoral has extensive experience of working with partners in the local authority, business, healthcare, and community development sectors, and with arts foundations and patrons. From time to time the Trust also undertakes unpaid work with partners in the health, educational, environmental, arts, trade union, and community sectors.

Working for Change: Trade Union arts and culture initiative
Building on earlier work with the UNITE and ATGWU unions, and the ROUTES bus workers in Belfast (2002 - 5), and more recently with the TUC in the NW (2007-8), Littoral plans to continue its cultural research and arts development work with the trade unions via the ‘Working for Change’ initiative. This includes research and documentation leading to the formalisation of an arts development role for the trade unions (TUC), and encouraging them to set up an arts and cultural strategy, initially by establishing an Arts and Labour working group, and an international Working Cultures conference and exhibition.

Culture after Conflict: rethinking art and culture in post-Settlement Northern Ireland
The Trust maintains links with arts groups, the health care sector, and community organisations in Northern Ireland. We are also interested in developing new arts projects in support of conflict resolution and peace and reconciliation initiatives. Under the ‘Culture after Conflict’ initiative the Trust is currently developing partnership projects with i) the Bogside Artists in the City of Derry, documenting local artist/community-led alternatives to the regeneration initiatives proposed in the context of the UK City of Culture 2013; ii) the Sion Mills community and Sion Mills Buildings Preservation Trust (SMBPT) in Co. Tyrone, collaborating on arts-led self-help and economic regeneration initiatives. There is also a possibility of a project with the Northern Ireland Trauma Transformation Centre (NICTT) in Omagh, developing a new role for contemporary art and photography in the context of cognitive therapy and trauma transformation counselling.

Handmade: promoting Crafts and Sustainability; the new rural crafts and design
Littoral is also interested in promoting new contexts and markets for both traditional and contemporary rural crafts and design, and creating a new role for the crafts in support of social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and economic regeneration. We believe that the crafts have a potentially vital role to play in surfacing new culture-led models for environmental and economic sustainability. This could include inventing new urban and rural applications for basket making, willow-coppicing, charcoal-making, barn construction, scything and hay-making, straw bale construction, and hedge-laying, and new agriculture, sustainable land management and creative rural economy programmes.

The Trust owns and manages two small land holdings with fields, orchards and woodland, in East Lancashire and in Cumbria. These are currently being developed as skills training centres for artists, craftworkers, and young people interested in sustainable woodland crafts and design, landscape and meadow restoration, and creative management of land in marginal urban, or remote upland areas.


LITTORAL is a non-profit arts trust which promotes new
creative partnerships, critical art practices and cultural
strategies in response to issues about social, environmental
and economic change.
LITTORAL 42, Lodge Mill Lane, Turn Village, Ramsbottom
Tel/Fax: +44 (0)1706 827 961
Reg. Charitable Trust No. 1002365;
Pivate Limited Company No. 2526443