The Mersey Gateway Project

Mersey Gateway launches arts initiative for local schools

September 18, 2015MerseylinkNews

Primary schools in Halton are being given the opportunity to get involved in a special arts initiative set up by the Mersey Gateway Project.

Construction consortium Merseylink has teamed up with Halton Borough Council and the Accent Music Education Hub to launch Creative Connections, a new creative arts programme for primary school children in the borough.

Devised by the council’s arts development team, it aims to get pupils thinking imaginatively about Halton’s new bridge and road project.

The programme focuses on three themes related to the construction of the Mersey Gateway Bridge. These are Halton’s natural environment, design and construction related to bridge building, and local history.

Primary schools that sign up get to work with a professional artist of their choice on a specific art form such as music, visual arts, drama, dance or creative writing.

This could involve making textiles, composing songs, creating sculptures, film making, or performing short plays or dance pieces. The creative work will then be displayed, exhibited or performed at various locations in the borough.

Four primary schools have already joined the scheme and will begin to work with artists on their creative projects this term.

St Martin’s Catholic Primary School, Beechwood Primary School and St Clement’s Catholic Primary School have chosen visual arts projects, while Weston Primary School will be film making.

All 55 primary schools in Halton are being encouraged to participate in the programme, which is subsidised by Merseylink and the Accent Music Education Hub.

Creative Connections will run for two years until autumn 2017 when the new bridge opens, and primary schools can take part at any point during this time.

Louise Hesketh, Halton Borough Council’s arts development officer, said:

“This is a great opportunity for primary school pupils and their teachers to get involved with such an iconic local project. Working with professional artists and creating new work celebrating the bridge and the Halton region will result in some exciting and uniquely creative art works and performances.”

The arts programme forms part of Merseylink’s Bridge Life initiative, which aims to put the construction project at the heart of the local community.

Merseylink’s employment and skills coordinator, Neil Wilcock, said:

“This is a brilliant way for local primary schools to be inspired by their new bridge. We want to encourage children to develop a piece of art, which is fun, creative, and something that will capture their imagination. These art forms will be used to tell the story of the bridge and showcased throughout Halton.”

Schools wanting to register their interest in Creative Connections should contact Louise Hesketh, Halton Borough Council’s arts development officer, on 0151 511 8194 or email

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