The Mersey Gateway Project

Schoolchildren showcase artistic talents in new Mersey Gateway exhibition

January 22, 2016MerseylinkNews

A special creative arts exhibition dedicated to the Mersey Gateway Project has opened at The Brindley Theatre in Runcorn.


Mayor of Halton, Councillor Ellen Cargill, and Merseylink’s General Manager, Hugh O’Connor, with a model of the Mersey Gateway Bridge made by Weston Primary School

The Creative Connections exhibition, which is free to attend, features the work of pupils from four Runcorn primary schools who have been working with professional artists on projects about the new Mersey Gateway crossing.

The exhibition, which was attended by Mayor of Halton, Councillor Ellen Cargill at a private viewing for pupils and their families yesterday, is open to the public until Saturday 20 February 2016.

It forms part of the Creative Connections arts programme set up by Halton Borough Council in partnership with Merseylink and Accent Music Education Hub, to get youngsters thinking imaginatively about Halton’s new bridge and road project.

The programme enables pupils to develop creative work with the support of their chosen artist, on the themes of environment, local history, and bridge design and construction.

St Martin’s Catholic Primary School and artist Georgina Ridehalgh created a large mosaic of the Mersey Gateway Bridge, while Weston Primary School produced a short film about how Halton’s four river crossings were built, with help from Handstand Productions.

Beechwood Primary School and St Clement’s Catholic Primary School focused on the local environment for their projects. Pupils from Beechwood worked with book artist Kate Bufton to make paper insects out of old childrens’ books, and St Clement’s pupils made clay models and wire sculptures with artist Angela Sidwell.

Halton Mayor, Councillor Ellen Cargill, said: “It is my pleasure to be a part of the celebration of this fantastic art project. The artwork of four of our Runcorn primary schools is truly outstanding. What our children learn from this type of involvement cannot be measured. Once the bridge is complete, it will be defined as a wonderful memory of what, when, and how they actually saw it happen. My Consort and I send our warmest congratulations to all those involved, especially the schoolchildren.”

Every primary school in Halton has the chance to get involved with the initiative and can choose from a variety of art forms such as dance, drama, music, creative writing or visual arts.

Halton Borough Council’s Arts Development Officer, Louise Hesketh, believes it is a once in a lifetime opportunity: “Creative Connections is a unique opportunity for young children in Halton to work with professional artists to develop exciting artwork relating to one of the biggest engineering projects ever to happen in this region. It’s a great way for the children to connect with the local area and the Mersey Gateway Project.”

Neil Wilcock, Employment and Skills Coordinator for Merseylink said: “We’re delighted to be able to support this exciting initiative. The children have produced some brilliant creative pieces to help tell the story of Halton’s iconic new bridge. I’m sure this exhibition will encourage many more schools within the borough to sign up and take part.”

For further details about how to get involved, contact Louise Hesketh, Arts Development Officer, or email

As part of the Halton Creative Connections project, Handstand Films worked with Year 4 of Weston Primary School in Runcorn to make a film about building models of the various Runcorn bridges.
The children did all the camera and sound recording work, designed and built the bridge models and interviewed each other on camera.
The finished film and the model bridges can be seen as part of the Creative Connections exhibition at the Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn, until 20 February 2016.

See a 360° virtual tour of the exhibition:

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